I’ve been meaning to write a post on burgers for some time, but a recent visit to Blanc Burgers + Bottles
has finally gotten the process rolling. Kansas City seems like a pretty good burger town. Town Topic
has been covered here. Winstead’s is a local chain reminiscent of Steak and Shake (diner theme, fast food table service), which has apparently seen better days but still puts out a more than acceptable product.
The aforementioned Blanc, along with a place called ChefBurger, are two recently opened “gourmet” burger eateries, although they are quite different in style. Uh, and in quality.
The burgers at Blanc are thick, juicy bar burgers, probably ½ pound or so. The bottles refer to the large collection (100+) of beers and specialty sodas. No beers on tap, but the bottle selection is pretty good. They also have a list of specialty cocktails of uncertain quality, but they take seem as if they take them seriously anyway.
The four of us at our table all ordered different burgers—a classic, a burger au poivre
, an “inside-out” burger stuffed with a ball of blue cheese, and a buffalo burger. Besides me, who ordered the classic, everyone’s own was their favorite, and mine was excellent.
I like baseline measurements so I ordered a basic cheeseburger. Probably the best I’ve had in town. It came out medium rare as requested, the beef was obviously fresh, the buns were terrific, from a local bakery. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a burger.
The blue cheese burger, with bacon, was decadent…a gooey, delicious, mess.
The peppercorn burger was nice twist.
The buffalo should have been cooked rarer (though it wasn’t ordered thus), but still tasted great.
I wasn’t eating with people who are food-weird and would typically pass around all our food for sampling, but all four burgers got passed around the table.
The fries, ordered a la carte, are terrific also—fresh cut, fresh fried. You have the option of regular fries, parmesan truffle fries, and sweet potato fries. All are excellent.
I like ketchup on fries, and homemade ketchups aren’t usually much added value for me, but they deliver one here that is quite satisfying. Rich and unique, but not so novel that it makes one miss Heinz—a rare feat in my opinion. There’s also a chipotle aioli and homemade mustard that accompany.
The fries come in little paper lined shopping carts, which are cute and impressive to people who like cute. The restaurant is largely white (blanc), contemporary décor, with chairs more comfortable than they appear.
Oh, and pickles, also made in-house, are excellent.
Service was good, a bit over-the-top for my taste in terms of giving the spiel—how local and concerned the chef was about every detail—but not in an obnoxious way. He was enthusiastic about recommending beers to taste, and delivered. (With some luck, I suspect, as he first tried to bring one of the ladies an Abita Purple Haze, which I find miserable. When it was unavailable, he subbed Delirium Tremens, which is one of my faves and a huge hit. There were two or three different beers unavailable, oddly enough.)
In any event, I was fully prepared to find this place overhyped and overpriced, but I really enjoyed it, and the best burger I’ve had in quite some time.
Blanc Burgers + Bottles
419 Westport Road
Kansas City, MO 64111