After reading a few reviews on MLRR, I thought it time to drive a few extra miles, and check the place out. Mondays are usually slow for me, and the fact that this place offers 50% off all burgers on the first day of the week gave me added incentive to drive ALMOST to Norristown. On DeKalb (202), just past Front (before you hit the bridge that gives this burg its name) there is a HUGE parking lot. This place could accommodate quite a gathering. The industrial/tech interior has two floors. I sat at the bar.
The first thing I noticed was a pungent aroma (and of course, there IS beer being brewed here, so the malt and hops in various stages of fermentation are apparent.) You do get accustomed to it. I once found myself in Golden Colorado where the entire TOWN smelled like this due to the Coors brewery up the hill. Indulging in my first 16oz Batch #1 Pale Ale put it entirely out of my mind.
It was not particularly busy.. one other customer taking advantage of the burger special. I went with the highest-end “Prof” burger.. Australian Wagyu with pork belly, smoked gouda, tomato/chipotle aioli, and onion straws on a slightly sweet brioche bun. It came out less than 10 minutes after ordering.
The beef itself was extraordinary, though cooked medium – one notch above the medium-rare I had requested. I would estimate these are 4.5 – 5 oz burgers, so I’m sure the chef was conservative. Pork belly was similar to good thick-sliced unsalted, un-smoked bacon and added a nice chew to the texture. Onion straws added a subtly crispiness and the gouda contributed a hint of smoke. The aioli was subtle, but I’m sure tied things together nicely. I was quite pleased for the $8.50 special, but I suspect if I had paid the full $15 full freight, I might have been less so. It was a VERY good, but not EXTRAORDINARY burger when all was said and done. Fries were about as ordinary as fries can get.
In true neo-neo-hipster fashion (apparently linguists have forgotten that ORIGINAL hipsters were from the 40’s and predated beatniks and then hippies – the current generation supersede the “Seattle/Kurt Cobain/Flannel shirt” hipsters) the fries are served with SEA SALT. Sea Salt is Sodium Chloride (NaCl) and is virtually indistinguishable from mined salt (which originally came from the sea anyway.) But I digress. The fries were basic Bb frozen fries. I’m glad I did not pay additional for artificial truffle flavoring.
I finished the meal with an outstanding 4oz DIPA called “Zone of Danger.” I am convinced if you go here primarily for the beer, the food will be much better viewed as an accompaniment.
Service was OK. My hipster-ess bartender was cordial and efficient, but unaware of procedures such as asking “How is everything” a few minutes after serving. Granted, she was never more than 15 feet away, and I could have summoned her if there had been an issue, but IMO, that is just a part of service that old farts like me expect. Maybe I’m closer to the original hipster era, but I still appreciate the traditional courtesy.
I would absolutely go back (more for the beer than the food) but would be willing to give other items a try based on the quality of the burger.