American

Wagyu Chuck: Santa Ana, Califorina

I’m a huge fan of Chef Jason Quinn.  I’ve been following him for over 5 years, when he worked on the Lime Truck, when he won the Great Food Truck Race, when he opened his restaurant, The Playground, and now with his latest venture: the 4th Street Market, a food hall comprising of 15 different food venues, including a butchery and a full bar.

Quinn has a section of the 4th Street Market called The Lunchbox by Playground, comprised of 3 food stands: Noodle Tramp, PFC, and Wagyu Chuck.
– The Noodle Tramp is the Asian Noodle restaurant, focusing on Northern Thai cuisine.
– PFC stands for Playground Fried Chicken.  Its not your ordinary fried chicken, and its not for everyone.  Nice and crispy, flavored with Southwestern spices and finished with a special lime/agave drizzle!
– Wagyu Chuck. Burgers are ground in house daily using 100% Imperial Wagyu chuck, and he kept the menu simple with 3 size of burgers, and fries, I mean, the Fried Torn Russet potatoes.

My lunch choice today was the Wagyu Chuck.  The burgers, like many gourmet burger places, are not cheap, with a double burger selling at $9.00.  I do believe in getting what I paid for when Jason Quinn feeds me, and this double burger was no exception.  The burgers are made to order, so expect to wait 10-15 minutes.  While waiting, you can wander around the 4th Street Market, and check out the other vendors, or, find a seat.

After picking up your order, grab napkins.. lots of it!  From the first bite, the meat was tender and oh so tasty.  It really did melt in my mouth.  It wasn’t “chuck” meat you get at the market.  It was far better quality.  It was also a messy burger, as by the end of my lunch, my hand was covered in meat juices and the bottom of my tray was also covered in burger juice and droppings. My hands still smell like caramelized onions.

The Double Burger: 2 patties, cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, sauce

Fried Torn Russet Potatoes

The Fried Torn Russet potatoes were amazing as well. It was a decent tray of chunks of potatoes, that were crispy on the outside, nice and potato-ey inside, and enough for 2 people to share.  A bargain at $2.00.

At 4th Street Market, the beers are from local microbreweries, and even the soft drinks are non commercial, so you won’t find Pepsi or Coke here.

You will find organic colas made with real sugar cane. They used to sell the Mexican Diet Cola, but now switched to Empire brand diet cola.  I did not taste any “after taste”, but it definitely was not Diet Coke.  It tasted more like root beer.  The 12 oz bottle was $2.00, and you can order it at Wagyu Chuck, but pick it up at the bar.

Overall a perfect lunch.  It was $13 for my meal (double burger, potatoes and drink) and was worth every bite.  Meter parking along 4th Street, or use the parking structure off Spurgeon, or the lot behind the Playground off French Street.

Wagyu Chuck and the 4th Street Market is located at 201 E 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA