It's been several years since I've visited City Grille on Colfax Avenue in Denver, and I most definitely have not been back there to eat since my Great Burger Awakening of 2011. It's been voted "Best Burger" in Denver by lots of people, and two of the founding members of this blog have always said, "We need to go back to City Grille since you haven't had it in years!" Chances are, you've had friends who've told you it's the best burger around. I'm here to tell you that your friends are probably right. City Grille is outstanding.
(Now, a brief caveat. I've got another friend who is also a burger expert who ordered the namesake "Citygrille Burger" and was somewhat disappointed by the caesar dressing and ciabatta bun. If you visit City Grille, I'd STRONGLY recommend sticking with a more basic "Steakburger" which I am reviewing in this post.)
My entire table kept our order quite simple. 1/2 pound Steakburgers (Harris Ranch fresh ground sirloin), American cheese, cooked medium rare. City Grille includes some sweetly grilled onions on the side of this burger, which was a welcome surprise. The bun, at first glance, might throw you off. Yes, it's a ciabatta, sort of, and immediately looks too bready. But, I was actually really happy with it. It was soft, nicely toasted, and most importantly held up fantastically under the juicy 1/2 patty (something which 5 Star Burgers in Southglenn definitely struggles with).
Upon first bite, this burger is like GETTING SLAPPED IN THE FACE WITH A SLAB OF COW. I mean it, the beef flavor pouring out of this burger is simply unmatched. It's well salted, steaky (not a word, I know), and just powerfully beefy. While they don't grind the meat in-house, it's always fresh and hand-pattied. The sirloin grind is incredible, and actually, you can taste just a hint of a reminder of Steak n' Shake (who also use sirloin, albeit an entirely different burger).
The American cheese melt was fantastic, and these burgers came out SPOT ON medium rare. The produce and fries are standard fare, and we dipped our fries in their tasty (but a bit too salty) green chili.
Bite after bite, the dopamine squirter in my brain just kept firing. It was borderline debilitating. I almost overloaded on the gloriously rich flavor of butchered cattle. Here's to you, City Grille!