Krush Burger (nee Mini Burger Truck) burst onto the scene as Sacramento's first gourmet food truck. That was two years ago.
Since then, Sacramento's mobile food scene has blossomed, and its even possible that due to oversaturation of the market, some of the weaker or less committed players might leave the market soon.
But the early crop of food trucks have moved onto phase two of the food truck experience -- opening brick and mortar restaurants. Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen is now selling its food through Republic Restaurant & Bar, Coast to Coast Sandwiches is now selling its food through Pour House, Wicked 'Wich is now selling its food at Broderick (and soon, at the Downtown Plaza food court), and the grandaddy of them all, Krush Burger opened its new restaurant at 700 N. 10th Street.
Located inside the new California Lottery Building, the mid-sized space was immaculate when I visited it on Saturday, its grand opening.
In evaluating food trucks turned restaurants, the questions to me are simple. Have they kept what they were know for, have they gotten rid of some of the downsides of eating out of a food truck, and have they taken advantage of a physical location to offer something else that's not available at their rolling counterparts.
The answers to all those questions is yes.
The menu at Krush Burger Restaurant is very familiar, with the addition of a couple salads to the mix.
We split two sliders -- the Fish and Chip (House Potato Chip Breaded & Fried Alaskan Cod, House Tartar Sauce, County Fair Kosher Pickles) and the Pacific Coaster (Fresh Dungeness Crab Burger, Micro Greens, Pea Shoots, Meyer Lemon-Caper Aioli). Both exemplified the type of quality you'd get from a place that originated from a food truck. The fried fish was crispy and had a healthy, but not overwhelming, dollop of tartar sauce, and the pickle provided a great crunch and contrast in flavors. The Pacific Coaster featured a surprisingly good crab cake, well cooked without being oily, the downfall of many crab cakes. Those two sliders totalled $8.50.
We also ordered a side "market" salad. Honestly, it was unremarkable. It looked like it came out of a bag. But then again, it was $2.65. They had two other salads -- a BBQ Chicken Wedge Salad for $8 and a Cesar Salad for $6 -- that I'd like to try before passing judgement on their salads as a whole.
The Krush Burger Restaurant offers a couple things that the Krush Burger food truck couldn't doesn't offer -- beer and quick service.
This location offered six beers on tap -- Coors Light for $3.50 and Mirror Pond Pale Ale, 21st Amendment Back in Black, Angry Orchard Cider, Great White and a beer from local brewery Track 7, each for $4.50. They don't have their liquor license yet, but they expect to get it within days.
I was also blown away by how fast their service was given that it was their first day in operation. The mini burgers took fewer than 10 mins to get to us. Contrast that to the wait that you'll often find at the food truck. (I don't know if it's actually longer, but it sure feels longer when you're waiting on a sidewalk for food.)
The restaurant features 60 or so seats inside the restaurant, with another dozen or so outside. They have one large TV and 3 medium sized TVs, tuned to various sports and news channels, and many tables have both power outlets and USB chargers available. Also on display is their trophy from the Sac Burger Battle.
Krush Burger Restaurant is off to a great start. They've kept the same winning formula from the food truck and made great improvements that are only possible by having a real restaurant.
I can see them very full at lunch with the CHP and state lottery offices on that street, and if they have a happy hour, I can see them as a destination for a quick drink with colleagues before heading home for work.
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