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A friendly burger contest between Matt Burgess of the California Highway Patrol and his twin brother, Jon Burgess of the Sacramento Fire Department, led to the opening of Burgess Brothers’ Burgers three weeks ago near Sacramento City College.
According to Matt, his brother challenged him to a burger cook-off being hosted by Good Day Sacramento. Matt won the contest, and the two decided to combine the best of both of their burgers and turn it into a restaurant.
“Because we’re both public servants in our careers, we figured it would blend into what we can do at a restaurant by giving the highest level of service,” Matt said.
The brothers looked for something that wasn’t being done in Sacramento, and they decided that smoking their burgers in an outdoor smoker before bringing them in to finish on the grill would give them a unique taste.
“They get that barbecue flavor, and we used my sauce with some of the ingredients and spices from his burger, so we get the best of both,” Jon said.
Working with family isn’t always easy, but Jon said he is happy to be in business with his brother, despite having a sneaking suspicion that Matt had an unfair advantage in the contest.
“I actually attribute him winning because he wore his gun belt, and that looked intimidating,” Jon said with a laugh.
Burgers aren’t the only things on the menu, which also includes pulled-pork sandwiches, chili dogs, tri-tip on Tuesdays and desserts such as root beer floats and peach cobbler made from their mother’s recipe.
The Hero Burger is a quarter-pound patty on a bun with cheddar cheese, grilled onions and barbecue pulled-pork.
A burger and fries runs $4.95, while the Hero Burger with fries costs $8.95.
(Image by: Brandon Darnell)
Matt said he and Jon like the location next to the Sacramento City College campus, and it gives them a chance to be positive influences or mentors to students who want to enter public safety fields.
“Our emphasis is on family,” Matt said. “We want this to be a safe place for people to bring their families, hang out and have a good time and get some good food, too.”
Matt’s wife, Sandie, said the emphasis on family isn’t just for the customers.
“It’s a great way for us to spend quality time together,” she said. “It’s kind of fun to see them day to day.”
She added that there are always police and CHP officers and firefighters coming into the restaurant, which is decorated with uniforms, equipment and a number of photos of law enforcement officers and firefighters on the job.
In addition to the brothers’ colleagues, students from the nearby college are starting to become regulars, setting up study groups and hanging out, she said.
Jon said the community response to the business has surprised him.
“I didn’t expect us to be so busy initially, which is a really good thing,” he said. “It’s uplifting, and I’m just really, really elated with the amount of support that we’ve gotten.”
Burgess Brothers’ Burgers is located at 2114 Sutterville Road and is open 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday.
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