Best Burgers in Town? Harker Boards is the Place!

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By La Fulana

The search for a truly good hamburger is over!

Search no more. Harker Boards is the place.

Harker Boards as the surf/paddle board joint on the Malecon??? Yes indeed. But getting to the restaurant is a little adventure in itself.

It is located on the rooftop of one of the nice old buildings that line the Malecon. There is a sidewalk terrace where you walk through first, mostly populated by young 20 somethings with their laptops. Upon entering the building, you will find yourself in a paddleboard shop. Feels like Gidget’s buddies live here. Boards, equipment, stuff everywhere. Busy shop. Take a hard right and there is a steep staircase that leads you to the roof.

Now you are talking! Enjoy breathtaking views of the bay and a tastefully decorated pad. There is shade over the center tables and bar stools and counters in the front area to enjoy that amazing view. Lively music, nothing annoying or offensive. Not too loud so people can still talk. Obviously all age groups are welcome here.

There is a small bar with an attentive bartender, an open kitchen with a brick wood fired pizza oven. The staff is friendly and Brian, the owner keeps an eye on what is going on. There are clean welcoming bathrooms right by the stairs. Pleasant lighting throughout.

The menu consists of 12 kinds of Hamburgers, 9 sandwiches, steaks, pizza, calzones, hot dogs, tacos, fajitas, salads, appetizers, a large selection of beers, the usual local draft beers but also Baja Brewing Company, wine and even cigarettes! (Mixed feelings about seeing that on a menu).

We tried the classic Hamburger. OMG! Organic, regional rib eye beef, huge portion, cooked to your wishes with good texture bread. It comes with a salad, yes, a real salad with home made dressing or fries. I like my hamburger rare and they cooked it perfectly. For 70 pesos that burger is an exceptional buy.

The tuna melt we found to be in a class by itself. They use fresh grilled tuna (not the stuff they serve in prison out of a can) This is the Sea of Cortez for God’s sake! If you can’t serve fresh tuna then just don’t serve it at all! Don’t get me started…

It is well-seasoned, good portion on textured multigrain bread, lots of cheese, served with salad 140 pesos big enough for 2.

Now the pizza. I am an expert on pizza, I have paid my dues in kitchens and even traveled numerous times to the birth place of pizza, Naples, Italy. I declare that Harker Boards make real pizza. Fresh ingredients, dough light as a feather, fresh tomato puree and fresh tomato slices (no brown sauce that cooked for 3 days in a giant aluminum vat), good melting cheese, fresh herbs.

They will cook it to your taste. I like mine crispy with no mushy middle please. It is all about keeping the stone surface of the oven covered with embers until you need to cook the pizza, then you move them aside and the inferno begins for the perfect pizza.

I find that at most pizza places the Emperor has no clothes! They miss technique, the thinking is that if it looks the same, it is the same, right? WRONG!

We all have been disappointed with a pizza that looks “real” but lets you down.

Quaint burned edges but with an uncooked underside on the center, quickly becoming baby food/wall paper glue in substance right in front of your eyes. Some places even cook their pizzas in the wood burning ovens on an aluminum pizza pan! Heresy!

It is a guaranteed bland, mushy, anemic, doughy impostor. It is pizza terrorism.

Anyone with self-respecting taste buds should boycott these establishments. OK, I digress…

The salads. I had a Caesar salad. They kindly accommodated me with a half portion since we were scarfing heavily on everything else. Home made dressing, full size Romaine leaves. We like it already. Only minus is that they use commercial croutons. If I were in charge I would make home made croutons with fresh garlic and herbs, especially with access to dough and the oven, piece of cake and a huge difference in taste and texture. I would also have some anchovies visible in the salad. Easy to hold off those for people who do not want them. That’s just my opinion but overall it is a fantastic salad. 120 pesos and big enough for 2 to share.

I must say that all the food that is supposed to be hot came piping hot and all the food came together and in perfect timing. That is a very important in the diner’s experience. Too many restaurants do not bother with that basic concept. How many times have you found yourself at a table with messed up meal and wanting to scream, “IS THERE ANYONE WHO CAN THINK IN THIS PLACE??” Apparently someone can think here and we felt that we were in good hands, that they cared about our dining experience even with just a simple burger. High quality ingredients, reasonable prices, good service, clean restaurant and good ambiance.

In case you end up feeling guilty about eating too much and need to erase those calories? There are paddleboards available downstairs for rental and the beach is right across the road.

We wish Brian and his family luck with this new venture and we hope they set a new quality standard in the burger industry in La Paz. They will be a tough act to follow!

Harker Boards is located at Alvaro Obregon No: 299 (North end of the Malecon) next to the alley by Wing’s Army Tel. (612) 122-7661

Business hours are: Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 2 am. Breakfasts start at 45 pesos.

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