Best of the Best Burger Battle – Mammoth Lakes, CA
(July 21, 2014) The burger battle in Mammoth Lakes, CA was dubbed the 405 versus the 395. Featuring three chefs with restaurants along California’s Hwy 405, and one from along US 395, this “Best-of-the-Best Burger Battle” was part of the Mammoth Food and Wine Experience.
Hoeltzel’s winning burger tantalized the judge’s taste buds with its combination of red wine vinegar ketchup, Riesling onions, extra sharp cheddar, local organic tomato and a port wine reduction.
CJ’s Grill is owned by Hoeltzel and his wife Carrie. They serve fine, new American cuisine with a focus on cooking from scratch — sauces, dressings, desserts. The menu features fresh salads (with choice of 10 from-scratch dressings) and entrees like Wild Mushroom Marcella, Artichoke and Caper’s Chicken, steaks, fresh and sustainable fish, pasta, and of course burgers.
The Classic Burger at CJ’s Grill is a half pound of certified Angus beef, served with fresh-cut fries. They serve their take on a California Burger, too. The same Angus burger comes topped with avocado, bacon, ranch dressing, tomatoes and sprouts. It’s served on a bed of lettuce; no bun. They also have a Burger of the Month — currently sounding suspiciously like Hoeltzel’s burger battle winner. They also serve a hommade black bean Veggie Burger, a Crab Cake Burger and a 1/3-pound Buffalo Burger.
Other burger battle participants included Chris Lucchese, of Off Track Cooking (and winner of the LA Times Battle of the Burgers 2012, 2013), food truck proprietor, Rena McCullough of Ohana’s 395, and Craft BBQ sauce brewer (and grill chef Rock Creek Resort) Steve Miller.
Judges included last year’s winner, Matt Toomey, of Toomey’s Catering and Takeout, in Mammoth Lakes.CJ’s Grill
343 Old Mammoth Road
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
[Images courtesy Cj’s Grill and Jason Hoeltzel]