I’m not sure how the owners would feel, but if you’re looking for a healthier, 100% organic version of In-N-Out I think I have found it at a new place called Elevation Burger. A reader recently tipped me off to this restaurant, and I’ve been intrigued since reading about their organic ingredients and healthy approach combined with their use of environmentally sustainable architecture at each location. So does this all add up to a good burger? Yes it does.
Carrying the organic theme in their interior, the restaurant is sparsely decorated with bamboo-topped tables and chairs, bamboo floors, and most likely a company-wide color scheme of two tone blue tiles. The space has a good feel to it; as I said it almost seemed like there were too few seats but once I did a quick count and saw several more people come in during my visit it seemed just right. Also in keeping with the simplicity aspect they have one of those new fancy coke machines that makes like 200 different combinations without having a whole line of fountains.
The menu has everything from single- and double-patty options, to veggie burgers, grilled cheese, a large variety of sides, some great shakes and even mandarin oranges. And what’s even more helpful for those that care is the calorie count for each item is prominently displayed. But the star of the show is all in the ingredients; the burger for example is made from 100% USDA-certified organic, grass-fed, free-range beef, and you can taste the difference. Even the fries are made with olive oil, and the cookies are made with organic eggs and butter.
I of course had to go with their Elevation Burger which has double meat, double cheese (real cheddar) and the “original” toppings: Elevation sauce, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Double meat and cheese sounds a bit similar to another certain place, huh? The look of the burger and fries when they arrive at your table are even a bit familiar, but the similarities stop upon first bite. You instantly taste a unique beef flavor that stands out from many other fast food-type places. The patties are thin, but juicy and hold a very prominent flavor throughout the meal. The bun is great; very sweet and soft, reminiscent of a Hawaiian roll. The lettuce, tomato and pickles are all fresh and good, with the lettuce being used sparingly and just right. The cheese was melted thoroughly, had good flavor but I found myself longing for a little more sharpness to it. I hate to keep going back to it, but by the end of this burger I really felt like I had finished a not-too-greasy burger with great, fresh ingredients similar to when I finish an In-N-Out burger, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing by any means.
The fries are also really fresh and great; one serving is more than enough for two people. The fries on my first visit may have been a bit hard and overcooked, but on my second visit less than a week later the fries were soft and just right. I also had an Oreo shake on my second visit and it was great. A very intriguing offering on their menu and something I will most likely have on my next visit is the option for them to scoop some ice cream onto the root beer they sell by the bottle.
The overall price of this meal is a bit more than the place I keep comparing it to, but I think you’re paying for the ingredients as well as a slightly better, less hectic atmosphere. The double burger I had starts at $5.29, with another $2.69 for a double helping of fries. $4.19 for a shake might be a tad high, but it is really tasty if you feel like splurging once in a while. I will also add that Sean the GM of this location is really nice. I have a habit of leaving a business card behind at most places I review, Sean got in touch with me within an hour of my visit to see what I thought, so I made a point to ask for him on my return trip. All of the employees are very friendly, the food is great and it’s a really nice atmosphere. So if you’re in the south west part of town and are craving for something a bit better than fast food, definitely try an Elevation Burger.
A couple other things I will quickly note: first off I tried the veggie patty on my second visit and it was quite good for those that are interested. Also in my conversation with Sean we found out that they offer a fully Kosher menu that is cooked on an entirely separate grill to maintain the proper standards. Not something I hear about in most places, especially a semi-fast food location.