The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain hopes to kick the burger business in its brioche bun when it opens Cayton's Burger Bistro next week.

Among its gourmet accents to the classic American burger experience is the "Not in California" option: For $12, you can add 2 ounces of seared foie gras to any burger.

"We are going to take the standard American classic burger to a new level and really roll out some gourmet style burgers," said Shaun Beucler, who manages the upscale hotel and oversees food and beverage operations.

Cayton's, which opens Feb. 1, also will scoop $6 shakes including the Thin Mint that blends mint ice cream and chocolate ice cream cookies; the Arnold Palmer with green tea ice cream and lemon ice cream; and a root beer float. (Adult versions with alcohol are a couple of dollars more.)

Beucler admits the Ritz is jumping onto the burger bandwagon: "We feel there is a kind of explosion of burgers done on a gourmet level. We feel there is appeal to it," he said.

But the Ritz being the Ritz, simply adding a fancy cheese to prime ground beef and serving it on a toasted brioche roll isn't gourmet enough. The bistro's menu, created by Cayton's longtime chef Michael Press, includes an ahi tuna burger smeared with a black garlic soy aioli and sesame seeds; salmon dressed in a roasted red bell pepper relish and lemon chive yogurt; and buffalo meat paired with Oaxaca cheese, guacamole and cilantro mayonnaise. There's also a turkey burger dressed up with black bean spread and avocado; and a double burger slicked with grain mustard aioli and topped by smoked gouda cheese and beer-braised onions.

Cayton's Burger Bistro also will offer meal-sized salads and several non-burger sandwiches. Sides ($5) include onion rings, sea-salt-dusted handcut fries and dressed-up tater tots. For $20 you can get any burger on the menu, a side and a shake.

Beucler said he hopes the new focus on burgers and the prices - burgers run $10 to $14 - will appeal to area residents, not just hotel guests.

"At the end of the day we're trying to really position Cayton's … to be a little more approachable to the everyday family looking for a nice place that's semi-affordable," he said.

Cayton's serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and dinner from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Happy hour with discounted appetizers and half-priced draft beers, including several brewed in Tucson, is 3 to 6 p.m. daily.

Burger mania

Cayton's Burger Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive, Marana, opens Feb. 1, joining a bustling burger bonanza in Tucson.

• Zinburger - 1865 E. River Road; 6390 E. Grant Road - specializes in gourmet burgers.

• Smashburger - 4821 E. Grant Road - is the newest chain entry, and some say the best one out there.

• Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers - 3725 W. Orange Grove Road, Marana; 7120 E. Broadway - has won fans over with its crispy shoestring fries.

• Five Guys Burgers & Fries - Four Tucson-area locations including the newest one at 7077 N. Thornydale Road in Marana - is known for piling the burgers high.

• Culver's - 40 S. Broadway Place and 6905 N. Thornydale, Marana - uses butter buns for its burgers.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.