STAND (burger review)
- livetotravel Jun 20, 2008 10:24 AM
Based entirely on the weight of Adam Kuban's re-review posted on A Hamburger Today on Thursday, I made my first visit today for lunch. Let me spoil this right up front my saying I loved everything about my experience today except the burger.
I arrived at about 12:15 PM and was warmly welcomed by two young women at the host stand. I told them I'd sit at the bar. There were only about 5 or 6 other people in the restaurant at this time. I again was warmly greeted at the bar by the young gut tending bar and placed my order - a la Kuban - a classic burger w/cheddar, small fries and a small root beer.
The physical space at Stand BTW is wonderful - modern, clean, cool and comfortable. It really an appealing minimalist design.
The burger, ordered medium rare arrived cooked perfectly medium. It was on a brioche bun just a tad smaller than the burger circumference - stacked on top of the burger were hopefully-not-killer tomatoes, raw onions and a unnecessarily high pile of shredded lettuce. Under the burger were crinkle-cut dills and a small squirt of their ketchup & mustard. Like Mr Kuban I did not like the red peppercorn sauce that was served on the side. I did, however, add a squirt of "Japanese mayonnaise" to the burger half way through. That condiment was a nice surprise - it's sweet and went well with everything else.
The burger was one of the most beautiful, well-charred, and juicy I have ever seen. The problem was not only was it cooked medium it was absolutely tasteless - I mean absolutely - no hint of salt, pepper, or, gawd-forbid, fat. If this was the 80/20 % lean to fat version, they need to return to the 70/30 version. This was the most tasteless burger I have ever eaten and makes me appreciate the Shake Burger even more, which is a salt lick compared to Stand's version.
The fries, on the other hand, were perfection, golden brown and crispy on the outside, soft and hot on the inside. Some of the best I've had.
If the burger I had today is representative then they should rename Stand Bland.
I ate there tonight - my house burger was delicious. I've suffered the dilemma of the medium rare burger arriving medium, so I thought I would wise up and order it rare - unfortunately rare really was rare, and just a little undercooked to my taste. Everyone at the table (including my mom, a retired chef) thought the beef was flavorful and delicious. I had avoided the onion rings after one disappointing order, but tonight they were salty, crisp, neatly vertically stacked, and very addictive. Unfortunately they've discontinued their 2-for-1 burgers in off hours, but I'll still be coming back.
Agreed re the lean/fat blend. I like Stand but if would definitely prefer a fattier blend. If anyone from Stand is reading this, USE MORE FAT!
I thoroughly agree. I tried Stand last week and really wanted to like the burger - but it really didn't have ANY flavor. The restaurant does have a nice feel, but Shake Shack beats their burgers any day of the week.....
Totally disagree on the burger being bland. I was there 2 days ago...had the classic with cheddar and a regional draft (Victory pils) for 13 bucks...the burger rocked. Medium rare, nicely charred, juicy and full flavor. I've never had a bad burger here. Crushes the shake shack/melons/corner versions...
Service has been good for me the many times I've been there. One time it was a little off with the attitude but 99% of the time it's not been a problem.
I have to agree with the positive reviews of this place - the burger always comes out cooked as ordered, partly due to the fact that the plates are brought out immediately when they come out of the kitchen.
The waiters are a Williamsburg hipster/asymmetrical haircut & skinny jean crowd, but they all seem to be efficient & friendly.
Fantastic fries, kind of average onion rings, they're cut a little too thin to be great in my opinion. I was excited about the shakes from the reviews I had read here, but I find them to be way too sweet. However, the great selection of regional draft beers more than makes up for that.
I have a question regarding the "service". I passed by one day and saw people sitting down at a table. They have waiter service? I thought you just go up to the counter, order, and seat yourself. Do they have both options? Just curious. Now that I think about it I did see a hostess desk which would suggest waiter service.
ate here last night for the first time (with 3 other first-timers) and, I thought the place was really good, although there were a couple points. two people ordered the kid's meal (mini burger + small fries + mini shake) and I had the hamburger (served with green peppercorn, cooked onions) and another had the stand burger (served with some other smoked chipotle/worcestershire sauce). we also had the fried pickles (they gave us complimentary pickled veg by accident), sweet potato fries and onion rings. plenty plenty of food.
all the fried goods were fine, the sweet potato had no sweet potato and was very crisp, not like the usual steamy soggy sweet potato fries; onion rings were ok but needed salt, fries themselves were generous and crispy and delicious; fried pickles were sweet and wonderful, the best of the fried stuffs. the pickled veg were good (I wonder if they do it in-house or source it); the best were the carrots and green beans, the half- and full-sour spears were way too salty, but good sour tang on all of it.
the mini burgers were overcooked past the advertised medium rare! like, way overcooked like gray meat, and way way salty. seriously. if i was a kid, that would be really bad. it was indeed small, about 4" square, but, I think a perfect size. the shake was really good, i think it was honey-lavendar or something? tasted like a shake made out of galub jamon, it was amazing.
as far as I could tell, all the burgers are pretty much the same (no different seasonings in the meat mix), except served with different sauces; mine arrived rare and delicious and wonderful; nice loose texture, still some nice char on the outside and bloody rare inside. the shredded lettuce was kinda weak, the bottom half of the bun got soaked (I shoulda flipped it upside down immediately). didn't think it was underseasoned but then, I also love to play with condiments and by the time all our food arrived, there were at least 6 or 7 different ramekins plus the squeeze bottles they have on each table so i was very happy; cutting the burger into quarters to try different combos of flavors.
overall, much nicer atmosphere than I thought (I thought it was a place with no table service) and even though it felt very casual, everything was still quite nice and felt just luxe enough. service was a little scattered (the place got packed by 8pm on a tuesday) and most of the people working had triple duty (hostessing, serving, bussing) so, that made it difficult to get simple things like our water refilled but, all good. also, quite affordable; all of us were satisfied with the amount of food; even those who ordered the kids meal.
but ya, watch out for that mini-burger, its an overdone salty patty; would like to try the veggie burger sometime.