Sunday, May 19, 2013

Park Burger, Oakland, CA

Park Burger, in the neighborhood called "Lower Hills," (which is what I like to think of as a euphemism for "Lesser Ghetto," depending on what part of the "Lower Hills" you're in) is a nice small operation, where you go up to the counter and pay, and then a waiter comes and serves you your food.

I like this place. It's cozy and you can tell a lot of the customers live in the area. As for the food, my black bean burger with slaw was pretty good as far as veggie burgers go. However, the fries were a total disappointment.
As described on their menu: "FRENCH FRIES $2.5 Thinly cut on a daily basis; served with sea

Sweet Potato Fries as a side are $3.50. I saw someone else order them and they came in a drinking glass and did not look very plentiful.

I opted for the Sampler–French Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Onion Rings for $5 (not bad!)

Unfortunately, all of the fried sides were bland. The Onion Rings (I haven't had onion rings since I was probably 8 years old, so maybe I'm a bad judge of them), were extremely crispy, to the point where it seemed like the batter was made up of some dried, hard nut, and lacked seasoning. The Sweet Potato Fries were covered in some some of crispy batter, which I despise (as I feel coatings are somehow covering up for lack of flavor and destroy the integrity of the fry) and also poorly seasoned–they simply tasted like sweet potatoes dipped in oil.

As for the Regular French Fries–they were okay. They were all sorts of crazy different sizes, a lot of them being only about half an inch long. I don't know if this means they are handcut, but I thought it was weird that there were so many baby-sized ones thrown into the mix. Anyway, these were pale and very bland, but a crapload of salt made them sort of resemble what I remember McDonald's fries tasting like (which isn't a bad thing).

Portion size for the Sampler was great, but eh, probably not going to revisit these fries anytime soon. The black bean burger wasn't bad, however.


Price: French Fries $2.50, Sweet Potato Fries $3.50. I got the sampler, $5 for both fry types plus onion rings.

Portion Size: Large (for the Sampler, anyway)
Texture: Regular Fries–not bad. Slightly crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Sweet Potato Fries–gross outside batter coating which was crispy, soft on the outside. Not a fan of those Sweet Potato Fries.

Greasiness Level: 3 out of 5 (standard grease level)
Seasoning: None
Fried In: I believe some sort of vegetable oil

Condiments: salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard (including Grey Poupon, yo), mayo. Add salt to everything and watch your meal transform.

Overall Quality of Regular French Fries: 5 out of 10 with salt added. 4.5 without.
Overall Quality of Sweet Potato Fries: 4.5 out of 10. Edible, but did not make me happy.