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Chowdown Showdown: Battle of the Signature Burgers, the Second

For the second time, we check out the burger THEY want you to eat.

After a few weeks away from the burger scene, I decided to plunge headlong back in to the arena and bring you the second installment of signature burgers. While this review will stand on its own, it is better as the second part of the series. Do yourself a favor and go back and read the first signature burger chowdown

I’ll wait.  

Unlike I did at these restaurants. It may have been due to the times of day I was eating, but these three burgers each were the fastest I’ve had served to me. Maybe these guys all read the first part, and practiced up to get ready for me. Despite the speed of service, this is about taste. So let’s talk about taste. 

Kendall Pub, incredibly enough, doesn’t have a “Kendall Pub Burger,” but they do have a signature burger. The Little Joe, as they call it. I’m pretty sure that’s based on Joe of Little Joe’s fame, as Kendall Pub was known previously. In any case, this one is a fatty.  

Nine ounces of premium ground beef that may as well be nineteen ounces served with a choice of cheese (I chose provolone) says there was nothing little about Joe. The bun was lightly toasted on the underside but otherwise as fluffy as a full head of beer.

The Kendall Pub Good: I’m a sucker for the cheese. Take a look at that pic. That melty, gooey Provolone is great, and they have a choice of maybe five or six cheeses you can choose from. 
The Kendall Pub Bad: This was hardly a bad thing for me, but the girls in Oktoberfest attire made the mother of the family dining across from me seem to enjoy her experience a little less. Dad was peeking. I saw. She clearly did, too. 

The Field House is an interesting space.  When you walk in the front door, the three-sided bar comes at you like a ship from the fog, 42-inch televisions obscuring your view of the helm. That’s just the impression I got, your mileage may vary. In any case, it was certainly more welcoming than a shipyard. 

The burger, called the Field House, might be better left at sea, however. The patty comes soaked in barbecue sauce and covered with cheddar, and a couple onion rings on top. Despite heaps of promise, the whole thing was soggy, unfortunately, and the only thing I could taste was grill. A disappointing effort by any measure and definitely not a burger worthy of bearing the name of the establishment, in my opinion.

The Field House Good: Here, you have a choice of the 8 oz. or 16 oz. burger. Any place that gives you a choice between more than enough and twice as much is worth checking out.
The Field House Bad: The taste. I’ve enjoyed Field House food before, so I’d advise they make one of their other offerings into “The Field House.”  

Blackstonefireside – what is one word that describes three restaurants within a 15-minute drive of each other?  

I enjoy Blackstone. I learned my first lesson in highball drinks there, had the best laugh of the last 3 years there, and think their bar has the best positioning of televisions of any. So despite the fact that I usually disenjoy mushrooms, I went in for a Blackstone Burger. 

The Blackstone may have been an excellent burger. The patty was thick and juicy, the mushrooms didn’t bother me, and it came topped with onion straws. I love onion straws. But the bun used here was unsavory. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but it had a sweet taste that simply overpowered everything else. 

The bun was texturally desirable, but tastually unfortunate.

The Blackstone Good: They throw you some good kitchen effort here, with mushrooms and onion straws on top of the thick burger.
The Blackstone Bad: That bun. It really threw the whole thing out of whack.        

And the winner is: I love a good competition, but this challenge didn’t deliver much of it. Kendall Pub nailed it, while Blackstone and Field House still have a little ways to go with their burgers. I really do have nice things to say about both Field House and Blackstone otherwise, so I’ll be checking them out on other challenges soon.  

BH October 03, 2011 at 05:59 PM
I think I agree with Rob, love the Pub....have you review Bristol Tap yet Rob? Love to hear your take on that burger.
Linda Batt October 04, 2011 at 01:07 AM
Bristol Tap is not in Yorkville, BH, so can't use that delicious burger in the challenge. Great article Rob! Funny stuff and you hit the nail on the head with Blackstone. I live right up the hill from Kendall Pub, but never think to eat there. I will give them a try the next time I'm in the mood for a burger!
Matthew October 10, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Uhhh you forgot Lakeview Grille. 10 oz juicy black angus beef. prepared anyway you want. Best in town if you ask me and many others.

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