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Blanc Burgers + Bottles


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I hate to draw comparisons, but the fact that blanc burgers + bottles and chefBURGER–both offering “fancy” hamburgers–opened within a month of each other makes it inevitable.

From what I’ve seen, there’s no doubt that chefBURGER wins by a good stretch. On certain points, I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two. I don’t think these two restaurants are even in the same league. I’m not sure that chefBURGER ever intended or intends to compete directly with blanc. chefBURGER caters to the sports and beer crowds of the Power & Light District. blanc holds court in Westport, where the yuppies, hipsters, and Bohemians hang.

But, as I stated, I think that comparison and competition is inevitable. blanc is a sit-idown service restaurant. It has a bar and an impressive beer list. Their burger selection, though not as comprehensive (or inflated) as chefBURGER’s, is more focused and clean. Presentations are pretty, service is lovely and rather efficient, and blanc’s ingredients and flavors pop more. The prices are pretty comparable, with blanc averaging about $2 more per burger. And, loudness and haze aside, I like the feel of blanc more than chefBURGER, which has all the personality of a high school cafeteria. The only advantage that chefBURGER has over blanc burgers + bottles–and this is a minor one–is that it has a great website. blanc, inexplicably, only has a “My Space” page. Now THAT’S high school.

I’ve been to chefBURGER only once and blanc burgers + bottles twice. I need to visit both more to reach a more definite verdict. But, I think chefBURGER needs to pull out some pretty impressive game in order to change my mind. Judging by the crowds, I don’t think I'm alone.

To read the food portion of my review, visit the ulterior epicure.

I’m confused – did you mean “ From what I’ve seen, there’s no doubt that blanc wins by a good stretch.”?

Ay. You *should* be confused.

Yes, I meant blanc wins by a stretch. :wacko:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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We love Blanc. Josh is a great guy. It's in our hood also. But I loved Chefburger too. It's unfortunate they opened their doors so close together. It would have been nice for them both to have their time without constantly being compared to each other.

I can’t believe how freakin hard Rob works. The guy is an animal. I hope he finds his franchise in one of his (or more than one) operations. He’s a great chef, he will no doubt succeed with one or all of them.

“Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own." - Sydney J. Harris

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We love Blanc. Josh is a great guy. It's in our hood also.

I wish blanc were in my neighborhood.

But I loved Chefburger too. It's unfortunate they opened their doors so close together. It would have been nice for them both to have their time without constantly being compared to each other.

I can’t believe how freakin hard Rob works. The guy is an animal. I hope he finds his franchise in one of his (or more than one) operations. He’s a great chef, he will no doubt succeed with one or all of them.

Agreed. Like I said, I don't think the two are aiming at the same target.

But, that doesn't explain or excuse sloppy and poor execution, which is what I got at chefBURGER. I've made my thoughts about it known on that thread (and on my blog).

I had *really* hoped to like chefBURGER more than I did. I too admire Dalzell's entrepreneurial tenacity. I don't know how many times you've been to chefBURGER, but I've acknowledged that I've been once and that I need to go back. I think chefBURGER has great potential, but based on my one visit, it hasn't achieved it as quickly or with the same deft as blac has.

pizza bella was wobbly at first, but recently, it's been great. It's my favorite of Dalzell's restaurants.

I hope chefBURGER matures with as much grace, given some time.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I guess what I'm trying to say is that, at this time, blanc is better for what it is than chefBURGER is for what chefBURGER is.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Ate a Blanc today. What a great place. I had the pork burger and my friend had the kobe burger. Both were very tasty.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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Our waiter at Blanc said they do make the pickles in-house (or at least that's what they told me).

I've been to ChefBurger twice and Blanc once, and I come out pretty similarly to ulterior epicure, I think.

Blanc is terrific, ChefBurger doesn't move me.

I guess I ought to try Pizza Bella again. My visit was fairly recent, within the past couple months, and rather disappointing.

Here's the Blanc write-up from a couple weeks ago visit:

The burgers at Blanc are thick, juicy bar burgers, probably ½ pound or so. The bottles refer to the large collection (100+) of beers and specialty sodas. No beers on tap, but the bottle selection is pretty good. They also have a list of specialty cocktails of uncertain quality, but they take seem as if they take them seriously anyway.

The four of us at our table all ordered different burgers—a classic, a burger au poivre, an “inside-out” burger stuffed with a ball of blue cheese, and a buffalo burger. Besides me, who ordered the classic, everyone’s own was their favorite, and mine was excellent.

