This guest review comes to us from a man who has taught me a lot about meats. My own dear Pa. He reviews a spot in Kansas City that I am pumped to try next time I've got a spare meal and I find myself in Missouri...:
One week ago I ate at Beer Kitchen in Westport, MO ... the true artist/hippie part of town. I've been going to Beer Kitchen ever since it opened, but never got their burger. Last week forever changed my inner calibration of how I judge burgers. When the upper limit of the scale gets its roof torn off like a double-wide in a tornado, you know you have to recalibrate. What are the ramifications? Some burgers that languished on the bottom end of the scale fall into oblivion ... but small loss.
Anywho, back to the burger. The burger meat they use comes from a local butcher named McGonigal's; famous for their high quality steaks, smoked meats, etc. But this blend of 3 cuts is different and special. I can't remember all three, but short-ribs is in the mix.
Although The Baron is a stickler for American cheese, I chose a mild Tillamook cheddar (Oregon) for this baby ... and was that a winning combination! Because beauty is in the mouth of the beholder, I also chose raw onion instead of the menu item 'carmelized red onion jam'.
The one down side was the limp, thin piece of fancy lettuce they topped it with. When it's fancy and thin, the heat from the meat wilts it into nothingness.
Besides those items, nothing ... I put nothing else on my burger; no pickles, no mustard, no mayo, no ketchup, no nothing. Why? Here's my whole philosophy: Beer Kitchen makes their own ketchups (3?) from scratch! Instead of saucing up the bun with ketchup and allowing it to soak it up before I get to the last bites, I prefer to put a pool of ketchup on my plate and dip each bite ... preserving the bun AND making certain just the right amount is on each bite.
You know a burger is good with the first bite. You know a burger is great when the last bite makes you moan as loudly as the first. And that's what this burger had going for it. It's as if they put an additive in the meat that never allowed me to become desensitized to the flavor ... bite #1? Incredible ... bite #last? Incredible.
Hands down, the best burger I've had in KC. Prior to Beer Kitchen, Westside Local (near downtown KC) had top spot. I'll go back and review that one in the coming month.