Home Wine Kitchen – Maplewood, MO – Burger Night!

I have been receiving emails showing Home Wine Kitchen’s weekly menus ever since my first trip to Table.  While there have been many that have intrigued me, I never found myself taking that extra step and trying the place out.  In one of the more recent emails, something caught my eye: Burger Night.    For $15 you get a burger, one side, and local craft beer.  Sign…me..up!

Let me first give you some details about Burger Night.  It runs every Sunday from 3 – 9 P.M.  During that time you can get the burger special with either their famous house burger or the ever changing market burger.  Each burger has a specific side that it comes with and they select one beer for the night.  Sounds pretty simple right?

Instead of making the potentially tough decision, I gave both burgers a try.  First up, the award winning house burger. The house burger was topped with bacon, cheese, garlic aioli and an egg.

house burger

All burgers are prepared medium rare unless you specify differently.   The burger was very soft and juicy.  There was no chance this was over cooked.  The egg was just the way I like it, very runny.  I’m in love with this burger.  For this reason alone, I already know I will make a return trip.  I did feel bad for the house made chips.  Even though they were a great side, nothing stands a chance on a plate next to this burger.  

The market special was the Texas burger.  It was topped with BBQ sauce, onion rings, and blue cheese.

Texas Burger

This one was also cooked as expected. I had tried the house burger first so this one was not as exciting for me.  It was heavy on the blue cheese so most of the other flavors were lost.  I did enjoy the polenta fries and want to try to make my own at home.

My first visit to Home Wine Kitchen’s Burger Night was a great success.  This will not be the last time I will have their house burger.  This burger would be in my top 5 for St. Louis.  What would be in your top 5 list?

Dive 2 Five Scale:  3.  I hit burger night early and it was easy to get in. The burgers take 15 minutes to prepare, but it’s worth every second.  I was impressed with the service as the server was very attentive.  He also asked about my thoughts on both burgers.

One thing to note, I bet I have walked past Home Wine Kitchen several times.   It’s in a great location on Manchester in Maplewood, but the exterior isn’t overly flashy.  You have to pay attention or you may miss it.  The inside is rustic with a lot of wood.  It’s warm and inviting.  

???????????????????????????????

Carl’s Drive In,St. Louis, MO – Burgers with an Edge

Recently I read a list of the top 10 burger places in the US and it inspired me to pay homage to the one closest to where I call home, Carl’s Drive In.

Carl’s is a tiny place with only 16 bar stools.  They serve burgers smashed on the grill so they have delightfully crispy edges.  For good reason, the terms “burger” and “crispy” typically don’t end up in a sentence together.  This burger is the exception to that rule.  I’m instantly whisked away to burger nirvana at the first crispy bite.  They are pretty small patties, I typically order a triple cheese.  Anything less a double should be considered a kid’s meal.

DSC00503

When you go, you must pair their burger with Carl’s homemade root beer.  They serve it in an ice-cold frosty mug.  The root beer alone will have you coming back.  They serve standard “out-of-the-bag” fries that are on the thick side.  The fries are still an adequate side and do not detract the focus from the burger.

Carl’s Drive In is a place that I get a craving for every month or two.  There isn’t another place like it. This place is on my must do list for anyone that visits.  I agree that it deserves a spot in any top 10 burger lists due to its’ uniqueness and their ability to crank out top-notch burgers.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  2.  The typical complaints for this place are:

  • It’s too small and I have to stand.
  • The wait staff can be a little “gruff” or “direct”.
  • It’s cash only.

Personally I think those are very petty reasons to miss out on a St. Louis institution.  I have never had to stand to eat.  They are extremely efficient in rotating people through the 16 bar stools.  Most people that go there have been several times so they do expect that most people know what they want when they are asked.  Do your homework, arrive ready, and enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience.

Carl's Drive in on Urbanspoon