the Full Foodie :: Burger ParlorAuthor: mmclaughlin | Filed under: the Full Foodie
the Full Foodie
a column for food news, specials & “foodies” in Fullerton
by Corky Nepomuceno
insideFullerton Food Correspondent
This week (June 3, 2011):
Burger Parlor (location now closed)
Rejoice good people of Fullerton, for there is a new restaurant in town…and it’s a Pop-Up!
If you consider yourself a “foodie”, then the term Pop-Up Restaurant is one that is already dearly familiar to you. For the rest of the population, it maybe conjures up images of a food fight with clowns in a bounce house. Pop-Ups are temporary restaurants: anywhere from a parking lot, a warehouse or an existing restaurant during hours of non-operation. Essentially, chefs erect Pop-Ups to exercise their passion and love of food without the hefty and often risky investment of a stand-alone restaurant.
Chef and owner, Joseph Mahon (of Bastide fame), has put Fullerton on the culinary map as a result of this dining phenomenon. Housed within Rialto Cafe (which is open only for breakfast and lunch), Burger Parlor takes over the burners right before the sun sets. While most restaurants stop serving food two hours prior, their 11pm closing time is ideal for the late night crowd who typically go bar-hopping downtown. (Rumor has it they might soon be open until 1am!)
Burger Parlor boasts of 10 juicy creations, lovingly referred to as hand burgers, which are hand-crafted with 100% Certified Angus Beef from Nebraska that is fresh ground daily. Within only a few days of opening, The Smokey has already become a fan favorite. With hickory smoked bacon, fried onions, cheddar cheese, Bibb lettuce, oven dried tomato and oozing with secret sauce, it will make you salivate just thinking about it. The beer battered onions are delicately crisp, golden rings of sweet addiction.
Burger Parlor’s menu also includes short rib chili cheese fries, Sloppy Joes, watermelon and fried chicken salad; old school dessert items such as shakes, Guinness floats, ice cream sandwiches and S’mores parfaits. From the chalkboard, you can choose from a selection of wine by the glass, Belgian ales or American IPAs to wash down all the super fresh goodness.
The setting at the cafe is casual with padded booths and a rustic communal table. There is additional seating at the bar counter and a few tables right outside the door. Adhering to their site’s Mission Statement, Mahon (trading his chef garb for t-shirt, jeans and an apron) treats everyone like a life- long friend, welcoming them like he would in his own parlor at home. Or salon or living room, depending on what state you hail from.
Unlike previous Pop-Ups under Chef Mahon’s toque, this new love is planning to stick around past the customary two weeks. More than a Summer fling, it’s a relationship he wants to build upon.
Three Questions with Chef Joseph Mahon
1. After your successful stint at Bastide, what drove you to open a burger joint?
Throughout my career I have always had a passion for interpreting classic flavor combinations.
‘Burger Parlor’ was a natural evolution from feedback from my Bastide guests. I started running Burger Mondays at Bastide and the response we had from our guests was overwhelming to me. We had 2-3 people every Monday saying it was one of the best burgers they have had. After running the Burger Mondays for about 4 weeks, I knew what I was going to do next and the ‘Burger Parlor’ was born.
2. Why did you choose Fullerton over other cities for your first solo venture?
Rialto Cafe: Leslie, Jerry and their team. Fullerton is a very transcending place because it has great neighborhood community, unlike anywhere else in OC. Everyone accepts your individuality here and that is always refreshing to see.
3. We know you have grand plans, so what can we expect at Burger Parlor in the months to come?
108 W. Wilshire Ave.
InsideFullerton Food Correspondent