Current Weight: 161.6 lbs.
I reviewed Tioli's Crazee Burger two years ago. For some reason, despite loving the grub, I hadn't been back. This past Saturday, I received a surprise text from m'man Thai*. He was in San Diego for the day, so I jumped at the chance to meet up with him later for dinner (with Mrs. Bootleg's permission).
* -- "Thai" is arguably the greatest nickname I've ever affixed to a friend. Back in the day, he was the most prominent Asian pitcher in Los Angeles County before Hideo Nomo debuted with the Dodgers in 1995. His long hair and mound presence bore an uncanny resemblance to this guy, so we started calling him "The Mad Thai", later shortened to "The Thai" and then just "Thai". And, he's from Thailand...by way of southern California. Yup. Greatest nickname I've ever affixed.
We arrived at Tioli's just after 7:00 PM. The lighting in the dining area was brighter than I remembered, but still a little dim for the flash on my cell phone camera.
Once again, I started off with a Stone Smoked Porter (ON TAP~!).
And, once again, I convinced my dining companion to join me in a four-way hamburger menagerie.
Two years ago, I ordered the buffalo, antelope and kangaroo burgers for myself while Mrs. Bootleg went with the blue crab burger. This time, I ordered the alligator burger -- along with proven (and previously reviewed) winners, buffalo and antelope -- while Thai ordered the wild boar burger.
#36 -- Gator: Dense with a nice texture, this is the quintessential "tastes like chicken" exhibit. I liked the light dusting of seasonings, which brought out some of the stronger notes in the meat. Those flavors were perfectly comingled with the curry fruit tapenade topping -- a slightly sweet, slightly spicy blend that brought everything together. A case could be made that the sauce overpowers every other ingredient in its path, but the sauce was SO good, that I'll let it slide. Grade: 4 (out of 5)
#40 -- Wild Boar: My initial reaction after taking the first bite -- with Thai as my witness -- was a rough equivalent of this. This was hamburger made from wild boar and topped with bacon, you guys! But, it was all the other toppings I couldn't stop talking about that night -- with, again, Thai as my witness. The strong fruit-sweet sugars from the red wine pear and (especially) the plum jelly bonded phenomenally well with the meat's saltiness. The coarse texture of the meat laid parallel to the chewy bacon was a nice contrast while the dollop of cream(!) turned this into one of the most decadent burgers I've ever eaten. Grade: 500 (out of 5)
Great things get eaten when Thai is in town. He's already identified our next conquest in San Diego County, while my next trip up north -- earmarked for early April with Thai and our friend Smitty -- will unquestionably be based around this.
Your move, Aaron's "current weight".