Bare Back Grill: Finding Fergburger

PB Monthly’s shot of owner Kyle Anderson’s personal favorite, the Kiwilango Burger

PB Monthly’s shot of proprietor Kyle Anderson’s individual most loved, the Kiwilango Burger

“Just never talk to me to style mutton or lamb,” claims my neighbor Kevin. “That’s all I ask.” Uh-oh. I have this bee in my bonnet about lamb. And about burgers. I want to see the two get married. I’ve been hunting for lamburgers, heh heh, all in excess of the location, but it is only when I have to head outta city for a couple of months that I get reminded of the one particular location in San Diego that should have them: Bare Back Grill, the Kiwi-themed eatery in PB. Challenge? Need to have to know about them, now.

“Hey Kev,” I say, when I call my very long-struggling neighbor. “Feel like a no cost burger? On me, buddy. I’ll pay back you when I get again.” This is when he reveals his anti-mutton, anti-lamb prejudice.

“Okay,” I say, “what if I paid for a burger of your choice as perfectly as the lamb 1?” I’m that determined.

“On you?”

“On me, buddy.”

Lamb in your burger is the kiwi way. Gamey? A small. But delicious. A large amount.

So right here we have this preposterous problem the place Kevin can take himself to the Bare Back Grill in PB, and I’m across the Pacific on the stop of a phone, FaceTiming.

“Call me back when you’ve ordered ’em up,” I say.

“You are outrageous,” Kevin suggests, but he agrees to do it. I imply, gentleman, I would adore to be there at Bare Back, due to the fact they have all sorts of variations of this kiwi icon I’m trying to chase down, the Fergburger. They say it was born in 2001, in a hole-in-the-wall joint in Queenstown, home of New Zealand’s South Island backpacker/ski boarding/journey crowd. And they say that crowd took to it, not because it had exotic flavors in its burgers — despite the fact that it did (and does), with issues like wild deer, “hogs and heffers,” and “Southern Swine” — but for the reason that individuals sensed a standard generosity and kiwi honesty about the burgers and the environment. They appreciated mountain adult men and females slapping their burgers alongside one another. Men and women reckon the line outdoors has not been significantly less than a block very long ever given that. Quite a few arrive at peak hour just to be seen in the line. It is a cult. They deliver selfies from the line. They gladly wait an hour, since it presents them an possibility to chat with fellow Fergofanatics.

The guys who started off up Bare Back Grill in San Diego are American, but they had been inspired by a excursion to New Zealand —so significantly so, they essentially acquired the legal rights to all the recipes from the Fergburger folks. And established up in this article in 2005.



Kevin reads out the menu into the phone. It commences off with a lamburger referred to as “Bare Lil Lamb,” with four crucial adds: blue cheese, beetroot, sweet tomato chutney, and — gorgeous, refined, essential — mint. Charges $18.

“Or, ‘Cluck and Squeal,’” he reads. “Grilled or fried chicken with bacon, mainly, $18, way too.”

He reads on by lists of combos. Hogs and Heffers, Me So Tasty (“Miso,” geddit?) teriyaki rooster, “Kiwilango,” with blue cheese and jalapeños. Of course this is making me so hongry, but what can you do from 6000 miles away? Kevin settles on the “Bare Lil Lamb” to provide the promised lamburger, and for his very own indulgence, “Wake & Bake,” a swordfish burger with spicy coleslaw and avo ($18).

Fifteen minutes later, he calls back.

“Okay, dude, Sydney has just brought your lamburger and my swordfish,” Kevin suggests, “and Sydney’s a woman, not a place, alright? So I’m likely to try out the lamb. Hardly ever preferred its gamey issue heading on, just so you know. But ok, I’m taking a chomp…” But then the line drops out. We transform from FaceTime to a What is Application audio line. So I have to rely on Kevin’s powers of description. “So I’m chewing on the lamburger,” reviews Kevin, “Big pile of floor lamb. And, wow. That is not so undesirable. I’m truthfully surprised. Yeah, it’s a minimal gamey, but rather damned great. It is very juicy, very thick. I flavor an aioli point going on, so you get the picture…reluctant Thumbs Up. Alright, sufficient! Gotta preserve area for my swordfish.”

Silence. “Trying the swordfish. Tender, juicy, not dry, but truthfully, reasonably tasteless as opposed with the lamb. I imply, you get a ton. It feels like 50 % an inch thick. Sourdough bun, pickles on the side, avo, mayo…”

“Yeah, yeah. But which would you choose to a desert island?! The lamb or the swordfish?” Silence yet again. “Hello?”

“I’m below, dude. Thinking. Swordfish, I guess, but you know me. I like what I know. I could be tempted by the lamb, for the reason that of that taste. But basically, if you desired the nearest point to the Fergburger…Hey, Fernando! What’s your nearest factor to the Fergburger today?” I can inform he’s keeping the cellphone with one hand, consuming with the other.

Turns out Fernando’s the barkeep. Looks he’s develop into fascinated in what is likely on. “You could do even worse than the Maui Waui,” I hear him say. “Pineapple, tons of meat. But they are all fantastic. That is what Ferg was all about.”

“He’s telling me,” suggests Kevin, “the key issue which is superior about all these, dude, is that they are all assured natural, down to the previous lettuce leaf. It’s the New Zealand way. They’re disgustingly healthier down there. That’s why we’re paying extra.”

“Hey, Fernando!” I shout down the line. “Who was this legendary Ferg of Queenstown?”

“Ferg?” suggests Fernando. “Sir, if I explained to you…”

“I know, I know,” I say. “OK Kev. Take pleasure in. I’m off to get an airport burger. From a equipment. See yaz!”

“Don’t forget about, you owe me,” says Kevin. “And say hello to all those people sheep in Ewe Zealand! Haha!”

  • The Position: Bare Again Grill, 4640 Mission Boulevard, Mission Seaside, 858-274-7117
  • Several hours: 10am-9pm day-to-day (until 10pm, Fridays and Saturdays)
  • Costs: Kiwi onion dip, $12 Kal Māori (tempura fried calamari), $17 two meat pies and chips, $21 Bare Lil Lamb burger (blue cheese), $18 Regular Joe burger, $17 Queenstown Fave, with Edam cheese, $17 Kiwilango, (blue cheese, jalapeños) Cluck and Squeal, (grilled or fried rooster with bacon), $18 Hogs and Heffers, $18 ‘Me So Tasty,’ (teriyaki hen), $18
  • Buses: 8, 27, 30
  • Nearest bus stops: Mission and Felspar