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BurgerQuest Week Two: Auburn Alehouse

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Editor’s Note: A group of dedicated — and hungry — diners is on the hunt for the best burger in Placer County. Nominate your favorite burger place by emailingrocco@bestplacerburger.com. Follow their blogs at www.bestplacerburger.com.

Our hunt for the perfect hamburger took us to Auburn, where we settled in at the Auburn Alehouse. The atmosphere was modern-rustic, lots of warm colors and just the right amount of ambient noise.

The night started out on the right note, when Mallory, our server, brought out a 12-beer flight for each of us to try. Her mastery of the beers was amazing — she described the flavoring, the alcohol content, the relative bitterness and, in some cases, the history of each beer. Going round the clock, all 12 had a unique and flavorful taste. The Auburn Alehouse takes its beer seriously.

They featured four burger types, including a Barley Burger. But we all opted for the real beef patties and tried three varieties. What they all had in common was a very solid patty — cooked medium, very firm and just the right amount of fat to make it juicy but not at all greasy. Both the Alehouse Burger and Back and Blue came on a solid bun — it was served firm and stayed that way for most of the meal. Both of them were flavorful, yet not overpowering, so you could still taste the patty. We also tried the O'Brien Melt, served on sourdough toast. This also came of firm and flavorful, but the toast did get soggy halfway through. Seems like the perfect bread is the biggest challenge we have faced in our search. But the highlight of the night was the side of chili that came with each burger. The chili was made with big chunks of tender beef buried in a sauce that was alive with flavor.

Mallory showered us with attention without hovering, and it was apparent that the staff was a happy crew.  The night was a fun experience, the food above average, the beer well above average, and the Auburn Ale House gets a very high 84 out of 100. We will be back for both the food and the beer.

Score: 84 out of 100 points