Topeka Eats: The Burger Stand

The Burger Stand is located in the College Hill section of Topeka (16th & Lane, across from Washburn U). I took the fam this past Wednesday night as sort of treat and an apology from me for being absolutely crazy busy since Labor Day.

Loved the atmosphere. With a Fat Tire bicycle over the bar along with the O’Dell posters on the wall, it felt like I’d just been dropped into Fort Collins. I will say that those who have smaller kids – toddler and younger – this could be a pretty overwhelming experience. You order at the bar, the menu is in chalk, there really isn’t a kid menu. So folks with little families – might not be the best experience for you. We had our 3 kiddos with us but they are older.

Here’s what we ordered:

The Classic – white cheddar cheese burger with greens. This was probably the best burger I’ve had in a long, long time. Just a good ole, thick, juicy burger and the white cheddar was perfect. Every one of ours was cooked to perfection.

Corn Dawg – one of the kids ordered this. You know those frozen corn dogs that you get at a fair? This was nothing like it. This was the Cadillac of Corn Dogs. Think of a great big foot-long Nathan’s hotdog dipped in a special beer-batter, fried to perfection.

The Fry menu took a little explaining. They’ve got regular fries, sweet potato, duck fat, truffle, and onion rings. Duck Fat Fries are fried in duck fat, then tossed in some seasoned salt and some chives. I REALLY wanted to try these and one day I will go back and get them. But after dropping all this weight – I just could not bring myself to even say the words Duck Fat, let alone order something and put it in my mouth. But I will…

Truffle Fries – from what I could get gather from the cashier, is basically fries tossed in some truffle oil. I will admit that I am no food snob so I can’t really tell you if this is at all a good thing or not. I know that truffles are expensive and they are this “amazing, wonderful” ingredient that you can only get if you are cooking on some chef elimination tv show like Chopped, Masterchef, or Next Food Network Star.

We ordered:
Regular Fries: Pretty regular. Nothing to write home about.

Onion Rings: The beer-battered rings have a distinct taste. First, you can taste the beer in the batter – which is unusual in most places. Second, it’s not the sweet batter that most use but has a little bitter to it. We had mixed reviews at our table. Some liked them, some hated them. I think I would have liked them but I had ordered something else and after tasting them – nothing else was going to taste good. What was that?

Sweet Potato Fries: Oh. My. Gosh. I have a love/hate relationship with sweet potato fires. There are some places that use so much cinnamon and carmel and sugar that I just can’t eat them. It’s like eating fried sugar. These were cooked perfectly. Not artificially sweet, just fried perfectly with a little salt and let the sweet potato stand on its own. PERFECTION. These were the hit of the night as I had to fight off Amy from eating them.

Sauces: The Burger Stand really stands out as a Gourmet Burger place with their sauces. They don’t just have ketchup or mustard or if your my daughter – mayonnaise. (Why would you put mayo on a burger??? Ughhhh…) Each sauce has a twist to it. The ketchup has some heat to it along with a hint of cherry. Mustard has some heat as well but I didn’t taste it so I can’t really attest to it. It may sound weird, but they all got great reviews from our table. Except from my youngest kid – she wanted normal ketchup for that corn dog. Oh well…she survived.

Other Menu Items:

They’ve got a vegetarian menu (why???) that seems to be pretty good. Sun-dried and truffle and all those other key vegetarian words were used on the menu so I guess that is good.

They also have a variety of “Dawgs” and Brats on the menu. They look pretty amazing but I just have a hard time ordering a hot dog anywhere except at a ballpark. There other burgers are going to be on my menu the next time I go. A Kobe burger, a Black & Blue Burger, Fire, and Smoke are also on the menu.

$$$ – Our bill came in under $50. For a family of 5, that’s not ridiculously expensive but it was a bit more than just fast food. We didn’t order drinks either – waters for everybody. For the quality of food we got – I feel like it was a great price. Amy and I will absolutely come back by ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been out and wanted just a good ole burger in a local joint without having to go through the ‘sit down, wait, order, get, shove it down because they are waiting on that table’ experience.

In hindsight, we could have saved a few pennies by just ordering a couple of large baskets of fries instead of each of us getting a half basket. We had plenty of fries – except for the sweet potato ones. Every crumb of those were licked up. Neither one of our older kids finished their burgers completely. That’s how big and thick those puppies are. So we probably could have split a burger between them.

Overall Experience:
Outstanding. Folks were friendly, food was great. I have a feeling that this will become one of our favorite ‘splurge’ places to eat.

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