Boulevard Burger – San Leandro – Review

August 2011 Update

We’ve gone to Boulevard Burger a few times since my last update and the quality of the burgers seems to have gone downhill.  I always get the MBA burger (with avocado, bacon & mushrooms), medium rare, and the last few times I’ve ordered it it has been very dry.  I don’t know if they got a new cook who is not as good making burgers or it’s been a coincidence, but I’m less enthusiastic about going there now.

July 2011 Update

In the last year and a half, Boulevard Burger has become my favorite casual-food restaurant in San Leandro.  We go there at least once a month.  The burgers are almost always perfectly cooked medium-rare, as I request them.  They are very juicy and tasty.  The bacon in the MBA burger is top quality, and the vegetables are always fresh.  I’ve grown to like their onion rings (they might have improved them), but their fries are just adequate.  In addition to burgers, they have now chicken sandwiches and veggie & portobello burgers.  They have a variety of children dishes for $5.  My kids don’t love it, however, but it’s not all about them.


December 2009 Review

I’ve been looking forward to go to Boulevard Burgers since I first heard it was opening, back in August. But I don’t go out to lunch that often, so the opportunity didn’t present itself until today – when our empty stomachs and a very dirty kitchen convinced us that a lunch out was a good idea. And, indeed, it was. Both Mike and I were very pleaed with our burgers and are sure to go back.

Boulevard Burgers is the latest venture from restauranteur Mike Wiesner, the owner of Paradiso. It occupies the space on MacArthur Boulevard where Sonoma’s had been until a few months ago. Sonoma’s had attempted to be a “nice” restaurant, but I was never enthralled with its food – though I hope that my negative review wasn’t a major reason why the venture failed. Boulevard Burgers is a much less ambitious endeavor. It’s basically a semi-upscale burger joint. Upscale in that they use “grass-fed, grain finished California Angus which has no steroids, antibiotics, hormones or pesticides” and which comes from a nearby ranch – but not quite gourmet as the burgers they offer are quite basic; toppings include four kinds of cheese, avocado, mushrooms, grilled onions and little else. Don’t come here expecting a Kobe burger with saute foie gras and homemade Dijon mustard (if that’s what you want, Hubert Keller’s Burger Bar in San Francisco will be more your thing).

The important thing, however, is that the burgers are good. Both Mike and I had ours medium-rare, and they were perfectly cooked and very juicy (so much so that they did manage to soak the bottom part of the bun, a problem easily solved by just turning the burger around :-). I had jack cheese, bacon and avocado on mine – and the combination was very good. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The burgers are between 6.5 and 7 oz, a good size for a good appetite; I couldn’t finish mine. They range in price from $5 for a simple hamburger to $8 for the “Whole Enchilada”, a burger with avocado, bacon, sauteed onions, mushrooms, jalapeños and cheese. I think the prices are quite reasonable for the quality of the food. The burgers come solo, but you can order fries ($2), sweet potato fries ($3.50) or onion rings ($3) on the side – we got the fries (a HUGE portion) and found them to be un-exceptional. Thin, crispy and tasty enough, but not addictive.
Boulevard also offers grilled chicken sandwiches and a portobello mushroom burger. There are also salads. We didn’t try them.
At Boulevard Burgers you order at the counter and have the food brought to your table. Service was quick and very efficient, and the servers/counter people were very attentive.
In all, we had a very pleasant experience and I’d definitely return.

Boulevard Burgers
1027 MacArthur Blvd.
San Leandro, CA
510-632-3100
http://www.boulevardburger.com/
Open 11 AM – 9 PM

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