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Jim’s Burger Tour

September 05, 2012

monterey cookhouse hamburger sandwich

So often we treat food as an inconvenience. We eat when we can – usually on the run. Can you blame us? We all lead busy lives. However, when we get a chance to slow and truly enjoy our food, well, the FOODIE comes out in all of us. If that sounds like time well spent, you’re gonna love the Monterey Cookhouse.

Our tour makes a stop where food is fun, playful and awesome tastes await. I have driven by the Monterey Cookhouse in Monterey many times but never had the opportunity to stop in. As we parked the wonderful scent of wood fired anything filled our nostrils and prompted smiles of anticipation. Do I now regret not stopping in earlier? Yeeeessss.

When we entered the Cookhouse, I spotted a Wood Fire Oven. This is good news. Even better – I spotted a wood fire grill. Oh yes, this is going to even better. The atmosphere is casual; the staff is friendly and are eager to give you a great dining experience.

We met briefly with the owner of the Cookhouse, Linda Cantrell. Linda sets the tone of the Cookhouse with her fun, flirty and passion for authentic home made food is infectious.   

Linda informs us that she believes in “Food integrity”. What does that mean? That means no additives, everything made from scratch (with the exception of the bread, pasta and fries). Linda also tells us that they use no condiments with their burgers. None. The Cookhouse doesn’t want to bury the quality and flavor under condiments. Case in point – the Cookhouse Burger comes fire grilled with Olive oil, salt and black pepper. Simple? Yes. Yummy. Oh yes.

After pursuing the vast menu (where comfort food is prevalent), we settled on a couple burgers. ‘The Beast’ and ‘The Cookhouse Burger’. As our food was delivered, I could see we were in for a treat – when it takes a steak knife to hold your nearly 7-inch burger together, you know good times are on the way.

Our first was the Cookhouse’s ‘Beast Burger’ - a ½ lbs. of Angus beef surrounded by tender, tasty brisket, with Cheddar cheese on a sesame seed bun, braised in a coffee beer mop sauce. Again, no ketchup, no mustard – just naked, quality ingredients to tantalize your taste buds.

Upon first bite, I became aware of what that wood fire grill could do. The smoky flavor poured out of the Beast’s tender, juicy brisket. The combination of the Angus beef was a perfect blend of a carnivores delight. This Burger is not for the light eaters. This is a man’s burger – full of flavor. A multi-dimensional burger where allot of awesomeness is a going on.  

Next was The Cookhouse Burger - ½ lbs. of Angus Beef, a bun and not much else. Why? It doesn’t need anything else. If it all comes down to the beef, then this is the true test. This one comes open faced so you can create it as you wish. I wanted to try just the beef on this one. So I sliced into the patty for the true test of taste – I cut open the middle to see how far the smoke flavor would penetrate. We weren’t disappointed. The flavor goes all the way through the beef for deep, rich flavor.

Special mention to the Cookhouse Poppers. Bacon wrapped poppers with real Jalapeno peppers. If you have a sinus infection, one of these will clear it up, stat.
Also, the Double Chocolate Tort was a mousse delight. Highly recommended.

After sampling other parts of The Cookhouse menu, we learned what it means to “play with your food”. Now we get it – don’t take it seriously. But when it comes to flavor and taste – take it seriously. That would be the Monterey Cookhouse.  



The Monterey Cookhouse features California cuisine, a delicious fusion of cooking styles and ingredients from around the world. We are well-known for our wood-fired cuisine. Our house specialties include delicious flame broiled steaks,
lightly smoked and barbecued ribs and briskets, and fresh seafood.
Traeger Smoker - Oak-fired Grill - Wood-fired Pizza Oven - Family friendly
Barbecued ribs, brisket, & pulled pork. Oak-grilled steaks. Smoked prime rib. Fresh seafood. Wood-fired pizza.