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Restaurants & Bars

Downhill on Hamburger Farm and Pasta Ranch, Cloverdale

Melanie Wong | Aug 21, 200203:10 AM    

This had been my favorite place in the county to grab a burger – a hand-formed patty grilled to perfection and even over oak on the weekend – and because the tunes of choice were the blues. A little over a year ago a new chef/owner came on board. Last weekend was my first visit since the changeover.

The menu and prices are the same, in fact with the old owners’ name still listed. The music has changed to some easy listening crap. They’re still grilling outdoors on summer weekends, but not the burgers anymore. Uh oh.

My cheeseburger ($4) arrives and it’s not the uneven, lumpy, softly held together mass of juicy ground meat I was anticipating. No, it’s a uniformly round, too thin, and compressed dried out manufactured patty. Even worse, it’s gray and dead throughout, no where near the medium rare I ordered. Fewer sesame seeds on the bun. The garnishes are still good – thick slice of ripe tomato on top and crisp whole leaf iceberg lettuce under the patty. The ranch fries are even better than my memory. But these can’t make up for the sins of the preformed mystery meat.

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