Bruski's delivers the burn

Fiesta of flavors from Scripps Ranch burgers-and-beer joint

Jalapeño burger, Bruski's.
  • Jalapeño burger, Bruski's.

Bruski Burgers and Brew Scripps Ranch

9844 Hibert Street Ste G-10, Scripps Ranch

My husband’s new favorite restaurant is Bruski Burgers & Brew in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego. Opened in January 2011 by owner Bruce Nguyen, it is located right off I-15 near Scripps Ranch High School in a strip mall with Trader Joe’s and Chuck E. Cheese. My husband loves this restaurant because it has an “impressive tap list,” plenty of large flat screen TVs showing sports, and a large bar. I enjoy coming here, too, because of its casual date-night seating area with dark wooden tables and a wall of bottled wine. It fills up quickly around noon with the lunch rush, so we visited during the week at about 1:30 p.m.

Bruski Burgers and Brew

Bruski Burgers and Brew

I ordered the Chinese chicken salad. It's $8.95 half/$12.95 full, and of course I selected the full size. It could have easily been shared with up to three other people, but I opted to finish it off unassisted. I forgot my usual practice of asking the server to put the dressing on the side, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was not overly dressed — a pet peeve of mine. The almonds and the carrots and the crispy wontons combined with the cubes of grilled chicken and the mixed greens to create a tangy/crunchy fiesta of flavors and textures in my mouth. I was pleased.

Chinese chicken salad, Bruski's.

Chinese chicken salad, Bruski's.

The server mentioned that their best-selling burger is the ABC Burger ($11.95, with avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and aioli sauce). To accompany his jalapeño burger ($9.95) my husband sipped a Palm Belgian Amber Ale. The jalapeño, split and roasted, was laid atop of the layer of melted pepper jack oozing over the sides of the palm-sized patty. Chipotle sauce added another layer of kick to the already-spicy burger. After about three bites of his burger and a request for another glass of water, he said, “This separates the men from the boys!”

Palm Belgian amber ale, Bruski's.

Palm Belgian amber ale, Bruski's.

I could tell it was hot from the smell of jalapeño when the server brought the plate to the table. Three glasses of water and two glasses of beer later, that burger was gone. He said that although it was hot, it was “perfectly good” and he will order it again when he returns. I would also like to note that the chef prepared for my husband, at his request, a cucumber and tomato salad that was not on the menu.

Our bill was a bit expensive for a lunchtime burger and salad ($45.61 tip included), but when you need two pints of cold beer to cool down a flaming hot burger, your check's going to be a little higher. Right, Honey?

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