Red Apron Burger Bar was born from the Red Apron Butchery in Union Market. Although I’ve never been to the butchery, I have had the pleasure of dining at The Partisan, another restaurant the was an expansion of another butchery location in Penn Quarter. If you like charcuterie, you’ll love the Partisan. But back to the burgers. I actually took my friend here for a birthday lunch a few weeks ago, ok about a month ago (I have no excuse for posting so late). Since our schedules wouldn’t permit us to have a nice dinner out on the weekend, we had a nice mid-week extended work lunch. When we arrived at the location, I thought it seemed familiar. It was. It used to be GBD or Golden Brown Delicious, a doughnut and fried chicken spot. I didn’t know they closed and it seems that Red Apron Burger Bar was in luck. They basically didn’t have to do a build out at all. In fact, from what I could tell it looks like they kept the same layout and most of the furnishings. Good move.
We started off with a punch. I had bourbon punch which was: bourbon, sweet vermouth, coffee liqueur, allspice and Mexican cola. He went with the vodka punch with triple sec, ginger, grapefruit, green chili, and lemon-lime soda. They were both really good, but I think I liked mine a little better. I’m kind of a bourbon girl.
Since this was our first time, we knew we wanted to keep it simple with a plain-ish burger. I never like to start out of the gate with a fancy burger. But they did throw us a curve ball. We had the choice of black angus or ancient white park beef for the burger. I’ve never even heard of ancient white park, but we both knew we were ordering it. Turns out that it’s one of the oldest breeds in the western hemisphere. Ok.
I had the Double Vision with bacon, pimento cheese, and tomato jam. There was bacon involved so it was a no-brainer. We shared a side of beef fat fries with roasted garlic and rosemary. Look at those fries! I was in a trance with the huge cloves of garlic and I think I freaked my friend out when I kept popping them like peanuts. The fries were very tasty. Perfectly crisp and full of flavor.
But I needed to move onto my burger. Just look at that bacon. The burgers were more of a thin, smash style type which wasn’t a problem. The burger definitely did taste different. It was slightly tougher than my typical burger but it was still juicy and full of flavor. But what was that flavor? It didn’t have that buttery, salty taste like most beef burgers. This one was lighter and had a subtle beef flavor. I really liked it.
But I thought I needed to compare it to my friend’s burger since we got different toppings. He had The Standard. A double patty with white American cheese, pickles, shaved onion and “special sauce”. I never know what “special sauce” is, but I always assume it’s mayo mixed with ketchup. Regardless, we had another winner! It was more of a classic burger, but again with subtle beef flavor. If I had to choose, I would probably pick mine only because I have a growing love for pimento cheese.
We weren’t sure about dessert, but since it was his birthday, we had to get ice cream. We ordered a vanilla soft serve with almost every topping they had which was, fruity pebbles, Oreos, peanuts, chocolate sauce, and caramel.
This ice cream was so yummmm. I didn’t expect to like soft serve this much. I was almost like a custard, very creamy and rich. About half way though the container, a server came by with another small cup. He just decided that we needed it. I told my friend it was an extra surprise for his birthday.