How to make the most outrageous burger in golf

Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetite.


You know you’ve gained a measure of public recognition when there is a sandwich that bears your name.

But when a burger has been christened in your honor?

That amounts to next-level fame.

In this case, the item is the Carlotta Burger, a culinary colossus whose namesake is also its inventor, Carlotta Brown, the amiable (and voluble) operator of Carlotta’s Club Cafe, at Lake Chabot Golf Course in Oakland, Calif. 

A lot of things are big at Lake Chabot (the elevation changes are dramatic, and the 18th hole is a 600-plus yard par-6). But for outlandish scale, nothing tops Carlotta’s signature dish, which she dreamed up roughly 15 years ago as part of her campaign to offer something beyond the same-old golf course fare.

“I was inspired by grandmother,” Brown says. “Because when she cooked, her rule was always ‘add, add, add.’”

In that spirit, Brown started with a quarter-pound beef patty, and then piled on. And on. 

The result is mountain of starch and fat and salt and deep-charred beefy flavor that ranks among the game’s most outrageous dishes, and one of the most outsize burgers you’ll find anywhere.

At $17.50, it also qualifies as something of a bargain in an inflationary age — all the more when you consider that it comes with a bag of chips.

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Among the ingredients on the Carlotta Burger is a ‘secret sauce’ that Brown recently decided no longer needs to be kept secret. Nowadays, she readily concedes that it is pretty similar to Thousand Island dressing.

The rest of the recipe is not shrouded in mystery either. We asked Brown to tell us how to make her fabled behemoth at home.

1. The meat

Start with a quarter-pound beef patty, the higher the quality, the better. On a hot grill, sear the patty until nicely charred, roughly 3 minutes per side.

2. The bun

A conventional hamburger bun will do, but a sourdough bun is even better. Lightly toasted, slathered with Thousand Island dressing.

3. The cheese

Make that, the cheeses. As the burger is cooking, melt slices of cheddar and jalapeño-studded Colby cheese on top.

When it comes to meat in burgers, there’s no rule that says you have to stop at beef. Next comes a griddled Louisiana hot link, split lengthwise down the middle, and seared all around.

5. Swiss cheese and BBQ sauce

Yeah, that’s right. Another type of cheese. Another kind of sauce. Both go on after the hot link.

6. Mmmm, bacon

Five crispy slices of it, please.

7. And the garnishes

Lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard.

8. Lipitor (optional)

Use as needed!

Josh Sens Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.