Burger Joints of Hayward #3: Red Rocket Char Grill

The newest burger joint in Hayward is Red Rocket Char Grill, right in the heart of the downtown strip (1057 B Street).

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This qualifies as the second echelon of burger joints, the ones classed up enough that you don’t worry about whether your chair will collapse beneath you or if you’ll pick up splinters from the table. Being on the second echelon doesn’t mean they make a better burger, but atmosphere can definitely affect opinion.

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Red Rocket’s red-and-black checker design, complete with a tiled mosaic wall in back, is assuredly more inviting than my first two stops. But it comes with a black mark from my husband; he swears it takes far too long for a fast food restaurant. So I’m counting the minutes from order placed to order up.

14.

Doesn’t seem that long for freshly grilled burgers to me, but don’t expect McDonald’s assembly line speeds. I’ll continue thinking my husband odd for doing just that.

In addition to burgers, Red Rocket offers chargrilled chicken, sausage, and steak sandwiches and salads—they all have “rocket” as part of the name, but somehow I doubt I’ll be calling them that instead of burgers anytime soon. Standard potato, garlic, cheese, and sweet potato fries are available as sides. For dessert, the expected trio of shake flavors appears….and New York cheesecake and churros! It’s good to have choices.

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Randall Grahm’s Caviste Volant “The Sisters” 2013

Randall Grahm’s Caviste Volant “The Sisters” 2013
Central Coast, CA

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As celebrated winemaker Randall Grahm remarked on the label for the Sisters, it’s a blend of albarino and riesling grapes, two white wine varietals with quite differing profiles. Huffington Post has a great report up on Grahm’s partnership with NakedWines.com, which means this is indeed available for purchase from NakedWines.com here along with a $100 voucher for first-time customer purchases of 6 bottles or more. Best prices go to NakedWines.com’s Angels, which you can sign up to become here, if that’s up your alley—I explained the Angels program and my involvement with it in this previous post.

On to the vino!  The label is endearing, and I readily admit to being a label sucker. So keeping Grahm’s words in mind may have influenced my wine tasting…but it scored a 75/100 from me, regardless. After a buttery ascent, the Sisters dips into grassy New World whites then reaches a riesling plateau. It’s a Small World tour of white wines at the pace of a roller coaster.

My Quini profile:

The Sisters Quini

Worth taking the ride, for sure.

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Maryhill Mourvedre 2011

Maryhill Mourvedre 2011
Rattlesnake Hills, Columbia Gorge, WA

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I bought this bottle of wine on the advice of Maryhill’s employee, Cassie Courtney, who I met at WBC14 and who was awesome enough to meet me for a tasting at Maryhill in the amazingly beautiful Columbia Gorge. Hopefully, I’ll have the pictures from that trip up by the time I review my next Maryhill bottle, because IT WAS GORGEOUS. Seriously, the drive and the winery are a must if you’re going to be anywhere near the WA and OR border.

/end Rave. Cassie thought I’d love this wine after I confided that I’ve been on a mourvedre kick for the last six  months or so. It won a double gold and Best Mourvedre at the most recent San Francisco International Wine Competition and is available only for wine club members—which means most of y’all are going to be so sad you can’t buy it. Sorry? Not really, because I got a bottle! And shared it with my neighbors so I didn’t get to enjoy quite as much of it as I could have…

/end Pity Party. Airing is recommended, but after letting it breath, drinking this mourvedre took me back to days spent collecting roly-polies with my best friend, Nina, when I was no older than seven. Take a sip and imagine your young self daydreaming on a hill with a friend, chewing on the ends of tall, dry stalks of grass. Enjoy. 76/100, a solid avocado.

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My Quini Profile:

Maryhill Mourvedre Quini

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