Friday, July 10, 2009

Stand, for burgers a step above

I never thought it could happen, but I actually OD'd on Asian food by my third week away from Colorado. Between the Burmese, Shanghainese, and multiple Vietnamese meals I'd had in San Francisco; the Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese meals I'd had in Philadelphia; and the Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Malaysian, and Japanese meals I'd had in NYC, I'd completely satisfied any cravings I had for noodles and rice and was totally ready for some good ol' American food.
So TL and I met up with my brother and SS for dinner at Stand, which I had been wanting to check out for a while. What's more American than a burger? The restaurant is conveniently located just off of Union Square, and so dinner marked yet another occasion of me trying to scout out a place to grub in the area.

After our server misheard our order of fried bread and butter pickles as one for an order of their "pot of pickles," we found ourselves with not one but two briny appetizers. I was pretty happy the latter arrived by mistake, because I really liked the pickled carrots and string beans. The fried pickles were great too: the sweetness and acidity of the pickle slices stood right up to the hot, crunchy batter, and they barely needed their dipping sauce of honey mustard. Despite the menu's claims, tempura-battered they were not, but I wasn't bothered.
Both SS and I went for the "Kid's Pack," which includes a mini burger, small fries, and a drink for eight bucks, and we both got pretty excited when we realized our drink options extended to a kid-sized portion of any one of their milkshakes. Above is my honey-lavender milkshake next to TL's full-sized maple-almond one; the minis are probably about half the size of the regular.

The milkshakes weren't as thick as I prefer and their flavors were a little muted, but I still liked them. I especially dug the crunchy bits of almond in TL's, and I kept stealing sips of his between mine. He didn't mind…I think.
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Our burgers came out shortly after. TL went with the classic (left), which came topped with red onion, lettuce, tomato, sliced pickles, ketchup, and dijon mustard, while my brother went with the hamburger (right), which came with onion marmalade, lettuce, and a side of green peppercorn sauce. Both burgers came with a few fried pickle slices, too.
Above is the Kid's Pack in its entirety. The Mini Burger consists of a small beef patty on brioche, topped with pickles and ketchup (I added Swiss cheese for an extra dollar). I think the Mini Burgers actually suffered for their size—both SS's and mine were cooked too long (more medium than medium rare), and both were extremely salty. TL and my brother didn't have any complaints about their burgers, but SS left half of hers uneaten.
Innards shot. Not sure if you can tell, but the meat was far from juicy. I'll stick with a regular-sized burger next time.
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Not only did we have the piles of fries from our Kids Packs, but we also had two other side dishes, which came out a little after our burgers. The onion rings weren't anything special, but the sweet potato fries were quite good—nice and crispy instead of soggy like so many other versions. The odd thing was that they didn't have much sweet potato flavor; had you mixed them in with the regular fries, I don't think I would have noticed too much of a difference.

I could have had a better burger, but Stand is still a decent, inexpensively priced option for the area. Otherwise, if you haven't overdone it with Asian food like I did, Num Pang is right across the street.

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