June 7, 2006

Burgers & Cupcakes (aaand more cupcakes)

Burgers and cupcakes.

Cupcakes and burgers.

I occasionally try to think about how obsessed I've gotten with those two foods since I moved here last fall. In a city with thousands of restaurants and hundreds of cuisines and styles, I keep gravitating back to these embarrassingly basic items. What it comes down to, I think, is that I'd had my share of both before I came here and that makes it easier to set a benchmark. When I have Vietnamese food, it usually tastes like the best Vietnamese food I've ever had (since I've had so little Vietnamese). Give me a cupcake and I can talk about it until I'm as blue as the buttercream icing. (I couldn't help myself. It was better than anything I could think of for a burger)

So this past weekend, Meg, her brother, and I went to Burgers & Cupcakes for some, um, well, burgers. and cupcakes. (As a side note, it's somewhat frustrating that The Girl Who Ate Everything gets to these places before I do. I mean, she eats everything, I know, but sometimes I wish I could eat something somewhere before she does. One day I could be The Guy Who Ate Somewhere First. It's a good aspiration, I'll add it to my list.)

The space looks more like a bakery than a diner, with metallic tables and fun artwork. The painting of the dude eating an onion-topped hamburger and breathing on his, visibly distressed, dog is my favorite. The menu had a bunch of interesting options, including salmon burgers, but the coolest part may have been the topping choices. A bit pricey, but how often can you have a salmon burger with avocado, goat cheese and vegetarian chili (ok, that sounds pretty awful to me, but you could have it). Meg and I got classic cheeseburgers (mine medium, hers medium-well) and her brother went all crazy and added double-thick bacon. And they weren't lying. That bacon was really thick.

B&C offers solid but not outstanding, restaurant-style burgers (as defined in this Augieland post). The size was appropriate and there were moderate levels of juiciness, but they all came more or less grey. Juicy, but grey (which still receives a passing grade in my book; in most cases I could care less about the color as long as it's not desiccated). The fries were a bit soggy.

And the cupcakes. We tried a bunch. The blueberry with vanilla icing, vanilla with chocolate, and a few regular vanilla buttercreams (they were out of pretty much everything else). They were interesting, but inconsistent and DRY! Is there anyplace in this enormous, apparently godforsaken city that makes moist cupcakes? The vanilla with chocolate icing was probably my favorite; the icing was more like ganache than regular icing and matched the density of the cake very well. The buttercreams were quite standard. Bleh. Three inches of buttercream atop a bland cupcake does nothing for me.

The burgers were good, the vanilla/chocolate cupcake was also good, and service was bad; I would go back.

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Special thanks to kendiala over at flickr for the cupcake.

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