If you want to find the best hamburger in Rancho Santa Margarita, you have to look for it.
, tucked back behind Santa Margarita Catholic High in the Dove Canyon Plaza, apparently has a burger that's awesome enough to support its price tag and worth the trouble to get there.
The build-your-own monster created in owner Mary Diek's kitchen was selected by Patch readers in a poll to determine where you can find the best burger in town.
Friends' burger pulled in 22 percent of the vote, edging BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, which pulled 18 percent. The battle for third was close, between the Wood Ranch Barbecue and Grill (14 percent) and Hanna's Restaurant and Bar (10 percent).
Diek said that her half-pound burger patty comes from Meyer Organic Beef "which is served at some of the finest restaurants in New York City."
New York City?
"It's an excellent quality of meat," said Diek, who has been celebrate her fifth year of operation in August.
Toppings are another area where the Friends burger may have it on the competition. There are no fewer than 20 toppings available—bacon, avocado, roasted peppers, oven-dried tomatoes, buttermlik fried onions, cheese, etc.—from which a customer can choose four.
The burger is served with french fries, home-made chips or buttermilk onion strings and will set you back $12.50.
"I have wonderful regulars," Diek said. "Once they come, they stay."
No doubt, the burger is one of the reasons.