Ben’s Burger Stop


Ben Schwartz, Staff Reporter

My name is Ben Schwartz, I am a senior at Sequoia and I love to go to restaurants and review their food. I went to three burger places, The Office, Refuge, and Sneakers, to see what the best burger places near Sequoia are. All of these restaurants have different options and specialties when it comes to burgers and I wanted to try them all, but I couldn’t, however, I tried to eat one burger from each restaurant that I believe showcases that place the best. Each restaurant is in a different part of San Carlos and even though almost all of them showcase the same general features, they each cater to a slightly different crowd and bring different things to the table that make each of them unique.

The first restaurant I went to was Sneakers. The first thing that you will notice when walking into sneakers is the environment they have created, with a great outdoor area and an indoors that is connected to the outside with an open wall, they create a very COVID safe and friendly environment that is very inviting. At Sneakers, the right thing to order is a burger, because although they have many different enticing options on the menu for many different types of food, their burgers are by far the best thing there and it is the thing they are most known for. The burgers at Sneakers are above average, I would not label them as anything special, but if you are craving a nice warm burger with somewhat unique toppings, Sneakers is the place to go. They have a wide variety of sauces and toppings that cater to everyone. In particular, when I went this past time I opted to get the New Yorker Burger, topped with pastrami and swiss cheese with everything on top, I splurged getting a delectable meaty meal. On the side, I got fries which are a must-get because even though they are not the best out of the restaurants they are still very good and if you get the chipotle aioli on the side with them, they are well worth the extra calories. The burger was very good for what it was and how busy the staff was at the time, they gave a nice amount of topping and everything came out fresh, I asked for the burger medium-rare, and it was overcooked a little which was a bit disappointing but it did not take away from the taste and the burger was still very solid. The burger and pastrami may have been average by themselves but came together to create a very delightful flavor and the aioli and fries created a nice flavorful balance with the burger and it left me feeling satisfied with my meal. Overall, between the staff, the vibe, and the food I would rate sneakers a solid 7/10.

The Second Burger place I went to was The Office. Located near the Baskin Robin in San Carlos. The Office is a bit more of an adult-centric place compared to Sneakers, it’s almost like a bar in that way but it’s not. The Office is also known for hosting get-togethers for big groups such as sports teams, big friend groups, or a group of coworkers. They, unlike sneakers, are pretty much centered all-around their burgers, they do have many different appetizers and a few other main courses but the main attraction is the burgers. Speaking of burgers, the one I got at The Office is called The Morning After. This burger is a beautiful creation that has a balance of sweet and spicy and has a nice crunch to it. One of the best things about The Office is that they do not shy away from given good portion sizes. The burger I got was stacked with toppings starting with lettuce at the bottom and ending with a top of a sunny-side-up egg. The idea for the burger was great in general as it has all of the great normal toppings of lettuce, tomato, pickles, and red onions and then they add their special chipotle aioli which is delicious and fits perfectly, then they top that with a good size burger patty topped in cheddar, bacon and the aforementioned sunny side up egg, served open face on a nice lightly toasted brioche bun. If you are a picky eater they can make the burger without whatever you don’t like with no trouble. Lastly, you have the fries, with any good burger must come a good side of fries and The Office completely delivers on that front as well, I also highly recommend ordering a side of chipotle aioli as a dipping sauce for the fries as it is just as good if not better than the one at Sneakers, but the fries are nice and crunchy and they serve a good amount in a tin cup making the fries easy to eat as they won’t fall off your plate. The Office in my opinion is a step above Sneakers and certainly with dropping by and a great place for a gathering, I give it a 9/10.

The third Burger Place I went to was The Refuge. Located on a strip of San Carlos with many tasty restaurants, The Refuge is a standout. They are perhaps most famous for Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives coming and having their restaurant on his show and showcasing their Pastrami, but there is much more to this restaurant as well. The Refuge has a great environment, it has good outdoor seating and a cool sports bar-like environment inside. The food is top-notch too and the place is always busy so you know it’s good. When I went to The Refuge I could not resist getting their Pastrami Burger, It is essentially a Reuben with a burger patty and a Russian Bun instead of rye bread. It has pastrami, sauerkraut, swiss topped onto a nice juicy burger patty between two perfectly toasted buns and it comes together in a sweet harmony of flavors. Sauerkraut is not for everyone but to me it creates a nice tangy taste to offset the sweet-savory taste of the perfectly cooked pastrami. The Refuge fulfills all of your expectations and then some, their burgers are out of this world, and that combined with the best Pastrami in the bay area creates a combination of flavors to die for, all of this at a good location with professional staff and The Refuge gets a perfect 10/10 from me.