Burgers and shakes with style

Clay Fong | Boulder Weekly

I used to mess with my friend Andrew by feeding him false reports that a popular burger and milkshake chain had set up shop in Colorado. As it turns out, that chain now does have a Denver-area outpost, but it’s far enough away to require advanced planning, and who wants to deal with that?

Consequently, we decided to stick closer to home and visit the sleek new Pearl Street branch of H Burger, which originated in Denver and is the cousin of T/ ACO. (Eureka! I now understand this taqueria’s name!) Beef is in ample evidence here, but there’s also veggie, turkey and buffalo burgers, as well as other sandwiches. Salads are also available for the less carnivorous, but if we wanted that we would have gone to S Salad, if such a place existed.

Each of us deeply enjoyed our $4 small-sized portions of the signature milkshakes. Frozen with liquid nitrogen, these treats arrived at the table colder and thicker than normal. A spoon easily stood up in the serving glasses, but these beverages quickly thawed to a drinkable consistency. Andrew’s chocolate shake was as good of an example of this treat that you’ll find; it hit all the right notes of viscous texture and full cocoa taste. My strawberry mint shake was a lovely hot weather refresher, with plenty of fresh fruit flavor and bright herbal accents. These were can’t-miss treats for the dairy connoisseur.

Andrew went for the $12.50 Boulder Burger, consisting of a whopping seven ounces of grassfed beef, nearly double the amount of meat in a Whopper. Toppings included greens, avocado, tomato, fontina cheese and a reduction of chile, onion and mango. The reduction’s flavors were tough to detect, and the other additions didn’t make for a taste that seemed different from any other burger. On the plus side, the beef had all the silky mouthfeel and clean-tasting qualities one associates with a top-notch grassfed product. The included handcut fries should appeal to the lover of crisp spuds. We were equally enamored with our $7.95 fried artichoke appetizer, featuring hot and tender veggies with creamy dipping sauce.

Taking a less traditional tack, I tried the $11.95 Colorado Lamb Burger, absorbing a $2 upcharge for onion rings. Garnishes were Mediterranean-influenced, as the locally sourced meat was supplemented by feta cheese, peppery aioli and beefsteak tomato. Arriving at the table at the requested medium rare level of doneness, the assertively flavored meat may be too much for the lamb novice. However, someone like me, who orders lamb whenever it’s on the menu, will appreciate the earthy pungency of the patty. While the goat cheese was an appropriate foil, the flavors of the aioli and tomatoes were a bit lost against the lamb. I couldn’t complain about the onion rings though, as these were piping hot and perfectly breaded.

H Burger is not inexpensive for what it is, and one wishes there were something more unique about the offerings to justify the added cost. But certainly there’s no question that the ingredients are of high quality, and on paper, the ingredients are intriguing. However, with our sandwiches, the flavors didn’t quite reach up to the promise of their menu description. That said, the shakes are among the best you’ll find in town.

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