Restaurants & Bars

chefBURGER (Kansas City)

ulterior epicure | May 25, 200810:30 PM

So, I finally made it to chefBURGER recently. Their menu of "Signature Burgers" has expanded significantly.

Interestingly, I was eating with pescatarians, and so I played along. Two of us go the two vegetarian burgers - the Black Bean Burger and the Crispy Falafel Burger. One of us got the Ahi Tuna Burger. And, yet another, who was less forgiving of our friends' dietary restrictions got the Turkey Burger, which I believe is new to the menu. So, no beef patty at our party.

General observations: TOO MUCH CONDIMENT!!! Why is it that when you ask for them to "go easy" on something, they end up slopping on more than they normally would?

So, we had Srirachi aioli, Srirachi coleslaw, mayonnaise, cranberry chutney, and pickled ginger coleslaw oozing out of, off of, onto, and all over everything. I think that chefBURGER might be an environmental hazard alone, what with the amount of napkins sacrificed to the cause of burger eating. I mean, had I been at home, naked, maybe I wouldn't mind what dropped where. But, seeing how I was in public, I was trying to keep myself from devolving into a complete slob.

This was especially unfortunate, because otherwise, the "burgers" were perfectly delightful. The buns (where there were buns) were slightly sweet - I liked that, actually.

The Crispy Falafel was indeed crispy. It was also flavorful, with a hit of appreciable and appreciated heat. It was sandwiched with fresh spinach, cucumber, tomato, and Srirachi coleslaw. Srirachi coleslaw is basically a Srirachi-tinged mayonnaise-laden coleslaw. The emphasis being on the mayonnaise. I tasted no Srirachi. I mean, if you've already got the falafel, tomato, lettuce and cucumber, why not go the whole way and just do some yogurt or sour cream? I guess that's why it's chefBURGER, and I'm not the chef.

Then there was the Grilled Ahi Tuna Burger, which was completely coated in aioli. The inside, however, was perfectly cooked to order; my friend got it rare. It came with a pickled ginger coleslaw, which was really flavorful, the small bit that managed to not be glopped with Srirachi aioli, which tasted nothing like Srirachi. This "burger" surprised me - I had expected a chopped/ground tuna patty, instead, it was generous six-ounce steak cut of fish. Did I mention there was a lot of aioli?

The Turkey Burger ($7.99) was not really a burger. I think it's supposed to be some kind of witty riff on Thanksgiving. The turkey patty, which was flavorful and moist, was tucked between grilled bread, topped with Swiss, cranberry chutney (which soaked through the bread), tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, more mayonnaise, and then some mayonnaise.

I didn't get to taste the Black Bean burger. It came with tomato, lettuce, pickle, and red onion. Oh, and it also was generously treated with "Chef Sauce," which was - you guessed it, some mayonnaise-based condiment. I guess my friend liked it; she wouldn't share.

Sweet potato fries were good, but not the best I've had. The garlic-parsley waffle fries were also good, though way too greasy. I'd be fooling myself to think that fries are health food, but there's no need for a pooling grease. Again, the napkin crew came to the rescue.

The milkshakes, as I alluded to upthread, were watery and thin. I prefer mine thicker. They weren't so thin that one could (easily) slurp it through a straw. Yet, eating it with a spoon was equally awkward - it was just too thin to hold on a spoon. I'm pretty sure they use soft serve as a base. I don't know what milkfat content of their milk is. The flavors we tried were all very good. Next time, I'm going to try one of their "spiked" milkshakes - the "B52," "Alabama Slama'" and the "Buttery Nipple" all sound great. I might have to have a wheelchair waiting for me.

Overall, sloppy. If they just hold back on the condiments, I think their burgers would be immensely more enjoyable.

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