Mar 19 2010

Top 10 Burgers in Denver – ParkBurger’s “Park Burger”

jko

Park Burger’s “Park Burger”

Location: Pearl St (down the street from Sushi Den)

Price: $6

The Skinny: Fresh.  It’s something you can’t really imitate, right?  You can’t make something taste fresh with more chemicals, food coloring, a clever perfume, or whatever the hell they do in food labs in New Jersey.  Fresh is earned.  It’s the crispness of the break in the lettuce, the firm edge of a tomato, the brightness of the meat.  And you know it when you taste it.

That’s the overall stamp of ParkBurger.  True, they also show some fun creativity with the menu (burger with ham, fried egg, and swiss anyone?), but the baseline part of the burger – beef, bun, cheese, the usual toppings – fresh as a daisy.  I got mine with caramelized onions and 2 kinds of cheese, but you can make a good guess that all of the options are pretty great.  They all start with this same, fresh baseline.  Mine was delicious.  I basically wolfed it down in 5-10 minutes.  It’s one of those that you can’t wait to have the next bite, so you just keep taking it.

The beef yields a perfectly medium rare center – pink and bright against the seared brown outside.  The bun toasted and steamed, holding together just long enough for me to finish – maybe not much longer.  Globs of melted cheese moving and gathering, picking up stray sweetened onions along the way.  All of it fresh, all of it delicious.  Got to be one of the 5 best burgers in the city right now.

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Rating: +11 (from 13 votes)

Mar 8 2010

Top 10 Burgers in Denver – Misses: Steve’s Snappin Dog’s “Smashburger”

jko

I tried the “Smashburger” from Steve’s Snappin Dogs the other day, fully expecting to be blown away. This thing gets rave reviews from people on different boards, as if it’s the hidden burger-gem of the city.

It was decent – I’m not going to say it was bad, but it didn’t make the cut. Aside from the cheese not being melted, the burger was like a softball in the middle of an umbrella of bread. Reminded me of this clip from Eddie Murphy:

Here is a pic of the burger:

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Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)

Mar 7 2010

Top 10 Burgers in Denver: Deluxe Burger’s “Denver Burger”

jko

Deluxe Burger’s “Denver Burger”

Location: E Colfax

Price: $7.5

The Skinny: The story goes that one hot summer night, Deluxe,  a successful and well respected restaurant, had a few too many drinks at the bar, and armed with lines from VH1’s “The Pick Up Artist”, started throwing his game out there.  The bait lured barfly Mod Livin, a stylish, modern furniture joint, single for 9 years and hanging out on the streets of Colfax.  Sparks fly, birds chirp, and Deluxe moves in months later.

Feb 26th,, 2010 – the birth of this union: “Deluxe Burger” – dubbed by the owners as “Love in a Bun”.  ½ rock solid food, ½ hip, mid-century design.  The result is an excellent, sweet, spicy and messy affair… much like love itself.  (And yes, that’s Shakespeare rolling over in his grave.)

On this occasion I got the “Denver Burger” – a spice and flavor guarantee with melted cheddar, sautéed chilies, onions, pico, and smoked jalapeño aioli.  That’s right, jalepeno and chilis – pico and onion.  Redundant?  Perhaps.  Especially with the pico.  You already get onions and tomato in the burger – having pico there gave only slightly more acid, but not much more flavor.  It also made the burger a bit of a mess, with the pico soaking into the bun.  Even with a sloppy bun, it was still terrific – the subtle heat from the spicy, mouthwatering aioli mixing well with the sweet onions and house-ground beef patty.

And that’s the other thing to mention about Deluxe Burger – everything, yes everything is homemade – from the fries down to the condiments and pickles.  An impressive feat, for sure, but on this visit it was the fries and condiments that were the most out of sync.  Chef-owner Dylan Moore is too good to let that go on, and I’d expect this to get smoothed out over the next few months as they find their stride.  Overall, a very strong burger.

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Rating: 0 (from 14 votes)

Mar 4 2010

Top 10 Burgers in Denver: My Brother’s Bar’s “Johnny Burger”

jko

My Brother’s Bar’s “Johnny Burger”

Location: Riverfront

Price:  $6.5

The Skinny: The secret to this burger is the use of pickles.

It’s an absolute dynamite cheeseburger: perfectly cooked meat, soft grilled onions, and 3 cheeses, including jalepeno cream cheese on the bun. With all of that, it’s practically begging for an acid, and that’s where the pickles take it to another level. Served alongside the burger is a tray of extra condiments, including pickles, that you jam into every bite. It’s the delicious combination of fat and acid, sweetness from the pickle, and spice from the jalapeno that makes this burger the best in the city.

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Rating: +22 (from 24 votes)