Lunchbox Redux

We returned to the Lunchbox Laboratory this weekend to take a second look at one of the few burgers to earn a 5 star rating from one of the crew at Legit Beef. Never having been, I decided to cast an objective eye on the experience.

Wise men render sage words to first-time visitors of the Lunchbox Laboratory . The consensus among the burger illuminati is to choose one ingredient from each column of the menu: one meat, one cheese, one topping, one sauce. Nothing wrong with this philosophy, but no matter what you do, you’ll still have a burger you can’t fit your mouth around. Be conservative and exercise restraint but adding one or two extra toppings or cheeses is not, inherently, a bad thing. Experimentation is encouraged, it’s a god damned laboratory.

For my burger, I went with 1/2 lb beef patty (obvi), cheddar, maple bacon, candied balsamic onions, and their secret burger sauce. This was freakin’ delectable. Let’s go from top, down. The bun is a Kaiser, toasted to perfection and doing an admirable job of holding together despite the abundance of juices from the beef and onions. The secret burger sauce is solid, pretty standard thousand-islands-esque burger sauce but there’s nothing wrong with that.

The bacon is, in a word, perfection. The slice is not too thick and the bacon is cooked lightly, allowing you to actually taste the maple flavor. They get away with the light cooking because the cut is so lean that it may as well be a slice of ham on your sandwich. The candied balsamic onions were great, trending the burger toward the sweet side but the saltiness of the cheddar cheese helps to keep the burger balanced. There wasn’t a whole lot of input from the cheddar but I doubt if the strongest of cheeses would have overcome the other flavors of the burger to shine through.

The beef is a quality patty but here I find my only fault with the experience. The seasoning they use in their beef is noticeably heavy on the pepper.  The taste of the beef should never be masked by its seasoning, particularly such a quality and juicy blend as they serve. There’s plenty of flavor here, it’s just a shame that the beef was seasoned by a kid who works at Fat Burger before they put it on the grill.

This burger was superb. All of the ingredients are top notch, as evidenced by the $20+ tally for each burger. Well worth it. There’s a great experience to be had here, you just need to find casino games your own. You know what you like but you don’t know if it all works on a burger. That’s half the fun. So long as you keep it reasonable you’re going to have one of the best burgers of your life. I took a shot and it paid off to the tune of a 4.0/5.0. You can easily build a burger here ranging from 3.0 – 5.0 depending on how you top it. It’s not about building the perfect burger, but building a great, unique burger. This is the place to do that. You miss out if show up and order a plain cheeseburger.

Unbeef: I had sweet potato fries, unremarkable, but the tots are great. You get to choose from 9 different salts too, pretty rad. The shakes look awesome.

+ Excellent bun, perfect bacon, candied balsamic onions I could have eaten alone on a bun

- Peppered patty

Lunchbox Laboratory 1/2 lb bacon cheeseburger with balsamic onions.

Rating: ★★★★☆