I noticed a few months ago that Red Hot Ranch was opening on a stretch of Ashland Avenue that I traverse on a daily basis. I thought to myself, "great, another hot dog joint." They claim to have fresh-cut fries, so that's not a terrible thing. When they opened, I stopped and had a hot dog and fries. The hot dog was a perfect rendition of a Chicago-style hot dog and the fries were excellent. The menu was limited. You could get burgers or hot dogs in addition to the fries. So, I figured it was a nice little addition but not some place I'd give much thought to after this initial visit. Little did I know that I was completely underestimating the burger.
Everyone seems to claim that such-and-such place has the BEST burgers. I don't know if such a thing exists. There are too many styles of burgers that it's impossible to really judge. Personally, my favorite style of burger is the thin, griddled patty style burgers. I'm very happy that there are more and more places serving this kind of burger in the era of excessively sized burgers with the entree-like toppings and massive buns. There's a time and a place for everything but for me, I like the "fast-food" style more often than not.
During a soccer game, I was chatting about restaurants and food with a friend when another mom overheard our conversations. I believe there was mention of In and Out Burger so she interjected with the mention of Red Hot Ranch. She told us that their burger was in the style of In and Out's. Whoa. I've had In and Out once and liked it. But I do know that that's the style of burger that I love. So, I planned to make a stop into Red Hot Ranch at the next opportunity.
When I stopped in, I asked how big the patties were and I was told they were 3 ounces each. So, I ordered the double cheeseburger with everything, which included lettuce, tomato, onions and special sauce. The special sauce was a thousand-island-esque concoction, which I am a fan of. I was getting excited for this burger!
When the burger arrived, it looked perfect. The edges of the beef patty were crispy and the proportions of meat to bun were exactly how I like it. The burger was delicious. The meat was nicely seasoned and the sauce was tasty. A bonafide food writer may be able to more eloquently describe the experience with words but I'm just going to tell you to go and get one. I'm also going to leave with this clip that sums up the whole experience.