Published August 13th, 2014
Lamorinda's Specialties of the House
By Amanda Kuehn
Sliders at Table 24, from left: beef, fried chicken, and pulled pork Photos Amanda Kuehn
Summer is in full swing and back yards are sizzling with the sound of simmering beef. It has long been debated who first came up with the idea of slipping a juicy patty of meat in the center of a flaky white bun, but ever since Americans picked up the hamburger at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, they haven't been able to put it down. Though vegan and vegetarian diets are on the rise, the hamburger remains one of America's national staples. And there are plenty of places to get one in the Lamorinda Area. Here's a sampling of a few:
At recently-opened Roam Artisan Burgers, located in Lafayette's La Fiesta Square, the buzz behind the bar is quality choices. "We specialize in sustainable, organic food for people who want to eat healthy without paying premium price for it," said general manager, John Munn. Munn suggested starting with a ground-beef "Classic," a simple, basic burger comprised of 100 percent grass-fed ground beef topped with butter lettuce, tomato, onions, house-made pickles, and house sauce. "With The Classic you can get an idea of what our food tastes like and go from there," said Munn. Roam's menu includes four types of burger - beef, turkey, bison and veggie - and eight suggested styles ranging from the Heritage Burger, which features applewood smoked bacon, Fontina cheese, butter lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions and herb mayo, to the Chalet Burger, topped with Swiss cheese, Cremini mushrooms, watercress, tomato, and a special house sauce. Or, if you're really adventurous, you can create your own. Roam is located at 23 Lafayette Circle. For information, call (925) 385-0798 or visit
The newest edition to La Fiesta Square dining, The Cooperage American Grille offers slow roasted chicken prepared in a glass-encased rotisserie, New York steak, and beef tenderloin. Their signature burger, though, has been one of their biggest sellers. "Our beef is house-ground right here and you can order it lots of ways," said co-owner Marilee McCormick. Starting with eight ounces of Angus beef, the Cooperage burger is served on a toasted bun with red-onion bacon jam and all the fixings, including lettuce, tomato, stone ground mustard, gourmet ketchup, a crispy fried onion ring the width of a thumb. Stacked together, the burger is a lot to get your chops around. McCormick suggests adding Gruyere or blue cheese, and washing it down with a nice cold beer or a Lonsdale cocktail, her favorite of Cooperage's specialty drinks. The Cooperage is located at 32 Lafayette Circle. For info, call (925) 298-5915 or go to
Five months following some sizable changes, Orinda's Table 24 is cranking out flavor like a well-oiled machine. Executive chef Jason Yerbick is always up for a tasting adventure, even when it comes to a new twist on burgers. In addition to their classic Angus beef burger, they offer eight burger styles ranging from a Cowboy burger served with bacon, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce and a crispy onion ring to an Atomic burger featuring pickled jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, pepper jack cheese and habanero salsa. Table 24 also offers a selection of sliders, including fried chicken, beef, pulled pork, buffalo chicken and fried fish variations. Choose any three or you can order them individually. There's a burger style and selection for any palette or appetite. Table 24 is located at 2 Theatre Square, Suite 153, in Orinda. For information, call (925) 254-0124 or visit
Moraga's Shish Kabab Show takes innovation on the hamburger one step further with their kofta kebab burger - seasoned ground meat that is half beef and half lamb, served in your choice of a pita pocket or a tortilla wrap and topped with hummus, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onions. It is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is the equivalent of the American hamburger. The meat is pressed into long sausage-like cylinders rather than pattied and is seasoned with traditional Mediterranean spices, giving a bit of flair to your standard ground round. Occasionally Shish Kabab Show will serve kofta sliders, but typically they stick to the traditional method of plating. Shish Kabab Show is located at 376 Park Street in Moraga. For info, call (925) 388-0351 or visit
The Cooperage Burger

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