Pearl Burger – Pearl on the River – Sacramento, CAMay 13, 2011 • By Rodney
Pearl on the River is a casual fine dining restaurant in Sacramento, CA. They offer “fine dining for everyone” in one of the city’s most scenic locations along the Sacramento River. They offer about 300 seats in the restaurant with many tables outside overlooking the river and Sacramento skyline. Upstairs they have a “Burger Bar” where you can sit around a island kitchen area and watch your burger creation be brought to life by their chefs.
I first heard about Pearl on the River from when I asked my Twitter burger friends for some Sacramento burger suggestions. Then I started getting seeing #sacburgermonth tweets from PearlsPedaler mentioning their burgers that use part of their Rib Eye steaks. After I saw this tweet from @pearlontheriver saying that they had a waterfront burger bar, I knew I was destined to eat there.
On the menu at the Burger Bar upstairs inside Pearl on the River is just one burger: the Pearl Burger. It starts with house ground beef using a blend of chuck and their famous rib-eye steaks and they top it with a garlic aioli, lettuce and tomato on a fresh baked bun. But it couldn’t call itself a burger bar without a bevy of toppings that you can adorn your sandwich with. Their premium toppings list includes: smoked cheddar cheese (got it), house made BBQ sauce (got it), caramelized onions (got it), red onion marmalade (I SO got it), fresh jalepenos, bacon (got it), mushrooms, and avocado. They also offer gruyere, pepper jack, cheddar, bleu cheese and fontina as additional cheese choices.
It was fun to be able to watch my burger being cooked as I sipped my beer at the burger bar. They made the red onion marmalade fresh, cooked the buns and the patty on an open flame grill, prepared their special BBQ sauce and put it all together in no time flat. There was no mistaking the medium rare temperature of the burger, as the juices were dripping and glistening as my plate was set before me. I tried to get a few close up shots of the juices just to try to convey how good this burger was.
Even with my plethora of toppings, I was able to catch the layers of similar flavors. The sweetness of their BBQ coupled with the sweetness of the red onion marmalade played together like two kids on a see-saw. The melted smoked cheddar cheese held hands with the grill cooked bacon like long lost lovers united for one last hurrah. I don’t know what their chuck to rib-eye blend was for the ground beef, but it seems like meat did have more flavor than just a straight ground chuck burger. It could have been just creative marketing at work, but I appreciated whatever amounts of rib-eye they contributed to my burger experience.
I ate at Pearl on the River during a late lunch (and the restaurant wasn’t too crowded), but it’s one of those places that I’d love to come back to for dinner. If the rest of the food is as good as the burgers (and I already heard good things about their steaks), then it seems like a perfect date night spot with the Sacramento River flowing behind as you dine.
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