My son Jack wanted to take me somewhere nice for dinner, but by the time he was able to get away from the office it was quite late when he picked me up and instead thought we’d just grab a burger.
He knew of a burger joint on W. 13th Street called Urban Stack and told me I could find any kind of burger I wanted. I remembered that Sofa place I tried once before and I wasn’t too thrilled with a burger place that put peanut butter and jelly on a burger and called it gourmet, but Jack assured me I would like this place.
It was already dark and the place was still busy (old folk aren’t used to that). We sat at a booth and our waiter who asked for our drink order had long hair and a full beard and looked like a Bee Gee. Not intimidating or weird - he looked rather nice. I thought he could even play the part of Jesus in a church drama, but I didn’t say a word. I just minded my own business.
Jack and I both ordered a Diet Coke and looked the menu over. There were three million different hamburgers to choose from. They also had that many bourbon selections to choose from and listed them from A-Z.
The burgers had cute names and, with so many choices, it was hard to decide and I almost felt as if I were Lois. I narrowed my choices down to two – the Italian one with Capicola or the Fried Green Tomato burger. I chose the FGT burger with sharp yellow cheddar, lettuce, white vinegar mayo, remoulade and Benton’s Bacon for $9.99.
Jack ordered the “Big Mike” with two patties, their house-made special sauce, shredded lettuce, American cheese, diced pickles & onions on a triple-stack bun from Niedlov’s and it was $11.99. That may be high for a burger if you were at a regular burger joint, but these were specially prepared with choice beef and with the combinations they put together on most of their burgers it made them ‘artsy’ which made the price okay in my book – we only wanted a burger and nothing else anyway.
There was a large space for outside eating and the atmosphere was nice. A calm crowd mixed with all types, but mostly what I would call yuppies. When Bee Gee came with our burgers he was very professional yet genuine. When he laid the Big Mike in front of Jack it was almost as tall as he was!
My boy does like to eat, but he’s not fat. I used to tease him that he had a hollow leg he could never fill. He is just a big guy and, even though he likes his meals served with ‘a meal on the side,’ he still looks mighty nice in a suit.
I had already taken the pictures of our burgers when Jack changed his mind and ordered a side of onion rings, so I didn’t get a picture of them. I figured the fried green tomato was my ‘fried’ on the side and I didn’t eat any of the onion rings but Jack said they were good.
The remoulade sauce on my burger had a mustard base and was very good complementing the FGT and beef. I almost reached for the ‘Chipolte ketchup’ on the table because it said “Saucy” on it. But, the flavors on my burger were already perfect.
On the side were pickles in a small metal cup, but they didn’t look like flimsy cooked pickles. These looked like raw cucumbers and I thought perhaps they were their version of ‘bread-n-butter’ pickles, but they surprised me! They were cukes drenched in vinegar and spice with a bite that bit me hard. I didn’t want to put them on my burger because they were good all by themselves.
As I tried to jot down notes, I kept feeling as if the spy were being spied upon because we were near a door that seemed to be revolving every five minutes. Waitresses go in and out that door to serve the folks outside and I had to be careful getting out my notepad and pen. Don’t sit there if you plan to spy.
My fried green tomato wasn’t as tart as I like, but I guess that has to do with the season. Jack's onion rings looked almost ‘meaty’. They were thick and the breading stayed on.
Bee Gee was good to make sure our drinks were filled, but wasn't over the top with checking on us. I liked that, but then when we were ready to go I think he went to take a nap. We waited for the check for quite a while and it was getting to be past my bed time.
This place really mo-o-oved me. It is the oldest building in the city (which was once the Southern Railway Baggage Building circa 1870).
Jack had looked on his phone for more information on the place and he said they were LEED certified. I don’t know what LEED means but according to Jack (and Mr. Google) it has something to do with energy and the environment. The food is also locally grown and raised. So, not only did the food impress us, but the owner’s wonderful ideas did too.
They definitely get a Willie Mae “Whee-ee-doggie” and if I had a blue ribbon, they’d get that too.
Before we left, Jack asked if I had hand sanitizer. I’m sure a few men leaving Urban Stack want breath spray to hide their bourbon breath from their wives, but my boy didn’t want to go home smelling like ‘cheeseburger’. He’s a good boy.
Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm