Arts & Leisure

An “American” contender for top burger

JIM considers the 55 and pastrami burgers offered at The American Dream in Huntington Beach (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim and Marilyn Tortolano

When another news outlet in Orange County proclaimed that a Huntington Beach restaurant had the second-best burgers in the OC, and the best fries, that caught our attention. So we traveled down to the Pacific City mall to visit The American Dream, a hip, new-ish eatery.

Let’s say right off the bat that it’s difficult to pick “bests.” There are so many variables, including individual taste, who’s on the grill, what you ordered, etc. etc. So we generally seek not to crown the champ, but point out the contenders.

The burgers and fries at American Dream are definitely contenders, and – in fact – the whole restaurant stands out for being attractive, wonderfully located, and otherwise worthy of patronage.

First, the burgers. Marilyn tried the 55 Chevy model, your basic offering, and after taking it for a test drive, she pronounced it excellent. Special credit goes to the chuck beef brisket patty, which elevated it above your routine ground beef patty. Jim went a little off-road and ordered the Pastrami Burger. That’s a generous helping of that seasoned meat on top of the excellent brisket. It was a bit salty, which is what you might expect from such a meal. Very tasty. There are other signature burgers and sandwiches to try as well, such as the BBQ Stout Bacon version and the Buffalo Fried Chicken variation

Next, the fries. Wow. Crispy but not at all burnt. Lightly-seasoned. Good firmness, not overly salted. And what was remarkable was that the basket was on our table just a couple of minutes after we ordered it. Which brings us to service. Our server, Haillee, was prompt, pleasant and helpful, making suggestions and whisking our burgers to us after a remarkably short interval. We’ve had fast food burgers, which didn’t get to us that fast.

On top of the outstanding chow, American Dream is a fun place to go. It’s got two inside dining areas, a patio which looks out onto the beach and Pacific Ocean, and a bar with some big screen TVs for the sports fan. Many varieties of beer are available.

It should be pointed out that you get what you pay for. The fries were $5 and the burgers $11 for the 55 and $15 for the pastrami version. But if you’ve outgrown middling hamburgers that sort of all taste alike, The American Dream might just be the place for you to start your own quest for the best burgers and fries … in your expert opinion.

The American Dream is located at 21058 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite M-130. Phone: (714) 374-1330. Website is .


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