Saturday, January 30, 2016

Burger21 and Suddenly54

The front door that nobody uses
OK it's a burger and a burger is sometimes just a burger and it won't usually give you much to think about afterwards except for maybe yep probably I ate too much again. Except I keep going back to Burger21, including earlier this week when I got to really indulge at a Yelp event, eating lots and lots (tasting 10 different burgers!) and rolling home afterwards to plop down on the couch because I felt Suddenly54. 

It was good. 

These burgers are delicious, and the servings are sensible, even by superhero standards. I enjoyed a Burger 101 ($5.99), the basic, a thick burger but not so you could see my fillings when I went to bite into it. The burger fit the slightly sweet, dense yellow brioche bun perfectly, cooked until just slightly pink in the middle and served with a little crunchy romaine and pale pink tomato topped with a dollop of mayomustardketchup (optional at ordering). Juicy, slightly sweet, light and flavorful. The meat tasted like best quality beef, not at all greasy, fresh and inviting. I've also tried the Monterey Chicken ($7.49) - tender meat (not a breast - sort of deconstructed/reconstructed shreds, not ground, a bit odd, but OK) with a nice contrast of flavors. Loved the jalapeno - this was a slippery, fresh tasting sandwich that needed nothing more to make it shine. 
Monterey Chicken was slippery and delicious
BB enjoyed his Bacon Cheesy burger ($6.99) with American cheese and a side of fries. The burger was happily gobbled up with a slight sigh on his part that he could have eaten more (good burger/more burger wanted). The fries were delicious - crisp shoestrings, tasted like potato, reminiscent of the 'standard' at MickeyDees.
Bacon Cheesy burger. And fries.
The sweet potato fries (regular size, $3.29) were good, slightly soft in the middle of the shoestring and only slightly browned. Not as good as [insert your standard here] but seemed to come out darned nice for being so skinny, and they weren't at all greasy, um so much so that salt wouldn't stick (the tables have grinders of sea salt; it was too coarse so all the salt sadly sunk right to the bottom of my cup).

This basket of fries at the Yelp event had a sampling of (5) condiments. Chipotle Mayo was great. Marshmallow - not so. 
My silly friends joined me recently for a lunchtime burger run. Pony got very excited by the condiment bar. I think any kid would, too. She also enjoyed The Bacon Cheesy, suggesting it definitely needed more bacon (1 measly slice; $6.99), but a nice brown exterior to the meat, which she also thought was tender and juicy. FF had the Black Bean Burger and I agreed, it was pretty amazing - tender like a really good bean burrito, perfect texture (not gushy or grainy) and it held together nicely, rich with the flavor of onion and chili and corn. 

We ALL liked the brioche buns - just a bit toasted (who isn't?), soft, but with substance (like the perfect girlfriend).
Condiments. CLEAN. Impressed!
At the Yelp event we got five rounds of burgers, two quarters of a burger per round, with a small beer chaser. The first round included The Cobb, a turkey burger that was surprisingly complex and satisfying, round two had a Cinco Burger, infused with some kind of taco seasoning topped with thick cut jalapenos that packed some serious heat, round three introduced us to the Tex-Mex Haystack topped with finely sliced fried onion rings that was good but nothing amazing, round 4 brought us a BBQ Burger that was very yummy with plenty of sweet, spicy sauce, as well as a Spicy Thai Shrimp burger that promised exotica with a sesame Thai slaw that I thought tasted and looked and felt really weird, metallic even, and finally round five with a Black & Bleu (black and crisp added something but otherwise just salty), and a Buffalo Chicken burger that was kinda mushy/not so great. But the company was fun and the event was well organized. Thanks to the Professor and all the staff who took such good care of us. 

Two burger quarters and a beer chaser. 
I also indulged in a small chocolate shake with the whipped because shakes are also "crafted" like their burgers ($3.49). Natural, very sweet, thick and creamy, I was proud to add a serving of dairy to my lunch, but a bit more chocolate flavor would have made this one a bite above. The strawberry shakes are nice and fruity. Others sang the praises of a Bananas Foster Signature Shake ($4.99 for a large) - as Pee Wee Herman would say - "banana-ey! 

I finished off the Yelp event with a strawberry shake. I skipped the whipped cream. After all that, why would I do such a thing???
The Latham location is clean and modern with a lovely front door that no one uses: enter from the parking lot in the rear so you actually see where to order your food. The service is friendly and the room is well attended by staff dropping off meals, checking to see if you are happy with it, cleaning up, etc. Consider joining the B21 club for marketing deals and specials. This is a burger joint that's a cut above the drive-thru.

Zena, Goddess of Fire. And silly friends.

1 comment:

Steve N. said...

I think everyone at the event was surprised by the black bean burger. It really is very good, and if it hadn't been part of the tasting, it's something I would never have ordered. And that's what's so great about tastings like this, it helps you to discover foods/flavors that you discover you like, but otherwise wouldn't try.

I've been a fan of Burger21 since they opened last year, and the Yelp event only confirmed for me that they're doing good stuff.