The last place you might go for a burger and fries in Rochester is Pescara. Not because it wouldn’t be good — it would be predictably exceptional — but why go to the best restaurant in town for a burger?
If that’s your attitude, you need to rethink it. Take a seat at Pescara’s vivid red bar some night, and order the Chef’s Burger from the bar menu. For about five bucks more than you’ll pay for a Juicy Lucy at the corner bar and grill, you get a sandwich to remember: a lean patty topped with a tangle of caramelized onions, shreds of grilled portobella mushroooms, thick-cut bacon and gruyere cheese, packed into a substantial bun with a touch of truffle aioli spread.
The fries — that is, the pommes frites, also flavored with truffle oil and sprinkled with parmesan — are thin-cut and good enough to make Ronald McDonald change teams, especially with the house-made ketchup.
Voila! You have the burger ne plus ultra in Rochester for $13.
So Pescara’s a surprise contender for the Four Stars of burgers, which I’ll round up for a column on June 5. If you tuned in last week, you know that a few others in the running are Kelly’s Bar & Grill in Red Wing, the Bear’s Den in Byron, and the Loop, Chester’s Kitchen & Bar and Newt’s in Rochester.
Now, here’s a new entry, along with Pescara: Rooster’s Barn & Grill — the “barn” part is a joke — a very fun place just up the hill from the Hollywood 12 theaters on West Circle Drive, with good food, plenty of flat-screens, pull tabs and a half-dozen pool tables, which I appreciate. They have two burgers in particular than I’m eyeing and eating: The Buffalo, Bacon and Bleu Cheeseburger, a half-pounder topped with apple-smoked bacon, blue cheese and a smattering of buffalo sauce, served with tater tots — and for my money, there aren’t enough restaurants that serve tater tots — for $8.95.
I’ll be going back soon for the Farmyard Burger, the bacon, egg and cheese combo — and did I mention that Rooster’s is open at 7 a.m. for breakfast, seven days a week?
Got a favorite place for burgers? Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter at @pbeditor.