Wednesday, September 21, 2011


If you live in Denver, you've probably heard of Larkburger.  They've got a few locations scattered around Denver and Colorado, and I visited the one at Belleview and Ulster (north Tech Center) last night with my wife and some friends.

This burger review won't count towards the overall ratings, since I didn't have other reviewers with me...but let me say, it was WAY better than our current #2 burger from Flemings.  It's a tragedy Larkburger can't officially take the #2 slot yet...maybe we'll revisit it for an official Pure Burger review.

In brief, I was pleasantly surprised by this burger.  I stuck with the standard $5.95 Larkburger.  The buns are standard white (my wife got a gluten free option), the produce is fresh and tasty (green leaf lettuce instead of iceberg, red onion instead of white, and a slice of tomato), and my slice of cheddar cost me an extra $0.50 (the only cheese option is Tillamook cheddar).

I wish I would've delved into the burger sauce more.  There wasn't enough on my burger, but I think it was good.  I'll order a side next time.  I also ordered a side of their truffle aioli (that comes on a burger if you want it to).  We also opted for the parmesan truffle fries -- totally awesome.  I even scraped the remnants out of the cardboard tray with a fork.

One of the biggest blessings of this burger was the Angus beef.  I talked to one of the cooks for a while about it.  I'm sure he thought I was crazy.  But I digress.  Anyway, the beef comes to them unfrozen, and then they expertly pack the patties themselves.  Although not ground in-house, the packing job is perfect...loose packing, and a medium grind.  They do not press their patties at all, and grill them.  The product was a fine meat patty, just crumbly enough, with great flavor and and solidly pink the whole way through.  SO MANY other burger joints could learn from this.  Kudos, Larkburger.

Ben's overall rating: 7/10.  Better than Smashburger or 5 Guys for sure, but not quite at the level of 5 Star Burgers or Park Burger.  With some more cheese options, and the option of a double patty, and a bit more sauce, this burger might even muster an 8/10.

A Revisit to 5 Star Burgers in Southglenn

For the proud few who follow this blog, I wanted to send a friendly reminder to visit 5 Star Burgers in Southglenn.  Seriously, this is one of the finest burgers I've found in I've visited burger joint after burger joint in the last few months, I keep wanting to go back to 5 Star Burgers.

So I stopped in there today.  I wasn't able to eat, but I did spend some time talking to one of the managers.  I asked some questions about their business (going well, but need more burger lovers to visit them!), and their beef (ground in-house, locally sourced, cooked on a grill).

Seriously, this place is worth a visit.  I can't wait to go back and get the Green Chile Cheeseburger again.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse

A while back, I read a glowing review of Fleming's $12 burger on my favorite blog A Hamburger Today.  I mean, the pictures looked incredible...the beauty is, we've got Fleming's in Denver, and before 7:00pm the burger is only $6.00!

So, myself and a few friends gave it a shot.  One of those friends is a fellow reviewer on this blog (Mark), so without further ado I give you the SECOND OFFICIAL REVIEW of Pure Burger.

I really don't want to be overly negative here, so I will say upfront that a lot of the blame for this experience falls on me.  I think my expectations were simply too high after reading previous reviews of this burger.   The presentation was nice...

Beef: As soon as this burger plopped down in front of us, we knew we had a problem on our hands.  Previous pics had led us terrible astray, and a short chat with the waiter revealed the ugly truth: PREFORMED PATTIES!!!  The flavor was decently seasoned, but the meat itself was just...preformed.  Juiceless.  Tightly packed.  Perfectly round.  Bad news.

Bun: While the waiter mentioned sourdough, I think he was wrong.  This was a decent sized, pretty tasty, challah bun.

Cheese: Mark and I both kept it simple with cheddar (unfortunately, they don't sell American), and my wife and other buddy got a very moldy (in a good way) bleu cheese.  The bleu was very high quality, but unless you like your burger totally overpowered by bleu cheese, then stick with cheddar. (In general, I've moved away from super strong cheeses to let the meat speak for itself.)  Swiss is an option, too.  Sadly, the slice of cheddar was about the size of a credit card.  Pathetic.

Extras: Mark came through with a stroke of genius here, and ordered a side of 1000 Island.  Otherwise, the burger comes plain.  It comes with either 2 big onion rings, or sub fries at no extra charge.

Produce: Standard burger produce.  LTO.

Ratios: A decent ratio, although maybe a but too much bun.  Overall, nothing outlandish.

Price: $12 regularly, $6 before 7:00pm

*Pure Burger recommendations: I'm serious when I say that I am quickly getting to the point of calling a restaurant beforehand to see whether they use preformed patties.  It's just a flat out disgrace for any burger attempting to actually BE a burger as opposed to a second rate menu addition (as Fleming's burger clearly is).  Even for $6.00, we'd recommend visiting a spot like Park Burger, 5 guys, or possibly even Smashburger.  Fleming's just didn't satisfy.

Hopefully we'll have a positive review soon!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Old Mill Brewery and Grill

Hey everyone. Ben here. Time for another burger review. This burger comes from a restaurant right off Main Street in downtown Littleton...the Old Mill. I think it used to be some sort of italian place or something...but now they are your classic brewery/grill/bar outfit: lots of seating, cool atmosphere, TVs, and the like. We sat on the patio, which is always nice.

In order to fully immerse myself in the most fundamental aspects of burgerdom, I ordered the Classic American Burger. Kudos to the restaurant for a name that, while not original, is steeped in history and lore. American cheese (of course), medium rare beef (never frozen), lettuce, tomato, and red onion. The bun was a basic Kaiser...a bit tough, and nothing to write home about.

First, the good. The beef had an immediate char-y flavor, reminiscence of the grill, and was pleasingly seasoned. The American cheese melt was great (side note: my wife got bleu cheese, which is notoriously hard to melt...hers was melted into a gooey oblivion. Awesome.). The produce on my burger was fine, and the fries are tasty in both regular and sweet potato variety. As an added bonus, the fires come with a spicy dipping sauce that actually works pretty well on a burger, too.

Now, the bad. Upon biting into the beef, my burger-alarm went off. Although seasoned and charred, I noticed a distinct lack of juice for a medium-rare burger. Sure enough, upon close inspection of the patty, I had a sinking feeling these were pre-formed. The grind was too small, the meat too densely packed. It's a burger no-no, because although it's efficient, too much can go wrong. Namely, the juiciness, texture, and beefy flavor of the patty. That was the burgers biggest downfall by far.

For my companions (one of whom ordered a nice sized burger with avocado, cheddar, and bacon), the experience was overall pleasant. And I am inclined to say the same, except for that darned pre-formed patty.

If Old Mill could grind their own beef and upgrade their buns, this would be a formidable burger. As it is, I just have to rate it a 6/10. Passable, but not noteworthy.