#271: Burger Lounge

11:00AM / 2/21/2022

Happy Presidents Day! Today I visited Burger Lounge, located in the Fountains shopping center right at the main fountains. This is a medium-sized chain that got it’s start in Southern California, which is where the majority of it’s locations reside. Just 4 have broken north and landed in the Bay Area and the Sacramento area.

They specialize in burgers and lean heavily into organic ingredients, including many plant-based and vegan options. The aesthetic is bright, modern and open. Although this corner spot at the fountains is perhaps a little on the cramped side in parts of the store, it feels like you can reach right into the kitchen with it’s semi-open area that the staff grabs your food from and all the needed sides and things that go along with it. You walk right through this area after ordering at the counter, and you fill your drink cup in this area as well.

Speaking of drinks, they have a selection of pure-cane sugar sodas by Batch Craft Soda. I checked out the Ginger Beer flavor and while it was tasty I found it to be incredibly, overly sweet. I rarely drink full sugar sodas though so take that with a grain of salt (or sugar!). They also have iced tea and a couple of lemonades to choose from. I found it mildly amusing that the one major brand soda they offer (Diet Coke) ends up going into a blue Pepsi cup.

Anyway on to the food! I’ve been here a few times over the years but always ordered burgers, mostly the S.O.B (Son of a Butcher) burger (grass fed beef, American cheese, caramelized onion, pickles and BL 1000 sauce). Today, prompted by a recent blog comment, I wanted to try their Alaskan Cod Sandwich (Pan-Fried Cod Fillet, Lettuce, Tomato, BL Tartar sauce)[$11.95]. I ordered it with no changes and added the Half & Half (Half Onion Rings and Half French Fries, Fried in 100% GMO-Free Rice Bran Oil)[$4.95]. I would have gone all out and checked out a hand-scooped shake but unfortunately they were unavailable today. They also offer dairy-free shakes, and root-beer floats in both dairy and dairy-free varieties.

Normally I like to sit outside on the patio. It’s really nice and has a great view of the fountains. Today was slightly chilly, especially in the shade, so I opted for indoors seating. In just under ten minutes my food was delivered to my table. I love how they stack the half & half rings and fries. It must be super annoying to have to do that, haha.

My previous experiences with the onion rings was that they were good but very greasy. That was somewhat the case here but they were far less greasy than in the past, which was welcome. These are also a bit on the salty side. Other than that they are incredibly crisp and have more of a breading than a batter, which helps give them such a great crunch and texture.

The fries are something I’ve been back and forth on. They are kind of plain, lightly salted, almost like In’n’Out fries (to be clear I am a huge fan of In’n’Out fries, which I know are very polarizing) with the peel left on. These are pretty decent on their own and just right with some ketchup (ketchup is available near the fountain drinks, organic of course).

On to the main course, the Alaskan Cod Sandwich. It was expertly assembled, not a single piece of shredded lettuce had fallen off. Between the tartar sauce and lettuce was a big slice of tomato, perhaps a bit underripe. While it did not really detract from the sandwich, it just didn’t add anything to it. The bun was nice and soft and held together to the end. The cod itself was really nice. Super tender and moist inside with a fantastic breading fried crisp, which reminded me of a lesser onion ring breading. This is a lovely light sandwich compared to the heavier burger options I’ve had previously.

I have to say I really dig this place. The food is quite good, the service is minimal but always friendly, and the place is clean and in a nice spot. The price is up there though. Today’s meal was just over $20 with tax. With the burgers I usually opt for some premium add ons including an extra patty which gets me close to $30. It’s not your everyday burger place for sure, but worth a visit once in a while. I’ll give it a solid 4/5. Speaking of my past burgers, it just so happens I took photos of several of them (big surprise) so here they are:


AM21: The Pastrami Shop (Ft. Out of Bounds Brewing)

12PM / 2/12/2022


After an unexpected break (Moksa Brewing’s 4th anniversary weekend proved to be an expensive one) I return with a Moksa-adjacent business. This marks my first post outside of Roseville since I started back up, so this will be AM21 (“And More”). This is The Pastrami Shop which is located on Sunset Blvd in Rocklin. I first discovered it not too long after Moksa had opened in 2018. It’s a simple little shop that focuses solely on, you guessed it, pastrami. The shop is in an older strip mall and is run by the nicest couple, seemingly by themselves. I’ve never seen another worker there.

It’s been a couple years since I’ve visited. I thought today I would grab a sandwich and head down Pacific street to Out of Bounds Brewing to enjoy it with some good beer in this beautiful, unseasonably warm weather we have right now. This plan worked out well because right now they are not doing any dine-in business. Orders are taken right at the door, or you can order online. Normally the dining space is small, only enough for half a dozen small tables. When I arrived I popped the door open and the friendly owner who was behind the counter working on an order called out and let me know he’d be with me in a moment.

A peek inside from the front door

Soon he met me at the door and I placed my order for a Full Pastrami Reuben (Lean beef piled on our Italian loaf or sliced sour rye served with provolone or Swiss cheese & topped with house Russian dressing & sauerkraut. Served with pickle spears on the side)[$13.75]. Some options include choice of bread and type of cheese. I asked him what bread he recommended. “Italian Loaf” he said, without hesitation. For cheese I went with provolone. Along with it you get pickle spears, which I chose, or jalapeños.

I forgot to check the time but I think the wait was between 5-10 minutes. He waved from inside and I picked up my bag at the door and I was off to Out of Bounds.

Out of Bounds is located just off of Pacific street on a very quiet little side street. They have a nice taproom with a bunch of seating and a room that was in use by a largish group at the time, but it was otherwise pretty empty, which is often my experience. They also have a full restaurant/tap room in Foslom on Folsom Blvd near Blue Ravine. I skimmed the tap list and grabbed a pint of their Orange Creamsicle IPA (7%)[$9] and snagged one of the couple tables they have set up just outside.

I unwrapped the heavy footlong-ish length sandwich and snapped some photos. It held onto it’s warmth very well on the short trip over here. I’m not sure if they make their own rolls or not, but this Italian loaf was delicious with a nice crisp crust and soft interior, which was soaking up the flavorful Russian dressing. The pastrami isn’t quite melt-in-your-mouth tender, but combined with the dressing, creaming melted provolone and plenty of fantastic sauerkraut you sort of get that texture. This thing is packed with flavor, all of the 4 main ingredients blend incredibly well while also standing out on their own. I hardly put this down and inhaled the whole thing. I’ve never been anything less than very satisfied with the food here.

Speaking to the beer, the Orange Creamsicle IPA was perhaps not the best pairing with a rueben, but it was really tasty. It comes across as that classic sweet creamsicle summer treat, with a hint of hops on the tail end. It went down smooth. To follow that the bartender gave me a couple samples of a classic west coast double IPA and a very similar double IPA with blackberries. Both were delicious but the blackberries added a juicy, refreshing flavor that I really enjoyed so I finished off my visit with a pint of this (Juiced Blackberry DIPA, 8%)[$9].

I can’t recommend The Pastrami Shop enough. The pastrami is top tier in my opinion, the prices are fair and the service is incredibly friendly and welcoming. I spoke briefly with someone outside while waiting who shared that he had never had pastrami until someone brought Pastrami Shop sandwiches to work and he lamented that he had been missing out for about 50 years and was a big fan of this place. Out of Bounds is always a really nice chill place to grab a pint. They are underrated and also make some really fantastic bourbon barrel aged stouts (including one with a whopping 21% ABV that drinks so smoothly). Check them both out!

Pastrami Reuben on Rye from a visit back in 2018