We made a special trip to Manhattan Beach to try the Ercoles burger, a burger that many people have rightly listed on the best burger lists  we looked at when researching must-go places for our own nascent burger quest.  This was back sometime in 2011.

We must admit that we entered a little gingerly. Manhattan Beach is a pretty swanky, plasticky SoCal town all-told, but Ercoles is the dive bar around the corner. Something about walking from the subterranean parking lot with its Le Pain Quotidien, Banana Republic and Free People (yeah, it’s got a Free People), made us feel a little peculiar when we stumbled through the 80-some year old doors of this little dark place.

There’s old geezers at the bar. There’s an old geezer behind the bar. There’s an old geezer working the grill. But hey - it’s friendly as you like. We sort of wish they didn’t have laminated plastic signs everywhere that advertise all the shitty American beers they sell in bottles, but it was fine. We got a couple beers and ordered a burger to share which they helpfully cut in half. They asked if we wanted potato chips. Oh, we love it when a place doesn’t do fries. I love fries, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something so charming when a place just says ‘no, we’re not doing them’. And it’s always the old-fashioned places.

Anyhow, the burger was a mouthful of deliciousness. A tremendous fist of meat, a homey, tasty bun and a mustardy accompaniment. Both the boy and I wished we hadn’t shared.  It was another one of those classic burgers.  Not a lot of fuss, but a true, old-timey burger.  

If you’re ever in Manhattan Beach, don’t be afraid - go to Ercoles and get the burger. You won’t regret it. It’s definitely in the running of a top contender in our burger quest!

The Scores:

Meatiness: 5
Succulentiousness: 5
Bun: 3
Flavor: 5
Stay-togetherness: 4
Joint: 4

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