This is the second in a series reviewing burgers offered by Menlo Park establishments.
We decided to sample a cheeseburger at The Oasis, another Menlo Park burger institution that’s been around since 1958. When eating there, it’s imperative to get the fries.
Just the Facts: A cheeseburger with everything on it is $6.15 and comes in a green rectangular basket with American cheese, a ¼ lb. patty, onion, lettuce, tomato, relish and mustard, all sandwiched in between a white bun. It come standard with Lay’s chips; you must pay extra for the fries ($2.35). If chips were not complimentary, then, without a doubt, everyone would get the fries and the world would be a happier place.
The Bun: Incredibly dense, it may hold the world record for the most bread matter concentrated into the dimensions of a burger bun. Too often burgers — with their strong, heavy flavor — are found sandwiched between two unfittingly delicate buns. The change up was more than welcome. The bun could use more toasting, and a few sesame seeds wouldn’t hurt.
The Patty: We’re talking the polar opposite of fresh, organic, locally-ground patties. It tastes all right, I guess, but there is definitely room for improvement on the meat quality here.
The Onion, Lettuce and Tomato: A single cross section of onion. A large leaf of lettuce. A fleshy-sliced tomato.
The Condiments: The burger came with Dijon mustard and relish already slathered across the patty. Both mustard and relish are love-or-hate condiments. To save yourself the messy effort of scraping mustard or relish off with a Lay, order “everything on it, hold the [insert undesired condiment here] please.” (On a subsequent visit, there was no mustard or relish, so best ask about condiments when ordering.)
The Fries: Frankly a must. Possibly the best we’ve ever savored. The Oasis has developed the optimal French fry surface-to-volume ratio; the crunchy fried coating pairs perfectly with the soft potato core. The fries, slightly thicker than an iPhone, have a crisp that only double frying can achieve and a flavor that only a quality potato can provide. That the fries came from my friend’s plate most likely contributed to my infatuation with the golden potato shards, because food always tastes better when it’s not yours.
The Ambience: It’s clean, but very dark inside. The dark lacquered wooden chairs and booths absorb what dim light there is. Inside and out there are multiple TVs bolted to the walls exhibiting multiple sports games of the day. Outside, the namesake beer garden is lined with two extremely long benches that are tricky to get in and out of.
A trip to Oasis is worth it just for the fries. Go there and get them.
Photos by Linda Hubbard Gulker