These days, the term “grass-fed” is a buzzword in the food world. On the surface it seems simple enough, but breaking down what it means for the typical consumer is a bit more complicated.

Let’s start with the popular conceptions of what “grass-fed” actually signifies and see what we can debunk:

Grass-fed cattle eat nothing but grass their entire lives. True, but all cattle are fed grass in the early part of their lives, it’s what they’re “finished on that gives this phrase meaning. Typical cattle are finished on corn and such, while grass-fed ones are finished on, well, grass.

Grass-fed beef is a good source of omega-3s. This is true when compared to standard beef. However, it’s hardly what one would call a “good source” when compared to most fish.

Grass-fed beef is better for the environment. This is a tough one, as the real answer is a definite maybe. This all comes down to farm management practices that are so boring I can barely bother finishing this sentence. But I did. Because I care.

Standard beef has a better flavor than grass-fed. This truism can be attributed to the fact that grass-fed beef has less fat than standard. I used to ascribe to that statement, but as of late, I’m finding that a properly seasoned and cooked grass-fed burger is almost indiscernible.

Most foodies probably couldn’t care less about line items 1-3. No. 4, however…

This is where Burger Lounge comes in with its claim-to-fame as “the original grass-fed burger.” This So-Cal favorite’s newest location is in the revitalized Pruneyard shopping center—across from one of my personal favorites, Mendocino Farms. They feature a bevy of other sustainably sourced items, ranging from pole-caught Alaskan cod to organic produce and even green-certified buildings and business practices.

While their other protein choices are intriguing, my cohort and I were only after one thing: burgers. Burger Lounge has a bit of a disappointing lack of burger choices and topping options, but sometimes simplicity can be a good thing. We both decided on their Husky Burger meal ($16.95). It featured double patties, a craft soda and fries, onion rings or a half-and-half option. I also decided to upgrade my soda to their seasonal strawberry shake ($2 add-on), which included fresh, local strawberries.

First up was the shake and it was simply glorious, in every sense of the word. Fresh, smooth and full of so much real strawberry flavor it had me believing it was semi-healthy. Well, almost…

Next, we dove into the fresh-cut fries and rings. The fries had a nice, crisp crunch, and their texture reminded me a bit of In-N-Out fries—but tasted much, much better. The rings too were crispy, fried perfectly, and the onions had a nice sweetness to them. Very good ratio of batter to onions, I might add. Our only complaint was the sides were a tad small.

Their burgers are prepared pretty simply, with just lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and housemade Thousand Island dressing. They’re topped with organic American cheese—which sounds a bit like an oxymoron—and finished on a sturdy organic bun.

Let me start off by saying this burger was gigantic; even my enormous mouth could barely break the seal on the initial chomp. Once the barrier was breached I started digging in, and the burger as a whole was quite good. I liked that they seared both sides of the meat patties, as that gave them a subtle crunch to contrast all the fresh veggies. The patties were also quite tasty and very tender—no lack of juiciness here. My one complaint was the Thousand Island dressing was a bit runny and soaked through the bottom bun, causing it to dissipate toward the second half of my burger.

In all honesty, I was a bit worried whether Burger Lounge could compete in our already saturated South Bay burger market, but I could easily place them in my top 10, for now. More research is required, of course.

As far as the whole grass-fed vs corn-fed debate goes, I say it’s a toss-up. While I strive to be more socially conscious in my food choices, I tend to let my taste buds make my decisions for me. But in this case grass-fed is a clear winner by T-Cow-O.

Burger Lounge
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell