Restaurant Review: Daft Burger
Daft Burger is in Whitehall, and it sells burgers with topping options that include dates, gorgonzola cheese and sriracha sauce.
That was the extent of the personal expectations for the joint. So, it came as a shock when Daft Burger inspired crazy, down-home love.
First of all, in spite of the odd topping offerings, Daft Burger is a no frills joint. It operates out of a big functional space, almost warehouse-like, with a few picnic tables and benches, plus some classic tables, a counter, and an arm wrestling table. We’re not talking about a “scaled down appearance” or a “warehouse feel”, the place is what it is.
About the arm wrestling table: it’s got little pads and all the accoutrements required for a real match. It’s impossible not to try it out while waiting. One of the proprietors is an arm wrestling champion, there’s even a trophy there to prove it. Having seen the champ emerge from the kitchen, it’s worth noting that he is very nice, and not the least bit mean looking (like they are in the movies).
There’s also oldies music in the background. Not eighties oldies: at one point, Roy Orbison’s voice was crooning away.
The ambiance is promising, and the burgers deliver on that promise. They aren’t particularly huge, but they’re real grilled burgers: the kind that was easy to find before the age of fast food and gourmet operations took over the market. Daft Burger’s offerings taste like honest hamburgers.
This sort of straightforward appeal might be difficult to imagine from something like the Elvis Burger ($4.79). It has peanut butter, bacon and grilled plantains. The peanut butter melts all over the house burger, and the bacon and plantains are unified with an infectious grilled flavor: it really works.
There’s also the Bra Burger ($4.49) (pictured at the top of the article), the named seemed sorta cute – it probably stands for bacon, ranch and avocado (b-r-a), which share space between the buns with the burger, lettuce, tomato and cheese.
There is a veggie burger option at Daft Burger too. It was tempting to order it with bacon, but the Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger ($4.25) is a more philosophically consistent match. It was good enough, even without the old-fashioned appeal of a traditional beef offering. Soft, warm cream cheese might be the best burger topping ever.
Do-It-Yourselfers have the option of a self-designed burger. The base price is $2.99 –and the toppings can be added for anywhere from 29 cents to 79 cents each. It’s sort of like ordering a pizza. While dates, strawberry jelly, and pineapple are all topping options, a combo with swiss ($.49), mushrooms ($.49) and grilled onions ($.29) is one that was tested and enjoyed.
In the sides world, it’s French Fries ($1.99) and Onion Rings ($2.29). Both are super crunchy things -and that works great with hamburgers. The onion rings are big enough to wear as bracelets, so bonus points for that. Combo meals, that include sides and a soda, are also available.
You can find Daft Burger at 885 South Hamilton Road. It opens every day at 11am and closes at 10pm.
More information can be found online at www.facebook.com/DaftBurger.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.