I’ve finally had the opportunity to review an out of state burger. (I am still looking for guest submissions, by the way.) This weekend, I was in my hometown of Kansas City and visited a restaurant called the Westport Flea Market. This burger was highly recommended by a friend of mine who lives in the area, so I was anxious to try it out. The burger at Westport Flea Market has been voted “Best Burger” in Kansas City in the past as well.
The simplicity of the burger menu is great. It should be noted that the menu is otherwise quite expansive: paninis, sandwiches, salads, etc. The burger portion of the menu is blessedly simple, however. A 10oz hamburger, a 5.5oz hamburger, and a patty melt (which is just the 5.5oz on rye with Swiss and onions). I love it. Another part of the burger menu entitled “garnishes” gives you the option of several cheeses and other basic accouterments like bacon or mushrooms. That’s really it, and ultimately it’s what I enjoyed the most about Westport Flea Market: they’ve taken their stand with their beef, and have kept everything else blessedly simple. Would that other restaurants realized this basic principle (one that I constantly harp on) that the beef patty is the heart and soul of a burger. Put your energies here, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll have a decent burger.
The beef itself comes from a local butcher called McGonigle’s, and I understand it comes pre-ground but fresh, and is formed in house. The beef flavor was very pleasing (I got the 10oz cooked mid-rare to medium) and quite juicy. They cook it on an iron griddle with ridges, which gives the patties some grill marks. The buns (commercial-grade, but soft and fresh) are well toasted on a flat top griddle, adding a nice buttery crunch to the burger.
A few downsides were the minimal amount of poorly melted cheese (cheese to meat ratio was askew), and I did have to send my first burger back for being nearly raw (a lesser crime than well-done, though). Additionally, their sauces are just basic commercially purchased 1000 island and mayo. So, again, nothing to write home about. I also ordered grilled onions but they forgot them. So all in all, this place won’t win awards for consistency or service, but the burger itself left me satisfied.
A few final notes. If and when I return to Westport Flea Market, I’ll order the 5.5oz burger and ask for an extra slice of cheese to get a better ratio. Although some might cry blasphemy, the nature of these burgers demands simplicity. You’ll really have to let the beef shine to get the most out of a burger here, so I’d probably just get American cheese and dip the burger in ketchup.
Crazy simple maybe, but I am a man unconditionally committed to excellence in flavor and texture when it comes to ground-up cow’s flesh, and that’s the best way to leave happy when you visit Westport Flea Market.
Here's some pics.