Lamb Burger – Boulevard Bistro – Elk Grove, CAMay 16, 2011 • By Rodney
Boulevard Bistro is a family owned fine dining restaurant located in the heart of Old Town Elk Grove, CA. The wine list is extensive and the menus are seasonally prepared with local ingredients; many of the herbs used in the dishes are grown in a garden onsite. The restaurant celebrated its 5 anniversary in 2011 and has the unique distinction of being located inside of a bungalow style home built in 1908.
My initial interest in Boulevard Bistro was sparked by a single tweet over a year ago from @pacificbrewnews on Twitter. I think he offhandedly tweeted about a great burger he had in Elk Grove. I replied asking him where it was from and he said Boulevard Bistro on Elk Grove Boulevard. As the months went on I had heard more positive things about Boulevard Bistro, but I just couldn’t imagine a true fine dining restaurant in Elk Grove.
Finally, a couple months back I pulled up Opentable and made a lunch reservation for one to check it out.
What I didn’t remember from the bite sized Twitter conversation with @pacificbrewnews was that the burger at Boulevard Bistro was a Lamb Burger. I love good food and fine dining restaurants, but I wouldn’t consider myself a fancy eater. I had never had lamb, let alone a lamb burger.
In fact, once I sat down and saw the live menu at Boulevard Bistro and realized that the the burger was made from lamb, I almost chickened out on this burger adventure (wow, 3 animal references in one sentence…new personal record!). A tweet from one of my local Twitter friends talked me off the ledge and encouraged me to try the lamb. So I went for it.
The burger came out dripping with juices. Instead of the usual LTO toppings (lettuce, tomato, onions), this fancy burger was topped with sweet olives. This is probably the time I should confess something else. I don’t like olives. However, one of my personal goals this year was to not be so picky about foods I try when I eat out and more importantly, to trust the chef and try to order the dish exactly as the chef intended. So instead of picking the olives off, I jumped right in!
The burger was amazing. There’s something extra special about the flavor of lamb that I can’t put my finger on. It has more unique natural flavor than my traditional beef burgers, and this one was cooked to a perfect medium. The ciabatta bread it was served on was toasted perfectly. As I crunched through the freshly baked bun through the olives and into the ground lamb patty, I didn’t miss the traditional LTO toppings at all. The sweet olives complimented the slightly sweet lamb meat. Anything else on top would have ruined the experience. This definitely wasn’t your average ketchup and mustard type burger…this sandwich was made to fit in with the white tablecloth, polished silverware foodie experience.
It’s too early yet to say I’m that beef burgers play second fiddle to lamb burgers, but I will say the added flavor of a lamb burger should make the beef burger lobby nervous. I had a full 3 course lunch on this trip and from the wedge salad start to the baked apple strudel and french pressed coffee finish, this was a meal to remember. I’ve already brought my family back to this place once for brunch since my burger lunch and I can see my wife and I heading to Boulevard Bistro again soon for a date night or two.