Off the Menu: These Bunz are a Steal

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The interior of the new Balboa Peninsula restaurant, Bunz. Photo by Chris Trela

“I don’t need bunz of steel — I need my bunz with extra cheese!”

That’s the quote displayed prominently on the wall of the newest burger joint in Newport Beach: Bunz, on the Balboa peninsula.

An even better quote might be, “These bunz are a steal,” because the prices on the Bunz burgers and other items are so low, customers are doing double-takes when they view the menu.

A burger and fries from the newest burger joint in Newport Beach, Bunz, located on the Balboa Peninsula. Photo by Chris Trela

Example: A 1/3 pound fresh ground choice beef burger served with thinly shredded green leaf lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, thousand island spread and your choice of fresh or grilled onion on a toasted brioche bun is $3.99. Add cheese for another 50 cents. Want a double cheeseburger? How about $6.49? Other toppings and combos are also available at comparable prices.

And then there are the Dogz: 1/3 pound of 100 percent all beef natural casing hot dogs served on a toasted sesame seed bun. The basic dog with condiments is $3.49. Bacon wrapped dogs are $5.25, while a chili cheese dog is $5.49.

Other items on the menu include breakfast sandwiches, salads, grilled cheese, pastrami burger, turkey burger and shakes.

A hot dog and all the trimmings from the new restaurant, Bunz. Photo by Chris Trela

Bunz owner Hany Botros told me that his restaurant concept works on volume.

“My model does not work on getting the most out of each ticket, it is getting the most tickets by the end of the day, similar to the In-N-Out model,” he explained. “If you have a slow store at an average ticket of $7, you’re not going to survive.”

Botros noted that In-N-Out Burgers have simple menus, quality ingredients, quality service, and high volume. He wants to offer more options using a chef driven style of cooking.

“We charbroil our burgers. I try to reproduce what you would get at Red Robin or BJs,” Botros said. “I am cheaper than Jack in the Box and most of McDonald’s and Burger King menus, if we are comparing equal products. I am 10 cents more than Jack in the Box but their patty is a quarter pound, mine is a third pound of USDA choice. You are not getting a choice product at any of these places. Our onion rings are like what you get at Mastro’s. I don’t know anyone serving bacon like we have. Our potatoes are Idaho potatoes. We try to use higher quality product.”

Speaking of potatoes, their french fries ($1.99) are excellent — slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The tater tots are even better, with a distinct crispiness and soft interior.

“This is as authentic as it gets,” stated Botros. “This is a scratch kitchen. We have methods of speeding up the cooking process on certain things, but everything is sliced daily, made daily. We are not reinventing the wheel, we’re just using quality ingredients.”

Bunz is at 2727 Newport Blvd.

For more information, visit bunzburgerco.com.

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