Thursday, May 21, 2015

Celebrating #BurgerMonth at Max's Wine Dive and The Boiler House

May is National Burger Month, and it's dedicated to celebrating the American classic! What’s not to love about burgers? They’re portable and versatile – you’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to creative toppings and flavors. Like many of you, I love burgers…so I was very excited when two San Antonio restaurants invited me to try their Burger Month menu offerings. Max’s Wine Dive and The Boiler House are both very popular restaurants here in San Antonio…and for good reason. Both restaurants offer fun, upscale casual environments – and amazing food and drinks! I invited a friend to come along for the fun, and we sampled a duo of creative burgers at both locations.

First up was a visit to Max’s Wine Dive, which has six Texas locations in San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and DFW -- as well as locations in Denver and Atlanta. Max's is a great place to meet friends to enjoy their fun atmosphere, upscale casual food, and extensive wine offerings. Max’s Burger Month special is the savory Poutine Burger…topped with juicy pulled pork, crispy fries, savory gravy, and feta cheese. It was a delicious – and messy – burger. Max's juicy burger patties are made with a combination of short rib, brisket, chuck, and beef belly. We loved the flavor combo of pork paired with the beef patty. The freshly fried truffle chips served on the side were warm and delicious.
The second burger we tried was the Signature Blend Burger from Max's year-round menu. This burger is customizable to add your favorite toppings. We selected nutty Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and roasted mushrooms. This fabulous burger had tons of umami going on…my kind of burger! It was paired with a fabulous glass of smooth, lush Last Judgment Red Wine Blend.

After digesting our Max’s Wine Burgers, we visited Boiler House at the historic Pearl Brewery entertainment complex a few days later. This is one of my favorite places to grab a bite in San Antonio, because Chef Jeff White comes up with so many creative menu items. His Burger Month offerings are no exception! My friend and I shared a duo of fun burgers: the fun Jacky Treehorn and the decadent gourmet Foie Gras Burger. The Jacky Treehorn is from Boiler House’s lunch menu, and it was one of the best burgers I’ve tasted in ages. It features a juicy Kobe beef patty, lemon chive aioli, tart prickly pear jam, applewood smoked bacon, house-made queso...and rich foie gras peanut butter. Yes, this burger is a bit messy...but the best burgers often are!
If you think peanut butter on a burger is strange…don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! The flavor combination worked amazingly well. I have to mention that the house-made potato salad served alongside this burger was the very best I’ve ever had in a restaurant. It was equal parts zesty from grainy mustard and super creamy from house-made mayo.
The Foie Gras Burger is a foodie’s dream come true. Listen to these components and tell me you’re mouth isn’t watering. A Kobe beef patty is paired with truffle aioli, house-made butter pickles, local stout-braised onions, tomato jam, cambazola cheese, candied bacon, and a slab of seared foie gras. This over-the-top burger was a symphony of flavors, and the house-made chiccarones (pork rinds) served on the side were pure comfort. If you like your burgers on the decadent side, this one’s definitely for you! Our burgers were paired with smooth red wine and Convict Hill oatmeal stout. I’m not normally a dark beer drinker, but the Convict Hill paired nicely with the rich Kobe beef.
We left The Boiler House full and satisfied! Burger Month burgers for Max’s Wine Dive and The Boiler House are available through the end of May, and The Boiler House will add the Foie Gras Burger to its permanent dinner menu starting in June. For burger lovers, any of the varieties featured in this article are a sure winner!

Disclosure: Max’s Wine Dive and The Boiler House hosted us for burger tastings to facilitate our Burger Month coverage. All opinions expressed are solely  my own.

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