I had been hearing great things about TrueBurger. Some said it was basically Shake Shack on the West Coast. Though I've never tried Shake Shack, I hear great things about them as well. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to go to TrueBurger with some of my friends.
We rolled into TrueBurger on a Saturday for lunch and it was packed! The crowd was a good sign. Surely, this had to be a great burger!
The prices on the menu scared me a bit. But I had just finished finals and was feeling pretty good. I decided to treat myself. I ordered a Cheesy Trueburger with griddled onions, an orange creamsicle shake, and got chili cheese fries to share with a friend.
The place had a very modern, hip feel to it with beautiful wooden counters and a long communal table. The clientele was a mix of everyone from the elderly to young hipsters talking about their newest bands and local, organic foods. TrueBurger definitely had the feel of a community hub that brings Oakland together.
Now, the moment of truth. Is this a burger that lives up to its price tag and all of the hype? We'll see. The burger was on the small side comparable to size. But how did it taste? Well, the challah bun was fantastic. It had a slight crunch from being toasted and was a tad bit chewy. The garlic aioli was delicious as well; garlicky is always good. But the burger itself, where was it? It got lost in the mix of everything. It was kind of like being at a concert with a really bad sound engineer. I couldn't taste the meat, which was disappointing to say the least. I thought I was eating a garlic aioli sandwich with grilled onions on really good bread.
The chili cheese fries were just so-so. The fries themselves were spot on, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, I had my gripes with the chili. It had an odd sweetness to it...and it had beans. But I'm a stickler when it comes to chili. My opinions on chili are probably stronger than the average person. Most people seem to really enjoy them.
This orange creamsicle milkshake was the high point of the meal for me. Think about a liquified orange creamsicle. This took me back to my childhood and I loved every moment of it from the impossible-to-drink beginning to the melted down mess at the end. It was beautiful.
Their pickles were surprisingly very, very good as well. They were fresh, crisp, and bright. Oh, and did I mention, free? Or at least these sliced pickles at the condiment bar are. I went back a few times to grab more. Don't forget to munch on these with your burger!
Overall, TrueBurger was good, not amazing. Would I ever go out of my way to eat here? Probably not. I'd honestly go to the ever consistent and delicious In-n-Out over TrueBurger any day. I could get a whole meal for the price of a Trueburger and thoroughly enjoy every bit of it - every time. If you are in the area, definitely check it out, maybe you'll have a better experience than me. Just don't forget to get a milkshake.
TrueBurger 146 Grand Ave Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 208-5678 www.trueburgeroakland.com