Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Burger Fit for a King

I always have trouble figuring out what to get my dad and father-in-law, Lloyd and Denis, for Christmas. Being a couple of retired guys, they don't really need any stuff. So, the best option for gifts is usually an activity. Luckily, they both like sports, and the Miami Heat came to town a few weeks ago to face off against the hometown Denver Nuggets. With tickets in hand for the late, national game, we needed to grab a bite before heading over to the Pepsi Center. Call it fate or luck, we couldn't get a table for Brooklyn's, the sports bar next to the arena. Instead, Denis suggested Ted's Montana Grill, and I'm pretty happy he did.

After work, I moseyed down to Larimer Square. Just a few blocks from the office, I was there a bit early. The place was packed with leftover happy hour patrons and people out for dinner. It was a good thing we had a reservation or we would have been eating nachos and hot dogs at the stadium. Don't get me wrong. I love nachos, and I've eaten more than a few hot dogs in my day, but I was ready for the next burger blog entry. While I looked at the menu, I decided I needed a tasty beverage to wash down my burger, so I ordered a Buffalo Gold. That was my go-to beer in college, being a student at the University of Colorado.

Ted's is known for their buffalo burgers, and I wasn't about to turn them down. Looking back on it, the first buffalo burger I ever had was with Lloyd one summer in Indiana. Our vacations were often spent in Clarksville which is just north of Louisville, Kentucky. It's pronounced Lou-uh-vul by the way, and any other pronunciation will just make you sound like a dummy. Just pretend you're saying it with a mouthful of burger and you'll get it. Anyways, back to the menu. There were lots of burgers to choose from, and I was having a tough time deciding between the Avalon and the Peppercorn. If you're into literature or history, especially the kind with knights and round tables, you can probably guess which burger I got.

The Avalon sounded like a solid bet with gruyere and bleu cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, garlic aioli, and baby arugula on an onion bun. I've had blue cheese burgers before, and the one thing i can say about them is, "Holy bleu cheese, Batman!" Bleu cheese just kills the flavor of the burger if there's too much. I love bleu cheese, but sometimes it can be brutal. Caramelized onions are always good, so no problems there, and I think we know how much I like bacon by now. I wasn't really sure what difference the baby arugula made, so I didn't pay much attention to it. It was something green and leafy.

First of all, combining bleu cheese with gruyere was a stroke of brilliance. There was enough bleu cheese to have that bite, but it didn't overpower the burger. I like the smoothness of gruyere, and it was just plain incredible on the burger. The buffalo was cooked pretty well in that it was close to medium. Finally, a place that didn't drastically overcook my burger! The onions were tasty adding a sweetness and just the right texture. The garlic aioli was actually really good. I'm a huge garlic fan, and the aioli was there to serve the rest of the flavors. Garlic is yet another food that can overpower a dish if you aren't careful. The baby arugula was just what this burger needed in terms of greens. You couldn't find a more perfect leafy, green thing to put on the burger. It was kind of delicate and mild. The texture didn't clash with the smoothness of the rest of the burger like a crunchier lettuce would have. Oh, bacon rocks and this burger had some nice crumbled bacon on it.

I pretty much inhaled that burger. It was definitely the best one I've had since my first burger at Cherry Cricket. That was only my second or third trip ever to Ted's Montana Grill, and I can't imagine it'll be my last. The Avalon was just so well put together that it'll be tough to try another burger when I go back. The flavors balanced out so well that it might be the holy grail of buffalo burgers.

The Nuggets game was a blast with Denver taking care of business at home. I will give some props to Lebron James though. The guy makes it look so easy. In any case, I can't think of anymore Arthurian references at the moment, so go eat this burger. You won't be disappointed. If you are disappointed, well, I don't know what to say. You just don't like awesome, delicious burgers.

No comments:

Post a Comment