Mountains of Meatness
By Matt Tapia
A hot dog at a burger joint? Now, that might seem as strange as ordering a salad at Peter Luger’s, but when the hot dog in question is wrapped in bacon, served up with grilled bell peppers and topped with the traditional condiments of ketchup, mustard and mayo, there’s no question: I’ve gotta channel my inner Adam Richman and prepare to do battle with the decadent meat monstrosity Burger City Grill calls The Works.
And it was good. More than good actually. Unlike the stuff commonly seen on Man Vs. Food, The Works hot dog can actually be shoved in your mouth without having to detach your jawbone, a very critical thing when you’re trying to figure out if you like the dish simply because you managed to get in your pie hole or because it truly is an express trip to Flavor City. In this case, the hot dog and its accoutrements add up just right. The dog itself is fat and thick, a big meaty boy that still manages to peek out from underneath a blanket of chopped peppers, grilled onions and luxurious dribbles of ketchup and mustard. Think all the comfort of casual dining—and none of the guilt of eating one of those tocino-wrapped numbers from a street vendor after the club. Oscar Meyer, pack your bags.
The genius of this place is that their dining offerings are pretty streamlined and the eatery is definitely not . Burger City Grill offers breakfast items (the obligatory country fried steak, chorizo and eggs, etc.), but the focus is definitely on the burgers—at least 12 varieties by our count—and hot dogs (four different kinds, including the aforementioned bacon-blanketed one) plus some sandwiches and melts thrown in for good measure.
And speaking of burgers . . .and bacon . . .
There is something miraculous about bacon already, that wonder-food that has almost become a trend in and of itself (go ahead and Google “bacon” and see how many novelty items you find, from bacon-flavored soda to wallets designed to look like strips of bacon). Even moreso, though, is when said bacon is actually crispy, like that which comes with BCG’s Bacon Cheeseburger. All too often, the bacon on burgers at diner chains like Denny’s or Norm’s is rubbery, and one bite will easily take the whole strip out from between patty and bun. BCG’s bacon snaps apart just like it should, ensuring it finds its way into every bite.
It’s almost laughable that Burger City Grill’s chili cheese fries are considered a “side,” taking into consideration not only the order’s size, but its price as well. At nearly five bucks, it’s not surprising to discover the yellow-brown mountain waiting for you at the counter when your number is called, two forks sticking straight up out of the chaos. The accoutrements here are nothing if not plentiful; the “fries” part of the dish is barely even visible. All of this isn’t to say they aren’t delicious, though; the cheese just gooey enough and the chili just spicy enough, but if you’re ordering it as just a side dish, don’t plan on eating too much of it at the table. It’s more than enough to constitute a whole meal, perhaps even for two.
Burger City Grill, 994 Hamner Ave., Norco, (951) 817-1111; www.burgercitygrill.com. Mon-Thurs 6AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 6AM-11PM, Sun 7AM-10PM. MV, V.