Monday, November 30, 2009
Mini-Review: Monkey Burger
Readers of this blog may remember my mini-review of Burger City a few months back. Today, Burger City remains closed for renovations, and its future seems uncertain. But the executive chef and co-founder of Burger City has moved on to Monkey Burger, over at Broadway and Craycroft right next to the Cactus Moon. At one time, Monkey Burger was slated to open as Burger City II, but the two restaurants have decided to part company for undisclosed reasons. The complimentary pickle bar may be gone, but Monkey Burger brings back the delicious gourmet burgers with a righteous vengeance.
The walls of Monkey Burger are lined with monkey murals. The interior has a sparse, industrial look. The menu recalls Burger City's early selection, before its selections became progressively more uninteresting. I chose the Madness burger, with jalapeno slices, shredded lettuce, fajita peppers, pepper jack cheese, and a Tabasco scallion aioli, and opted for Monkey Burger's signature side dish: the fried pickle slices. The burger was spicy, yet not overpoweringly so, and maintained a light and tangy sweetness. The bun was large and moist, yet not so large as to make it impossible to eat by hand. The fried pickles were...interesting. I love pickles, and I love fried foods, but I'm not a fan of carnival-style novelty fried dishes, so I approached this dish with skepticism. At first blush the slices struck me as soggy. But I gradually acquired a taste for them as I made my way through the basket. I liked the interplay of saltiness and fried crispiness, but I'm not sure I'll eschew the traditional comfort of fries on my next visit.
I hope Burger City returns. But if if doesn't, or if it never returns to its former glory, I'm glad that Monkey Burger has arrived to fill the burger void.