Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Oven: Belmar

In an effort to keep the blog updated, we've decided to throw in a review here and there that doesn't necessarily fit into the overall ranking. This is a burger that I (Ben) had, without the companionship of my other reviewers...therefore, it won't be taken into consideration for the Best Burg in Denver. Without further ado:

I really, really wanted to like this burger. And maybe I shouldn't be getting a burger at a pizza place. But for those of you lucky enough to have ever tried the burger at Tarbell's in Southtglenn (now closed), will appreciate the hopes I set upon The Oven's burger. Both restaurants are owned by the same guy, and Tarbell's burger was unreal. So, with high hopes, I gave The Oven a try.

They cook the burger in the very same wood-fired ovens that cook the pizzas, and let me know beforehand that they could cook it rare to well-done. I ordered medium rare, but got medium well…this was not the last disappointment regarding the patty. But first, the good news.

The burger comes out on a fantastic Udi's challah roll, nicely shimmering with some grease, and spread with their house-made mayo. The mayo is no doubt one of the burger's primary draws -- with hints of garlic and basil, it was almost more of a spread than a simple mayo. The flavor was good, but I ended up scraping some off. The tomatoes (roma, I think) were fresh and flavorful, but the shredded iceberg was just standard. A nicely melted American cheese rounded out the burger.

Back to the patty, and ultimately this burger's downfall. To my dismay, upon the first bite I realized that they used frozen, pre-formed patties. Remembering the glory of Tarbell's steak-trimming, hand formed patties, I was shocked and sorry to see such a pathetic patty on the Oven's burger. It tasted somewhat microwaved, even though it was cooked in their wood-fire. Decent toppings, bun, and mayo aside, the burger simply could not recover from this abysmal meat.

Overall grade, B-. But, if they went to fresh patties and backed off on the mayo, i think this burger could really be good. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Star Burgers: Southglenn

We sampled several burgers and rated the 5 Star Burger from 5 Star Burgers in Streets of Southglenn.

Here are the pure and simple results:

Beef: house-ground Harris Ranch; slightly over-cooked but still juicy and flavorful

Bun: locally baked with their own recipe, the brioche bun was possibly the best part of the a tie with the gloriously beefiness of the patty.

Cheese: gorgonzola crumbles, a generous amount that added a terrific punch

Extras: no sauce on the burger, but the green chile mayo served on the side was amazing & the perfect dipper for both the regular and sweet potato fries; bacon was crispy and delicious

Produce: all was fresh and crisp; the star of this side show was the Katy's pickle slices. all the burgers come with a side of green leaf lettuce, white onion, tomatoes, and pickles.

Ratios: excellent beef-to-bun-to-cheese ratios.

Price: $8-12 and fries are extra ($3)

*Pure Burger recommendations: the 5 Star Burger was truly great, but we'd choose the Green Chile or the Lamb burger for real "wow" factor...the Green Chile melted pepper jack over the top of chopped hatch chiles, and the lamb was a perfect mid-rare with cucumber slices and tzatziki sauce. Out of the ordinary, but awesome.
Taos Burger: That's a whole, fried green chile on top - yum!

*Pure Burger rating: our first review means first place! Let's see if they can hold on to the top.

"The Side Dish": Not a meat eater? The Portobello Stack was a nice alternative; fries were good; no complaints on service or cleanliness; although not necessarily a "family restaurant" the kids were definitely happy!

Traditional Burger Menu
It was quiet on a Tuesday night, but nice atmosphere