The holidays have kept me away for awhile but that doesn't mean we've been resting on our laurels. The Hungover Gourmet is still out there pounding the pavement, trying new things and attempting to track down some good eats.
One of our favorite finds this last month was Baltimore Burger Bar down in the Hampden neighborhood. I took a flier on a local coupon for the joint earlier in the year and realized a few days before Christmas that it was about to expire.
Knowing that Ryan probably wouldn't go for the esoteric burger toppings – the BBB PB&J features "grass-fed beef, fresh peanut butter, berry elderflower marmalade, herbed banana and brussel sprouts, bacon, gouda" – we got a sitter for the afternoon and headed down to give it a try.
Frankly, most of the burgers I've had in Baltimore haven't been much to write home about. Either the restaurant is unwilling or incapable of cooking the burger the way I want (rare to medium rare), or the place serves up a decent burger that's no better than anything I can make at home. (Which is one of the reasons I have yet to try the much lauded Five Guys. I feel like I'm bound for disappointment.)
Up to this point, my favorite Baltimore burgers came via the Chowhound food truck that was hired to cater the fundraiser at my daughter's pre-school. And even though I was unimpressed by the rest of the meal, the Kobe and Foie Gras sliders at Salt are still memorable several years later.
Until further notice the Baltimore Burger Bar serves up my favorite burger in the area. Though a bit pricey (two burgers, two sides of fries and a couple canned sodas came in around $30), the grass-fed beef burgers are a hefty handful that were actually prepared the way both my wife and I like them cooked. The row house location is definitely casual and you can sit outside if the weather's nice or head up to a table in one of the rooms that overlook the Avenue. Makes for great people watching while you fight to keep the burger juices from escaping past your wrist and down your sleeve.
Topping options are plentiful and range from traditional to more outré. Side orders of fries were nothing remarkable but came well-seasoned with salt and black pepper. On my return visit I'll probably skip the fries and hope that one of their soups is in stock. (830 West 36th Street, Baltimore, 410-878-1266)
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