Now I have to visit Jamaica to see if they really do put peaches on their burger. Jamaican burger from Crazee Burger.
  • Now I have to visit Jamaica to see if they really do put peaches on their burger. Jamaican burger from Crazee Burger.
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We're a hamburger town in a hamburger country, and whether it's fast food or fine dining, most of the American-style restaurants in the city include a burger on the menu. Hell, some of the Asian and Mexican spots do too.

Crazee Burger

2415 San Diego Avenue, Old Town

Crazee Burger

4201 30th Street, North Park

So, apparently, one way to make your burgers stand out is to make them crazy. I'm sorry – I mean, make them crazee.

Crazee Burger's been at it a while, with locations in Old Town and North Park, and according to a ten-year-old banner at the North Park location, it was once "Voted Best Burger in Town." It's fair to be dubious.

Rather a sedate storefront, given this is Crazee Burger.

I figured I'd give the Old Town location a go, since it's been awhile and their patio's a pretty pleasant place to chow down.

Now, if you've read other Crazee Burger reviews, you've probably read about their alternatives to ground beef patties: buffalo, antelope and even kangaroo. These unique takes on the burger are intriguing, but I had to wonder: how many reviews have been sullied by this sort of experimentation? I mean, how can a burger place truly be assessed if you're comparing the beef of one restaurant to the ostrich of another?

So I strode past Crazee Burger's kooky décor and up to the counter and ordered a traditional, ground beef, American-style burger.

Then, at the last minute, I second-guessed myself, and went for the one with peaches on it.

As good an explanation as anything for what you'll find on the menu at Crazee Burger.

The Jamaican Burger, as it's called, features a "blackened" beef patty topped by sautéed peaches and pepperjack cheese. Faced with so many exotic meats and a dozen takes on the original, I buckled. I would eat beef, but the burger would still technically be crazee.

So I grabbed my spot on the patio, watching tourists explore the "haunted" cemetery across the street, and waited to assess.

First of all, they're canned peaches. I mean, of course they were. Peaches aren’t in season, and how likely is it the restaurant's going to keep any fresh fruit on hand for the odd occasion somebody bypasses the 25 more interesting and delicious sounding options to order the Jamaican?

Which got me thinking? Do they keep fresh ground kangaroo on hand? And if not, how long does it take for them to re-up on their kangaroo meat?

Anyway, the peaches did nothing for the burger other than clash dramatically with the pickles. The blackened seasoning gave it some flavor, which is a good thing because I can't be sure the beef did.

Which gets me thinking again: what's the best way for a burger joint to cover up its mediocrity? Add two-dozen crazee alternatives to the menu and hope nobody notices. After all, it didn't work out for me this time, but I will probably go back to try the El Jacobo chorizo burger, or the Santorini with ground lamb and tzatziki. Or maybe keep it simple and just go for the gator burger with "curry fruit tapenade." Odds are we'll get it right someday.

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Comments

dwbat March 27, 2014 @ 12:25 p.m.

Maybe San Diego Zoo is supplying the kangaroo meat, in return for a donation by Crazee? A friend of mine has been to Australia, and he said they call them "Roo Burgers" there.

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HonestGovernment March 27, 2014 @ 3:49 p.m.

Ah, thank you, Ian. I ate my last-ever Crazee burger not long ago. I had the plain beef burger, but the larger, 2/3-pound size. Big mistake to get twice the (tasteless) meat on the same small bun. The beef patty was way too thick. You want to deliver twice the meat, you have to use a bigger bun. Not rocket science. The beauty of a burger is the correct proportion per bite of meat, bun, condiments, and vegetables. There was little pleasure in each thick, dry mouthful of Crazee's extremely boring, unseasoned meat, which was all I could taste. The hard rib of lettuce and tasteless tomato only helped the too-thick meat patty slip and slide out of the skimpy bun. And worse, the bun quickly disintegrated.

I ordered the meat to be cooked medium, but when my burger was delivered with that of my friend, the waitstaff didn't ask who had the "medium." That would be because both burger patties were equally charred.

I dislike a huge mouthful of unseasoned meat, but, man, I really, really dislike it when the meat is burned.

Whatever quality Crazee thinks is imparted by "Angus," let me say: all I could think was that a Carl's burger, a BurgerKing Whopper, or my own well-seasoned, charcoaled ground round burger would have been 10 times better and lots cheaper. Crazee cook: You can't cook meat without some kind of seasoning!

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