I never stop searching for the ultimate hamburger, so when Bravo Burger opened in early May, I added it to my version of the Bucket List (things to eat in Mission Viejo before I die).
Located in a former Wienerschnitzel, the place has been remodeled and sparkles like a shiny new penny. Walking in, the decor is slightly more upscale than a typical burger joint. And it's clean, clean, clean!
The fresh-faced boys behind the counter were more than eager to please. The menu is mind-numbingly long, which always sends me into a panic as I imagine the staff staring me down with heads slightly cocked, wondering, "Why can't this woman just pick something already?"
Eventually, the boys (my boys, Andrew and Drew) and I selected a double cheeseburger with fries, a breakfast burrito stuffed with bacon and fries, a beef dip and a frozen vanilla-bean coffee drink.
The double cheeseburger was, in a word, cheesy. But in a good way, if you like that sort of thing. It had a nice chargrilled flavor, was very juicy and pretty decently sized. The fries were crispy and perfectly salted. They weren't the fresh cut variety served at In-N-Out, but those tend to be soggy anyway.
I was initially torn between the pastrami and the beef dip. But the boy behind the counter suggested the beef dip so I went for it. It was a little disappointing because the beef was cut too thick, but overall the flavor was fine. Not great, but fine, albeit a wee bit salty.
If you order a breakfast burrito in the afternoon, they put fries inside instead of hash browns. But fried potatoes are fried potatoes, right? And it's large enough to keep anyone going until their next meal, if not longer. There's nothing spectacular about it; it's just your average breakfast burrito. But it had bacon so it might as well have been filet mignon as far as my son was concerned.
The breakfast selections are vast. They include everything from pork chops to sirloin steak breakfast sandwiches to eggs benedict. The lunch menu consists of burgers, sandwiches, salads, tacos and more. Much more. The dinner menu is equally daunting.
Soon, Bravo Burgers will be serving up beer and wine, as well. That puts this place one notch above all the other burger joints in my book. What goes better with a juicy burger than a nice cold beer?
But my absolute favorite thing about this place was the service. Staffers were not 100 percent on top of their game, but their attentiveness and enthusiasm was unmatched. As I grabbed a take-out menu before leaving, one of the boys encouraged me to call ahead to save time.
But there's a catch, fyi. Right now, Bravo's phone number only works when you call from a cell. If you use a landline, you get a different business. The phone company is working on it, but use your cell for the time being.