I like baseline measurements so I ordered a basic cheeseburger. Probably the best I’ve had in town. It came out medium rare as requested, the beef was obviously fresh, the buns were terrific, from a local bakery. I couldn’t ask for anything more in a burger.

The blue cheese burger, with bacon, was decadent…a gooey, delicious, mess.

The peppercorn burger was nice twist.

The buffalo should have been cooked rarer (though it wasn’t ordered thus), but still tasted great.

I wasn’t eating with people who are food-weird and would typically pass around all our food for sampling, but all four burgers got passed around the table.

The fries, ordered a la carte, are terrific also—fresh cut, fresh fried. You have the option of regular fries, parmesan truffle fries, and sweet potato fries. All are excellent.

I like ketchup on fries, and homemade ketchups aren’t usually much added value for me, but they deliver one here that is quite satisfying. Rich and unique, but not so novel that it makes one miss Heinz—a rare feat in my opinion. There’s also a chipotle aioli and homemade mustard that accompany.

The fries come in little paper lined shopping carts, which are cute and impressive to people who like cute. The restaurant is largely white (blanc), contemporary décor, with chairs more comfortable than they appear.

Oh, and pickles, also made in-house, are excellent.

Service was good, a bit over-the-top for my taste in terms of giving the spiel—how local and concerned the chef was about every detail—but not in an obnoxious way. He was enthusiastic about recommending beers to taste, and delivered. (With some luck, I suspect, as he first tried to bring one of the ladies an Abita Purple Haze, which I find miserable. When it was unavailable, he subbed Delirium Tremens, which is one of my faves and a huge hit. There were two or three different beers unavailable, oddly enough.)

In any event, I was fully prepared to find this place overhyped and overpriced, but I really enjoyed it, and the best burger I’ve had in quite some time.

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I guess I ought to try Pizza Bella again.  My visit was fairly recent, within the past couple months, and rather disappointing.

I'd be curious to hear about your recent experience on the pizza bella thread.

I like baseline measurements so I ordered a basic cheeseburger.  Probably the best I’ve had in town.  It came out medium rare as requested, the beef was obviously fresh, the buns were terrific, from a local bakery.  I couldn’t ask for anything more in a burger.

Don't quote me on this, but I *think* that their m.o. is medium, unless otherwise requested.

The fries, ordered a la carte, are terrific also—fresh cut, fresh fried.  You have the option of regular fries, parmesan truffle fries, and sweet potato fries.  All are excellent.

Yes, that they are made in-house and manage to still be excellent is truly thrilling.

I like ketchup on fries, and homemade ketchups aren’t usually much added value for me, but they deliver one here that is quite satisfying.  Rich and unique, but not so novel that it makes one miss Heinz—a rare feat in my opinion.  There’s also a chipotle aioli and homemade mustard that accompany.

Agreed on the ketchup. The homemade mustard (I'm fairly certain that it's an aioli base) was my favorite.

In any event, I was fully prepared to find this place overhyped and overpriced, but I really enjoyed it, and the best burger I’ve had in quite some time.

Echo.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 11 months later...

I stopped at Blanc today with two of the harshest critics, a 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy with pretty good palates. The first thing I noticed was the great deal on lunch: $8 for a burger and side dish, either fries, onion rings, etc. or one of the salads. Considering that alacarte, some of these burgers alone were in the $6-10 range, quite a good deal.

I had the au poivre with sweet potato fries, boy cousin had the classic with a Caesar salad, and girl cousin decided to be quite teenagery and have just the Caesar, despite the fact that we chose the place because burgers sounded the best. The burgers were great, and big, but not too huge. I hate "gourmet" burgers that are too big and/messy to fit into your mouth. Sweet potato fries were outstanding. They're my fave burger side dish, and these had the perfect amount of crispness. I didn't try the ketchup that came with the triple condiment tray, but the mustard and other sauce (horseradishy maybe?) were pretty good. Boy cousin gobbled his burger. And girl cousin said it was one of the best Caesars she's ever had; she really liked the capers and said they were a nice twist.

We'll definitely be trying this place again when we're in KC, and we have some relatives that are going to be in and out of St. Luke's, so it's good to know this is within walking distance. I'll be trying the butter lettuce salad and either the classic or pork "burger" next time we're in. Or the onion rings and bison. Or the calamari fries and meatloaf "burger." :D

http://www.blancburgers.com/

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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