Jeff Smith 2:15 p.m., July 27
Boll Weevil: IB Burgers and Brews
A friend from Imperial Beach told me that Boll Weevil was the place to go for burgers, fries, and beers. He said they had a burger that came mashed between two grilled cheese sandwiches. I said, "don't threaten me with a good time!" The restaurant is in a mall that features a defunct department store, which is soon to be a WalMart if the rumors are true.
The restaurant sent out a strong family vibe. It had video games and pool tables and a frustratingly difficult game where you have to roll a little metal ball up the side of a mountain by controlling its momentum.
Pitchers of beer seemed to be the way to go. Pints of Karl Strauss were $5.50, but the pitcher was $12 and contained about four glasses. Domestics like Bud and Coors were $9.75 per pitcher, a price which makes cost the least of your worries.
The menu has hot dogs, chicken, salads, and a few kids meals in the $5-$9 range, but the bulk of the effort goes into making burgers. Boll Weevil has bacon burgers, chilli burgers, patty melts, and one pound superburgers, to name a few. A buffalo burger ($7.49), billed as a lean and healthy alternative, came on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.
The aforementioned "grilled cheese bacon cheeseburger" ($8.99) was, as promised, a monstrous creation. Served with ranch dressing (of course), it had four slices of bread, half a pound of burger, bacon, and at least eight slices of cheese.
All the burgers were cooked uniformly well done and toppings were restricted to the mustard and ketchup that came in the tableside caddy. Burgers weren't served with fries or onion rings on their own. Side dishes came separately in a variety of sizes starting at $2.79 for a small order of fries and getting all the way up to $5.49 for a large order of fries smothered in chilli and cheese.
One alternative side dish, found on the appetizer menu, was the "loaded fries" ($6.99) that came completely covered in melted cheese and crispy pieces of bacon. Compared to the grilled cheese burger, the loaded fries actually seemed somewhat reasonable.
There are five Boll Weevil restaurants in SD county, but the Imperial Beach branch is located at 695 Saturn Boulevard in the Southland Plaza.