That was until a buddy of mine from church said he's had a great burger there...now I was intrigued...so yesterday, The Burger Baron went on a little 1/2 mile adventure and ordered a 1/2 lb, medium rare, American cheese, LTO burger from the Castle. Here's what I discovered.
Our waiter was an old bartender who is probably in his 60's, a nice guy, and asked us how we wanted our burgers cooked. That's the first tip-off that this isn't your average bar food. And sure enough, this patty arrives with a nice crust from the flattop griddle and was perfectly medium rare. My companion ordered, and received, a rare burger. Kudos, Castle. You know how to cook a patty.
The beef is never frozen, and the owner gets it fresh about 3 times per week. The patties are made in house out of 80/20 chuck, and seasoned with a bit of Season All. Nothing special here in the way of beef blends, seasoning, or what not...but like I said, the patty was cooked to perfection and had a great consistency. Juicy to boot.
The produce was fresh and crisp, and I really enjoyed the copious amounts of American cheese. Had to've been two slices, and melted well. The buns won't win any awards, as they are just your average Costco sesame buns.
The owner was kind enough to sit down with us, and this was the highlight of my meal. Yes, we talk about burgers on this blog...but as you know, we also discuss burger philosophy. This is where the Castle shines. I am paraphrasing, but listen to what the owner had to say (edited for language): "We just want to make a good burger. I train all my cooks how to make a good, simple burger. I tell them that the only thing that separates us from the next restaurant is that we give a sh*t. One bad piece of lettuce, one bad slice of tomato, and we're not doing it right."
This, my friends, is how you approach making a burger. You cook it right, you indoctrinate your staff, and you pay attention to the small details.
Ultimately, the biggest detractor to the Castle's burger is the ordinary buns and basic beef. But here's the thing. The Castle's burger becomes more than the sum of it's parts due to the attention given to cooking it right and composing a thoughtful burger. It's not one of my ultimate favorites in Denver, but I was pleasantly surprised.
(HINT: I'm not going to become a Castle regular for their $8 burger, but on Tuesdays the burgers are Buy One Get One Free which is totally worth it.)