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.

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