Originally posted on February 10, 2012.
Sometimes you just need a good burger. The keyword here is good. I’d been trying to satisfy the craving with mediocre (and worse) fast food fare, it wouldn’t quit. So off to Bottles and Burgers it was. I had been there once before without my camera, but I wasn’t going to make that mistake twice.
Stepping into the restaurant you may notice that the atmosphere is having something of an identity crisis. Trust me when I say to overlook this; the dining room is bright and open and the chairs are comfortable. Also important, at least in my book? The staff is friendly and clearly in love with the food they are working with. Very few things make me more excited at a restaurant than an engaging waitress that is willing to offer up sincere opinions on the menu options.
I started off the afternoon with a Vignette Wine Country Soda in Rosé. I couldn’t resist the idea of what is essentially a designer grape soda made with the grapes they would use in making that varietal in wine. I wasn’t disappointed either. This had all of the bright, fresh tang of a rosé without the burn (and price tag) of its wine counterpart. The perfect thing on a warm afternoon.
Moving on, the Block Sixteen caught my eye immediately. Caramelized onions and aged cheddar? Sign me up for that. This was complete burger perfection. Well-seasoned beef balanced by the casual sweetness of the brioche and onions. Sharp notes of aged cheddar playing off of the heat of the chipotle aioli. Perfection. This may be a personal thing, but I loved the balance of textures too. The heavier patty (please go with their recommendation of medium!) against the airy brioche left me feeling satisfied, but not sluggish. The crisps were a pleasant surprise, particularly as fries are a la carte on their menu. Thin, crisp, and mildly spicy; the potato flavor shines through.
Since I opted out of the fries in this case, I decided to treat myself to a little something sweet. Worth it! I had the mini-cherry cupcake with almond cream cheese frosting. Despite being small in stature, this dessert packs a flavor punch. Again, it was the perfect balance between dense frosting and a wonderfully tender cake. The fresh, juicy cherries studding the cake were a welcome addition; I was expecting a more typical addition of dried cherries. Though, at this point I should have known better than to expect the expected. The bittersweet cherries were balanced bliss against the sugary sweet almond frosting. The perfect sweet bite to finish off a wonderful meal.
For me, a perfect meal is something that engages all the areas of flavor and Bottles and Burgers had that in spades. At the entrance of Tivoli Village, this is a new reason to become a regular at what is already one of my favorite places in the city.