First Look: Hubcap Burgers in North Park


Hype man and restaurateur Jay Porter says his new Hubcap eatery will have the most addictive grass-fed burger in the region.

You hear that, burger dealers? The spatula-gauntlet he just threw down?

Hubcap was El Take It Easy until April 22, when the three-year-old El was packed up. Porter and crew undertook a two-week whiplash turnaround for the 30th Street location. Today at 5 p.m. they’re introducing a new place with “Good times, grass-fed burgers, craft beers, and cocktails by the pitcher,” as the pitchman Porter puts it. He says he is acknowledging (caving into?) SoCal’s overwhelming burger culture.

“And we discovered that we’re all inspired by the challenge of making the best burger in Southern California.”

Hubcap -- the name comes from general manager Michael McGuan’s dog. (Are we seeing a total pet-named restaurant trend? Carnitas’ Snack Shack is named after that owner’s pot-bellied pig).

The burger is $9 (a coupla dollars more than the regular grass-fed fare at the chainlet Burger Lounge).

Hubcap’s double-meat burger is $15! The vegetarian burger is $9. The rest of the under-$10 food experiences are confined to almond green beans, roasted squash, onion rings, the requisite chef’s wedge salad and a few small-plates more...Of course there’s fries with gravy and cheese -- a take on Canadian poutine!

The drinks are more expansive. You want a $35 pitcher of old-school Kir Royal? Maybe dial drinking back to an $8 glass of Zinfandel? Or a $6 pint of Ballast’s Sculpin IPA drained from the tap?

Hubcap completely sheds its old identity-except for the Paloma cocktail that was popular at the old El Take It Easy (reposado tequila, grapefruit, lime, Turbinado rum). The look will be different -- Porter said it will be industrial décor with nods to racing style. “Think Steve McQueen in ‘Le Mans.’”

“We think this neighborhood will be really into it,” Porter says of his new North Park-based concept.

We’re certainly into how quickly this reinvention went.

Hubcap: 3926 30th St., North Park. Daily happy hour 5 to 7 p.m.

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Source: DiscoverSD