A classic burger and fries—elevated!

What: The King Mushroom burger

Where: Gastro Grind Burgers, 73850 Highway 111, Palm Desert

How much: $17.50

Contact: 760-404-0300; gastrogrindburgers.com

Why: Delicious toppings.

There are soooo many burger joints in the Coachella Valley—so how does any burger restaurant stand out from the crowd?

At Gastro Grind Burgers, it’s all about the never-frozen meat. (Well, it’s mostly about the meat; I’ll elaborate in a bit.)

Do you prefer beef, like most folks do? At Gastro Grind, you have three different blends from which to choose. The standard is a “unique blend of chuck, short rib and skirt streak.” Upgrade to “deluxe,” and you’ll get a blend of chuck, short rib, sirloin and strip loin. Finally, there’s the “fancy pants/hoity toity” option: a mix of short rib, sirloin and ribeye.

If you like beef, but are in the mood for lean, Gastro Grind offers a beef/bison blend. If you’re in the mood for the opposite of lean, you can get pork belly. Other options include turkey, a chicken breast, a Beyond Beef patty and the “wild game” special.

Got all that? Good. So, how does this translate into burger quality?

On my recent visit, I had the King Mushroom burger, and it was quite enjoyable. I got the standard blend, which resulted in a tasty patty. However—and here’s where we get to the “mostly about the meat” part—it was the other ingredients that made me want to go back for more: The wild mushrooms, the goat cheese, and the truffle aioli were all fantastic.

Burgers come with a pickle and a small side (your choice of regular, sweet potato or beer-battered fries; regular or sweet-potato tots; onion rings; or, lord help you, mixed veggies). Gastro Grind also offers a few small plates (duck wings!), salads and sandwiches, and milkshakes.

I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at Gastro Grind Burgers. In a valley full of burger joints, it’s a standout.

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...

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