It’s like Allen Sternweiler and Josh Woodward created an algorithm for trendy restaurants and—shalom!—Butcher & the Burger, the most fashionable restaurant baby imaginable, was born. Trendwise, it’s got it all: the burgers, the inexplicable obsession with butchers and the nostalgia for a time nobody eating in the restaurant ever lived in. But none of this annoyed me. In fact, I found it charming. But this was only because my “house-blend beef” burger on a “split top egg butter” bun rubbed with “Grandma’s onion soup” spice rub and topped with griddled onions, pickle chips, bacon, blue cheese and a fried egg was pretty much perfect.
My “La Pryor Farm Pork” burger on that same bun flavored with the “curry-coconut” rub and topped with griddled mushrooms and mayonaise didn’t fare as well. But whose fault was that? As a DIY restaurant, Butcher & the Burger only can make the elements of its burgers the best it can—the rest is up to me, and you, and if you put together the same pork burger I did, you probably will be disappointed.
So do as I say, not as I did. Stick with the beef patties, or the vegan option, a nutty and satisfying lentil patty. Steer clear of the Greek rub (it rendered an otherwise well-cooked salmon patty too salty to eat), but feel free to go with any of the buns—they all do the trick. Toppings? Maybe limit them to three. Salads? Yes, but they’re premade in plastic containers and stored in a cooler—not cute. Frozen custard is a go (and it seems to get better every day—on my first visit the texture wasn’t nearly as silky as on my second). Finally, the butcher shop, the component of this restaurant that makes it so damn hipster? It’s not open yet. Honestly, I can’t imagine how this place could get even better when it does.