Friday, April 17, 2009

Bourbon & Blues @ Bourbon Steak

This past Wednesday, I headed up to Aventura to check out Bourbon Steak's "Bourbon & Blues" night where they offer 25% off all bourbons, 1/2 price on select cocktails, live blues, and a new bar menu that offers small bites and custom burgers. For a guy like me, anything involving discounted bourbon and live blues is a huge winner but the burger did a good job of adding to the good time.

After sipping a few bourbons and listening to some kickass country style blues from the "Nouveaux Honkies", I decided that I would give their new burger menu a shot. For anywhere from about $12-$18 you have your choice of beef, lamb, falafel, turkey, and/or salmon as the base of your burger. Bacon is an additional $3 and seared foie gras is an additional $18. A fried egg is an additional $2 but, hey, its organic...

Once youre done selecting the base flavor, you are allowed to select up to 6 items to add to the burger from the following catagories: cheese, veggies, greens, and sauces. I went with the beef burger ($14) with bacon ($3), bourbon caramelized onions, pepper jack cheese, shaved jalapenos, mesclun greens, and the "special sauce" that had been recommended to me. The result was a pretty kickass burger with lots of flavor. The combo of the shaved jalapenos and the special sauce was awesome and probably made the burger for me. I loved the crunch of the jalapenos and their heat combined with the flavors of the special sauce. The onions were a nice complement too. The only buzzkill was that they forgot my bacon... The bartender gave me a side and didnt charge me the $3 but it kinda sucked because I ate the bacon AFTER the already killer burger. With bacon added to each bite, Id have been in burger Xanadu. The only complaint outside of the bacon incident would be the bun. Restaurants need to realize that the bun is a key part of the burger and a weak bun base can cause much discomfort. In this case, the bottom of the bun was super hot and kinda moist. Being trained in burger CPR, I knew to flip the burger onto its thicker top bun to let the bottom cool and salvage it. I didnt like having to do that but Ive become accustomed to it.

I also chose to add a trio of duck fat fries to my burger just because it seemed like the right thing to do. It kinda sucked that it was an extra $5 to do so, but hey, youre in Aventura. Gotta pay the tax... The fries were pretty frickin good though. My favorite was the garlic fries paired with onion sauce. The fries paired with the spicy ketchup were a close second. The paprika fries paired with bbq sauce didnt really do anything for me though.

The 3 different bourbons I sampled were all great brands but all overpriced. Then again, youre in Aventura and the prices werent that far off what you would see elsewhere. Add that to the burger and fries plus tax and tip and I was at about $70. I didnt feel bad about it though. Sure, there wasnt a sole in there within 20 years of my age, but I had a great time listening to the band, chatting with the bartenders, and chowing down on a pretty tasty burger paired with a nice bourbon selection. I hear that they have a different band that also plays there so I'll probably go back again on another Wednesday to check it out.