We weren’t sitting at a picnic table inside Pangaea Bier Cafe for the brews, though the wall-mounted chalk board lists dozens.
Nor were we there for the daily special of crispy onion-topped pork belly on flatbread, with three cheeses.
My lunch pal and I had stopped by because of an online list, “The 101 Best Burgers in America.” It’s at one of our favorite online destinations, the “All things food & drink” website The Daily Meal, where the editors specialize in finding the best dishes, libations, restaurants and bars in the nation (pizza, bakeries, craft brews, beach-side dives, tacos) and directing foodies to them.
With input from “culinary authorities across the country” who voted for their favorites burgers — “limiting themselves to places they’ve actually visited (excluding chains)” — the editors “assembled a list of 250 burgers” and, after further consultation, narrowed it to 101.
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Pangaea’s burger ranked No. 96, with this “critique”: “If you like a good beer with your mammoth (burger), Pangaea is the place for you. ... (The patty) is topped with bacon, cheddar, lettuce, onions, tomato, and house-made pickles and sauce. The brioche bun is perfectly domed, and crispy fries come on the side.”
We ordered the two-fisted burger ($13) and demolished it, no questions asked. The half-pound “custom-ground certified Angus patty” was crispy on the edges and juicy inside, full of complementary flavors and ideal texture. The perfect Bella Bru bun held the ingredients together just fine, with nothing slipping out or slopping about. The only question is why it didn’t rank much higher on the list. Give it four stars.
P.S. Ask someone behind the counter why the cafe is named after a “super-continent” that existed 300 million years go.
Pangaea is at 2743 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento, (916) 454-4942, across the street from Gunther’s Ice Cream Shop.