Update: Since late 2011, Revolutionary Burger has been “closed as they prepare for the next phase of the Revolution”. I’ll update this when I hear that they are back in business (if ever).
Lunch today was an experiment, I got two Che Burgers, fries, and a root beer from Revolutionary Burger.
Revolutionary Burger is a bit of an interesting experimental concept, in that they don’t have a storefront, and aren’t their own restaurant, they are basically a sub-restaurant of the local Lebanon restaurant, Gusanoz. Apparently, one of their employees recently went on a trip to Southern California, and really enjoyed a trip to iconic In-N-Out Burger, and decided to try making a similar burger here. So they invented the Rev Burger, which is their rendition of the basic In-N-Out-style California burger: 100% real beef, never frozen, char-broiled over open flame, a toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, onion and, of course, the “special sauce”. You can order it with american cheese as well, making a “Che Burger” (Anyone else chuckling at the irony of having the Che Burger made with American cheese?). You can even order them In-N-Out style, for example, ordering a “2×2″ which is two patties and two slices of cheese. They also offer fresh-made fries, shakes, and beverages (basically, a similar small menu to the In-N-Out they are copying).
However, they don’t have a storefront. Revolutionary Burger is run out of Gusanoz’s kitchen, but is primarily a takeout business, with optional pickup at the bar inside Gusanoz as well. Prices are reasonable, however, with my Che Burgers costing $2.24 each, the fries $1.49, and my root beer (draft root beer from Eli’s in Maine) was $1.49 as well. So I opted for two Che Burgers, fries, and root beer, placed my order, and drove over to Gusanoz.
When I got my order, I could immediately tell they were doing something right, since the order smelled right, with a strong smell of fresh fries and a hint of charbroiled beef coming out of the bag. Getting back to my office and opening it all up, I was a little less than impressed by the packaging, but I did find two nicely assembled (and not crushed, like oh-so-many burger places seem to do…) burgers hiding within.
Were they successful in the idea of duplicating the In-N-Out concept? I think they actually got the fundamentals right. The burger was nicely done, with a good seared crisp on it, but still juicy and not overcooked, resulting in a rather nice beefy texture. The topping were fresh, crisp, and well-assembled (one of the things I’ve always liked about In-N-Out is that I get a burger that actually looks pretty close to their menu pictures… Revolutionary Burgers isn’t quite as meticulous, but still obviously isn’t just slapping burgers together off an assembly line). The big difference from In-N-Out was the “Special Sauce”, which unlike most resembled mayo more than Thousand Island dressing, and had a distinct pepper bite to it. The bun was lightly toasted as well, which is always a good touch. All in all, this was a good burger, and does justice to the concept they were shooting for. Not everyone will like this style of burger, but for those that do? They’ll like it.
The fries were good as well. I really, really prefer fries properly done in the Belgian style, which requires two rounds of cooking (one at low temperature to cook the interior, and a second frying at high temperature to crisp up the outside). Like many places that work with fresh potatoes, Gusanoz single-cooks them, which makes them a little starchy my tastes, but these were otherwise good fries. They put a light dusting of seasoned salt on them as well, which gave them a nice extra kick without overwhelming them.
Overall, I was pleased with this lunch, although I find the concept a little bit odd, in that I’m not used to getting my burgers out of the back of a Mexican restaurant. I’m also concerned a bit that splitting off into a burger business might not be the greatest idea for Gusanoz… I’m not alone in my beliefs that Gusanoz has gone downhill in both quality and service recently, and trying to run a burger business as well is probably going to distract them a bit from the Mexican side restaurant. I’ve always thought that you should do one thing well before branching out. But at least the burger was good.
Revolutionary Burger (Take-Out and Delivery only)
410 Miracle Mile (Part of Gusanoz Mexican)