As a locally owned restaurant, they topped my list for a Thursday burger challenge. They have a fabulously renovated space, and an eclectic, globally influenced menu. Great beers on tap. Full bar service. VERY family friendly. Quick waitstaff service, though for this lunch, the kitchen was rather slow (25 minutes for two burgers and fries). Private parking lot and an easy to find location on N. Main Street just a mile north of Auburn Street.
Their BLT boasts a full one pound of bacon! I want to go back one evening for
a beer flight and to make a meal of their appetizer selections.
First I compare apples to apples. I always order a basic burger, topped with cheese, eaten with the bun and completed with a side of french fries. I always order the meat cooked to medium.
Then I always cut the burger in half to see a couple of things; if the meat is indeed medium, and to assess the meat to bun ratio. I always look for patty formation; is it hand pressed or is there some mechanical intervention involved.
Then it is all up to the taste. Is the meat well seasoned? Is the meat cooked to the requested temperature? Is the patty still juicy? (to chefs everywhere - please put the spatula down and walk away. Do not, under any circumstances, press down on the patty during cooking. This extrudes the much needed juices!) Does the burger have some nice open flame charred bits and flavor? Does the bun overwhelm the meat? Can you taste the cheese?
For the fries; are they crispy? Potato-ey? Cooked through? Well seasoned? Hot?
Three disappointments Not enough seasoning. It was overcooked to well done. It was no longer juicy.
My friend's bison burger, with it's embellishments, was very good. Distinctive in flavor without being gamy. Personally, I love bacon and Gorgonzola with red meat, so the flavors worked well for me.
Overall, three stars out of five for the food and four stars out of five for the service.
The Olympic Tavern remains on the top of my list for favorite local restaurant.
Something for everyone. Even a good burger.