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Things we like: The classic Cali burger

The California burger with beer-battered fries at 7 West Taphouse. Brooks Johnson /

I'm a sucker for simplicity, which is probably why I've ordered this uncomplicated treat more often than any other menu item in town.

Behold the California burger at 7 West Taphouse, nothing but meat, American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato and mayo on a bun. While it would be easy to mess up the execution, these pros never have and, I expect, never will. Everything is in proportion, fresh and flavorful, and it's always served right off the griddle with a lightly toasted bun. At $5.29 without sides, you can see how easy it is to get hooked.

You can sub out the beef for a veggie burger or turkey burger or grilled chicken, but I usually stick with the classic. I'd recommend parmesan-dusted chips, beer-battered fries or beer-cheese wontons if you're looking to fill out your plate; I'd also recommend keeping the pickles on the side, as they're served.

It has become almost a nostalgic tradition, harkening back to that long-ago time of autumn 2016 when I first got to town. I came down to the Superior Street pub to watch a Vikings game and ordered the Cali with a stout (recommended over a palate-wrecking IPA to pair with this meal). It's still a lovely Sunday tradition, yelling at the TV with deliciousness hanging out of my mouth.

7 West Taphouse

7 W. Superior St., Duluth

2510 Maple Grove Road, Duluth

1319 Tower Ave., Superior (218) 727-2494

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329