Blogger vs. burger: Riordan’s $20 one pounder.

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The “Mayor’s Burger” is more than 6″ in diameter (I measured – cell phone for illustration purposes only), and requires an average human to unlock their jaw to get their teeth around.

I felt like such an asshole.

The image of L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan that is stamped in my memory comes from the 1998 hunger strike by gardeners protesting a proposed ban on gas fueled leaf blowers. At a meeting five days after the strike began, Riordan showed up eating, in full view of the hungry gardeners, a burger from Bob’s Big Boy.

What a dick.

And then today, nearly ten years later, I found myself ordering a $20, one pound burger “Mayor’s Burger” from Riordan’s Tavern on Figueroa in downtown L.A. Like the more affordable Pantry next door, both are owned by the former Mayor.

Guilt aside, I was less impressed with the price tag ($21.50, to be exact), than the dare of a full pound of meat. After confirming with the bartender that it wasn’t coming from any of the recently recalled beef, I ordered the burger medium rare.

Riordan’s itself is pleasant enough. A mid to upper scale Irish restaurant with wooden furnishings, a couple HD TVs showing sports, and photos of the former Mayor hanging on the walls beside some sports memorabalia – photos of Riordan playing golf with Bill Clinton, his name on a #99 jersey for the L.A. Kings, a pair of Shaq’s signed sneakers. In the men’s room, the day’s sports pages from the Times hang on the wall for easy reading.

But the burger… freakin’ giant. I even asked for a ruler, a request the bartender didn’t even blink at. He did suggest I cut the burger in half though, but I declined – I wanted to see if I could lift a burger of such magnitude.

The meat was juicy, tasty, and fresh – perfect, as I hate seasoned meat. Along with fresh lettuce, onion, Heinz ketchup, and a deli mustard of unknown variety, the burger wasn’t of any sort of gourmet variety worthy of words from a gastronomic glossary – just solid, good stuff.

The $20 became justified when the manager walked up and asked if I’d finished the whole thing. I told him I was taking half home with me, and he nodded, letting me know most people will share it between, two, three, or even four guys. Heck, maybe a few starving gardeners.

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Left: I was barely able to finish half of the burger, even with a full appetite. Right: Riordan’s entry.

UPDATE (2/27 1:41am): I just microwaved a portion of the leftover burger for a late night snack – one minute on high. Better than White Castle!

Riordan’s Tavern, 875 S. Figueora St. …Dig Lounge also recently reviewed Riordan’s Tavern.

21 Replies to “Blogger vs. burger: Riordan’s $20 one pounder.”

  1. I can feel my artery’s harden and my colon wince in revolt at the prospect. I’ll have another salad thank you.

    No kidding…a FULL Pound? What was the cooked weight? The type of ground beef…80/20 or the somewhat healthier 93/7? I’d love to see the food warning label on that puppy like they post at Burger King!

  2. Salad? Oh, hell no. I’ll take the burger.
    In fact, I’ll take two.
    It wasn’t mentioned, but I assume I can get it with a 1/2 pound of cheese, right?

  3. Cows are people too!!! I can’t believe you ate that thing.

    Since it’s an Irish bar are there any good Irish spirits, what’s the alcohol like? Is there a Happy Hour? Any Pure Pot Still Whiskey? Single Malts?

  4. I could take that baby out, no problem. BBQ King at Sunset & Figueroa also serves a 1 lb. burger, but for only $10 or so. I’ve never eaten it because you apparently have to wait 30 minutes to get it.

  5. I’ve never eaten it because you apparently have to wait 30 minutes to get it.

    Nope, not at all. I haven’t had it personally, but I’ve been in the company of people that ordered it and it came just as fast as the rest of our food. The awesome thing about BBQ King’s version is that it’s cooked on the lower grill, so it gets all the drippins from the BBQ above.

  6. 5000 – Thanks for the info.

    I’ve never seen anyone order it, and last time I asked about it, I was in a hurry and didn’t have the 30 minutes the cashier said it took to make. Every time I’ve been there since, I’ve also been in a hurry, so I didn’t bother trying to order it. I’m looking forward to eating it.

  7. Markland, Markland, Markland. In a time when so many have so little, you choose to flaunt your gluttony for all to see, like a strutting peacock.

    For shame. For shame.

    Did you have fries with it?

  8. In the men’s room, the day’s sports pages from the Times hang on the wall for easy reading.

    Yeah, and thanks for the image of you poised at a urinal in Riordan’s Tavern. I really needed that just before bed.

  9. If cows are people, then people are tasty!

    As for those of you asking about fries… nope. They do serve a small sampling of Riordan’s chili though. Good stuff.

    (Sorry for the image, Rodger.)

  10. Actually Browne I think you are right, I remember reading somewhere that our tears have the same saline percentage as the sea.

    All that aside…how do you feel this bright and cheery morning DM after that 1 lb o burger? I’m a total omnivore but even I like to toss in the “salad” on top a burger to keep things on an even keel and moving.

  11. I had a friend who cremated bodies and he said when you inhaled the ash it was sweet. sorry for that wholly unpleasant thought.

  12. Never tried a 1 lb. burger before, but I came >thisNever tried a 1 lb. burger before, but I came >this< close to finishing a 3/4 lb. burger at The Burger That Ate L.A. on Melrose (are they still around?). But I was a teenager with a voracious appetite then, and I doubt I’d even order a 1/2 lb. burger now. I remember watching them grill it, it definitely took close to 30 minutes.

    Yeah, I regretted it later, but it was pretty good.

  13. I feel great this morning. But, like I wrote, I only ate half the burger at the restaurant, and then another 1/4 before bed.
    No regrets, although next time I don’t think I’d order it unless I was sharing it with one or more friends.

  14. The burger was just OK. I would never go back and pay $20 bucks for just an OK burger. Even to split it and pay $10 bucks each. bleh.

  15. Corn is people too!!! Vegetarians are those that can’t hear a tomato scream. Try to eat with respect.
    ; )

  16. @Funk: For the record, I was the one who said gimme two. Browne asserted that cows are people, too. Poster’s name appears under their comment.

    I’m sure there’s a connection to be made here…
    Cows=people. People=Soylent Green. Cows=tasty burgers. Thus, I love soylent green. With cheese.

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