Let us give thanks for the blessed burger - Albuquerque Journal

Let us give thanks for the blessed burger

Near Downtown Albuquerque, you’d be hard pressed to throw a brioche roll and not hit a new burger joint. Spring and summer of 2011 brought myriad options to the ground-meat-on-buns fan club, from rustic to gourmet and everything in between.

On Central just west of Interstate 25, the long-empty and (occasionally) missed Bob’s Fish n’ Chips has been converted by Chris Medina to a burger shrine called Holy Cow.

Chris and kitchen master Steve Jarrett have worked together in Santa Fe’s fine-dining scene and bring that attention to quality to the Duke City’s EDo neighborhood. The former temple of bargain fries and deep-fried fish was gutted and restored with gorgeous floors and open seating split between high and low tables and half booths along the wall, and a cozy patio out front for these last temperate fall days. Don’t miss the restaurant’s namesake on the counter – a halo’ed bovine figurine with a tunneled-out midsection, the literal “holy cow.”

Holy Cow Burgers
LOCATION: 700 E. Central at High Street, 242-2991
HOURS: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; until 11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays

No matter where you sit, you’ll quickly scan the short menu for inspiration. Start with a sweet house sangria with fruit to set the stage for a relaxing meal. If your tastes run more hoppy than grapey, try any one of the beers on tap. This is still a burger joint, however, so go ahead and spring for an ice cream float or malt ($5). Holy Cow has won me over on vanilla malts, having spent most of my life convinced that the only malt was chocolate.

Sipping your beverage of choice buys a few minutes to await your food. Of course you ordered the green chile cheeseburger ($9.50) – it is the benchmark item in this state, after all. It will arrive on a bun of unnecessary height, cooked to a tender pink medium under the cheddar and chile. Once you figure out how to get your teeth around a bite, you’ll realize that the thick brioche gathers up juices with aplomb.

Toppings by the dozen are available for the grass-fed burgers, from roasted red peppers to a fried egg, allowing for endless customization.

Rather than standard fries, I invite you to ponder onion rings ($3.50), batter-dipped with just the right balance between golden crunch and sweet soft interior. Sweet potato fries ($3) are notable for their creamy jalapeño dipping sauce, and it’s safe to say that only zucchini fans will like the green-skinned breaded fries ($3.50).

Other entrees work hard to make the burger-averse content and satiated. I’ve had one of the better salads in town at Holy Cow: The Chicken Cherry Salad ($9) piles on gorgonzola, almonds, dried cherries and diced chicken in a mountainous presentation nearly toppling over at the first stab – this is not a salad to order dressing “on the side.”

Sandwiches are not overlooked, either – the Grilled Chicken ($9) slides in-between cheese, red peppers and basil mayonnaise, making for a messy yet tasty fistful of food.

Those looking for a burger of a different stripe will find no mealy veggie burgers here, but you can opt for a thick cut of grilled eggplant as your patty, with or without the cheese. I’ve also heard good things about the BLT that includes a fried egg, putting into action my theory that nearly everything is better “with an egg on it.”

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