Flash’s cousin Zoe visited us last night, so we decided to treat her to one of our favorite restaurants, Urban Stack—the gourmet burger joint on the lively Southside.
Zoe, a twenty-four year old fashion designer with a zest for true adventure, is from Wisconsin but has been road-tripping around the country the last three months on the cruiser Flash fixed up for her last summer. She stopped by our place unexpectedly, wearing the beautiful leather jacket she sewed herself with fringe dangling off the sleeves and metal studs lined around the collar.
“I’m on my way to South Carolina, but I’m road weary and starved and decided to drop in,” Zoe said.
Apparently she had traveled that very day from Texas.
I’ve never met a fellow motorcycle gang member who didn’t enjoy a good, juicy burger. The decision to go to Urban Stack was made. Though it was only a Tuesday night, the brick restaurant, which used to be the Southern Railway Baggage Building in the 1800s, was packed and we had to wait twenty minutes for a table.
Zoe went to the bar in the back of the restaurant during our wait and ordered one of Urban Stack’s famous bourbon concoctions, The Orange Crush. The specialty drink included Rebel Yell Bourbon, St. Germain, orange sour, fresh orange, fresh mint and bitters for $8.50. Zoe let me try a sip and the drink offered the perfect blend of an orange sweetness and a powerful kick from the bourbon.
When the hostess brought us to our wooden booth by the big brick wall that separates the bar and dining room, we opened our menus and studied them for several minutes. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How long does it take to read a burger joint’s menu?” Well, Urban Stack offers a lot of choices, the majority of which are not your everyday burger.
For example, there are burgers on the menu like Hamburguesa Mamacita, made with crumbled chorizo, pickled red onion, avocado, pickled jalapeño, tomato, lettuce, chipotle aioli and fiesta cheese. Then there are burgers like the Hercules, a mighty stack of Greek-spiced ground lamb, cucumber, roasted red pepper, house-made tapenade, feta cheese spread, pickled red onion, lettuce and tomato.
I mean, honestly, who ever thought of putting tapenade on a burger? And here’s the kicker, every one of Urban Stack’s creations tastes amazing. I should know. I’ve tried them all. Except the New Mexico Green Chili Cheeseburger, which is what I ordered when our upbeat server came by, along with a side of good ole Macaroni and Cheese.
Flash ordered the Good Day Sunshine, which comes with bacon, a fried egg, white cheddar cheese, white vinegar mayo, lettuce and tomato. Zoe went all out and ordered the Steakhouse, a saucy stack of U.S. barbecue sauce, bacon, horsey sauce, crispy onion, cheddar cheese and green onion.
Our food came out in a timely fashion. I ate a bite of creamy Mac N’ Cheese followed by a sliver of the pickles made in-house that come on the side while looking over my New Mexico Green Chili Burger. Roasted green chiles, yellow American cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce, tomato, vinegar mayo and yellow mustard piled high on the American Wagyu Kobe Beef patty.
The burger was so hardy I had to cut it in half. When I took a bite, the spicy flavor of the roasted green chiles mixed with the juicy beef and pickled red onion consumed my every taste bud. Zoe was smart to use her knife and fork, because after my first bite I had mayo and mustard on my face and a few green chiles on my hands.
Everyone ate their burgers to the very last pickle without much talking in between and no complaints on the burgers’ quality. For drinks, three burgers, and a side, the bill came to $50. The price of burgers ranges from $6.99 to $11.99. They get you on the sides, like the sweet potato fries and onion rings, which do not come with the burger, but separately for a price of $3 to $5.
“That’s a slammin’ place,” Zoe said after we paid the bill and left.
She said the next time she comes to visit Flash and me she hoped to return to Urban Stack.
Location: 12 West 13th Street
Hours: M–Th: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
F–Sat: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
SUN: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM