Thursday, October 6, 2011

A spontaneous visit to Park Burger

Last night, I happened to be driving on Broadway...and then realized I was only a few blocks from Park Burger.  It was 8:30pm, I was alone, I had a $50 bill, and I decided to indulge myself.  I later confessed to my wife.

I dropped into Park Burger on Pearl St. and asked if I could get a burger to go.  While they cooked it up (a PERFECT medium rare), I chatted with a manager and a nice couple sidled up to the bar (which isn't an actual bar, it's just some stools that overlook the griddle, which is awesome).

We got to talking about their buns (mistakenly, I thought they were brioche...but they are locally baked potato buns), their fries (cut fresh every day and perfectly cooked), their beef (Harris Ranch, never frozen), and their daily delivered produce.  Their proprietary special sauce is also spot on.  We also talked about consistency, and the fact that the manager mentioned he detests restaurants that serve item upon item without ever specializing in anything.  I love Park Burger.

Biggest surprise of the night was to find out that the beef comes pre-ground.  I thought for sure they grind their own beef, but they don't.  No matter.  It's such a good quality, I didn't care.

I've got a LONG way to go regarding beef.  This Park Burger guy was discussing proprietary blends of beef (his favorite is 60% chuck and 40% brisket), and the fact that they are getting one soon.  Beef blends are beyond me: short rib, brisket, chuck, etc.  In any event, I felt like my burger tasted matured last night.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Okay, Okay.  I admit that it's a bit out of character for us to review a fast-food burger.  Generally, we are more into the local spots.  But I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Wendy's.  It started years ago when I'd go there with a buddy and we'd order triple cheeseburgers.  In the absence of In-n-Out in Denver, Wendy's has always satisfied the cheap, easy, fast-food style part of my burger cravings.  (Although I hesitate to put it in the same sentence as In-n-Out, which is VASTLY superior and in a different class altogether, I like Wendy's better than McDonalds and Burger King.)

Imagine my curiosity when Wendy's announced they were changing their recipe!  I had to give it a shot.  I ordered a Double.

In brief:

A) Better buns, but not terribly different
B) Way too little salt on the beef (I think they reduced the salt for some stupid reason)
C) Great produce - I immediately liked the thin red onion and the pickles were really good
D) Bigger patties (in fact, a double cheeseburger is now marketed at a 1/2 lb, which borders on too big)

All in all, Wendy's stuck close enough to the original that I'll still visit.  The saltless beef notwithstanding, I think the produce and bun improvements will earn overall positive marks from me.

Next time, I'll plan on salting the patties myself after receiving my burger.  As a final note of oddity: my buddy ordered a Double as well..and only got one slice of cheese on his.  They might need to work on their consistency (I got two slices), but then again, this is just a fast food joint.  Good for an indulgence here and there, but nothing like a local burger joint.