We made it back to Burger 21 in Latham for our second burger recently. I wanted to try a chicken burger since I’d just had a great beef burger the day before at City Squire in Schenectady (I don’t know if they have a new cook or what, but their burgers have really stepped up a couple of notches in the past months, from ‘decent, sometimes pretty good’ to ‘consistently great and sometimes amazing’). I opted for the Buffalo Chicken Burger, described on the menu thusly:
“A crispy buffalo chicken burger, lettuce, tomato, bleu cheese crumbles, ranch dressing, toasted sesame bun”
What did I get?
That’s a big burger
Yeah, pretty much as described. Even pretty much as shown on the website’s menu and don’t tell me that’s not a little bit amazing. Look at the size of that danged thing! I was actually a little thrown off, trying to figure out how to get the burger into my face.
The chicken burger, a fried breast (not a ground chicken burger), was indeed crispy, hot, and tasty. I didn’t taste anything ‘buffalo’ about the burger itself, instead the ranch and cheese crumbles on top were joined by a decent splash of buffalo sauce. I brushed off most of the lettuce. The tomato, as expected this time of year, was pretty pale and lame. The bun was fine, nothing fancy. As you can see, you get an extra little cup of ranch.
I was very pleased with the heat level of this burger. At first the level of spiciness was pretty tame, but by the time I was done a nice, gentle burn had developed, never getting what you would call hot, but it was noticeable. Towards the end I added on some of the ranch for extra creaminess. It was filling with a shared regular sized fries, without being too much. I would definitely get this again.
We tried a few more of the sauce bar options this time. The apple cider sauce was OK, a little weird to me, my wife seemed to like it more. I’m not sure what I’d want it on. I also went for the toasted marshmallow sauce. Wow. Mistake. I’m not sure what it is that people like about this. My wife and I both found it absolutely foul. She couldn’t even identify any marshmallow, but I definitely could taste marshmallow in between the foul initial taste and unpleasant aftertaste. Bleh. On the other hand, the Thai ketchup remains super tasty.
Pretty impressed so far after two visits to Burger 21. I don’t think I can actually compare it to Five Guys, which I also had recently. They’re just really different. If they were equidistant I think I would go to Burger 21 more often for the wider array of options, despite the prices being a bit high, but sometimes I would still crave the simple, melty, juicy package of a Five Guys cheeseburger. Love the fact that they’re offering “little” fries now, a much more reasonable portion. Basically the regular size without the overflow.