After I decided on my quest, I looked at the list of burger havens I had to conquer. Pub and Kitchen is a place that I always have wanted to try but for some reason or another have yet to visit. My bud Bman and Mrs. BurgerQuest joined me for the kickoff entry of this quest.
Bman had been to P&K before and raved about the burger so I was excited to try it. He had mentioned “The Churchill”: creekstone farms dry-aged pat lafrieda custom blend for p&k, sautéed onions. Unfortunately they no longer served that burger. Fortunately, they served a burger just as good I’m sure as the Churchill once was.
We began with an Allagash White to lighten our taste buds. For our first course we began with the Rabbit Rillette & Foie Gras Terrine and the Honey Whiskey Wings. I don’t want to go into too much detail but the Foie Gras was absolutely perfect and the wings were extremely tasty even though I thought the wing size was kind of small.
Behold: the P&K Burger. Budson bakery challah, Creekstone farms custom dry aged blend, double cut bacon, pickled red onions, shropshire blue cheese. I’ll be honest. To begin a burger quest and have the 1st burger be absolutely glorious is quite the start.
Meat: The meat was just about perfect in every possible way. Sometimes you can get a blend that has too many confusing flavors but this blend worked almost as perfect as I’ve ever tasted. I’m not quite sure what blend the meat was but I feel as though there was definitely some short rib in there due to the deep rich flavor the meat gave off. I also have to give P&K a lot of credit for the ability to cook a burger medium rare. The correct way. I personally love medium rare. I love medium rare when it’s cooked to perfection, with the juices running the moment you squeeze down on the burger, but not so much that you lose the juice all over the plate and on the fries. The meat on the burger was as near perfect as it gets. (Score 9 out of 10)
Toppings: Normally I like very few toppings on a burger. Too many varying toppings can cause a burger to malfunction. The bacon was more tender than crispy, a trait a very much like in bacon. The blue cheese was a great compliment to the rich meat. The pickled onions added great texture (not overpowering) to the burger as well. Above average toppings although nothing completely blew me away. (Score 7.5 out of 10)
Bun: A bun can make or break a burger. A flimsy, small bun will get absolutely destroyed if the cook has done his job and cooked it to a correct medium rare. This particular bun was able to hold it’s own. A soft, dense, challah roll with a hint of sweetness was the perfect guard for the inside of the burger. It didn’t let much goodness (read: juice) spill out onto the plate which was great for keeping the entire burger intact until the last bite. (Score 8 out of 10)
Presentation: This may be the least important category because I could care less about how a burger is displayed so long as it’s good. To me, presentation is how a burger is presented by the person serving the burger. There was nothing special on the plate (burger, fries) but the server was particularly awesome. I don’t recall her name, but she was very knowledgeable about the burger/drinks we ordered and when we told her we were on a burger quest, she took the time to sit with us and go over my list and even added a few favorite burgers of her own. I love “above and beyond” service when it comes to something as simple as a burger. The hiring department at P&K definitely gets a high score in my book. (Score 8.5 out of 10).
Overall, this burger was near close to perfect. It didn’t make my legs weak and my body tingle all over, but it certainly was one of the better burgers I can recall. Pub and Kitchen, I will definitely be back.
Overall Score= 33 out of 40. 8.25 Overall
Bonus Points: Get the “City Hall” cocktail, a blend of Rye, Madeira wine, and bitters. Like a Manhattan, without the cherry but every bit the same. They put it in some sort of cask contraption and pour it when it’s ordered so it soak all the oakey goodness.