Chef Pete Repak makes his burger with a blend of naturally raised brisket and short rib. The juicy meat is packed with flavor, a necessary characteristic to stand up to the array of aromatic toppings. First, it sits on a sweet and smoky chile-tomato jam. Then, it is covered in aged raw milk cheddar – a rich and creamy cheese. This is adorned with arugula and pickled sweet onions. An optional addition of hickory-smoked bacon is offered. But seriously, bacon is never an option; it’s a requirement.
In our humble opinion, good burgers shine in their simplicity: well-cooked meat on a soft bun with minimal toppings. This is not the case with DryHop’s burger. Rather, it is remarkable in its complexity. The chile-tomato sauce, which soaks into the bottom bun, contrasts against the bright pickled onions. It may read like the burger patty itself is an afterthought to these sophisticated toppings. No, it is the glue, the baseline, that ties the flavors together.
When ordering such an overpowering burger, be careful with the beer pairings. DryHop’s portfolio of in-house brews is very hops-forward. But this burger requires something more refreshing, like the Batch 001, a semi-sweet "pre-Prohibition cream ale and steam beer hybrid." Trust us, between the burger and side of beef fat fries seasoned with hops salt and served with garlic parmesan aioli and house-made dragon sauce, this dish needs little more than a glass of water and a napkin to enjoy.