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Seattle Burger Review: CaliBurger

(Tom Amato, KTTH)

I’m on a mission to find the best burger in the city of Seattle. I travel to various burger joints within city limits and rate the establishment’s most popular burger on a scale of 1-10. Of all the measures I use, taste is most important.

A restaurant’s goals should revolve around quality taste and distinguishing themselves from other restaurants. Therefore, if I’m eating and reviewing your burger, you don’t want my mind wandering to what said burger reminds me of.

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When that happens, it can overshadow the taste. That’s the problem CaliBurger runs into. It resembles a dollar-menu burger from McDonald’s.

As a stand-alone measure, there are certainly worse burgers to be compared to. In fact, being compared to McDonald’s should be quite flattering. McDonald’s serves up a really good burger.

If you disagree, you’re ignoring facts. McDonald’s sells more than 75 burgers a second according to The Fiscal Times. You think they would sell that much if they didn’t have a good product?

CaliBurger uses the same buns, thin-style patties ,and American cheese as McDonald’s, and adds tomato, grilled onions and lettuce to the ‘Double-Cali’ burger they offer (and that I ordered).

If you ask for ‘Cali-style,’ they cook mustard into the burger. While I definitely tasted the mustard, I don’t think it would make a difference if you were to add on mustard as a normal condiment.

The burger has good taste and the soft patties and crisp tomatoes complement each other. I went to the fries early for two reasons: They’re awesome, and the burger’s taste will naturally tire you out.

It’s hard to be fooled when you walk in — CaliBurger is a fast-food joint. I don’t know your personal preferences, but when I’m considering returning to a fast-food stop a second time, it needs to check off one of two boxes: It needs to either taste really good, it needs to make me forget I’m eating fast-food.

While McDonald’s would check off the first box, CaliBurger doesn’t check off any. It’s just okay. About 45 minutes after consumption, I felt gross and bloated. But hey, that’s what you sign up for when you choose to eat fast food.

The general consensus is CaliBurger is a rip-off of In-N-Out Burger. I’ve never had In-N-Out Burger because it’s not in Seattle. It’s not the name of the game; Seattle is the center of my investigation.

But if CaliBurger parallels In-N-Out Burger, I will be disappointed with the famous burger chain when I eventually get around to it. I have been assured though, In-N-Out is much better.

I’m not trying to turn you off to the ‘Double-Cali,’ which costs $5.50 alone (of course you’ll get the combo meal which bumps up the price to $11.95). It’s a fine burger with some taste. All I’m saying is there are better, cheaper options out there.

Biggest strength(s):You won’t hunger for awhile, good first bite

Biggest weakness(es): Fast-food, doesn’t distinguish itself

If you’re in walking distance, give it a try. 6/10.

Past reviews: 8 OZ. Burger (7.5/10), Little Big Burger (8/10), Uneeda Burger (5/10), Li’l Woody’s (7/10)

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