5 Star Burgers, Clayton, MO – More Green Chili in St. Louis

With all the talk of the Mayan apocalypse, most people probably missed that December 21st was also National Hamburger Day.  With burgers being one my favorite foods, of course I would use that excuse to try another burger place in St. Louis.  This time I tried 5 Star Burgers in Clayton.

What makes this place special?  They use all-natural, hormone free beef that is ground in house.  They also have some unique topping combinations as well as bringing in green chili’s from New Mexico.  In a city with a variety of burger choices, it’s the small details that will elevate a place above the rest.

I ordered the Dad’s green chili cheeseburger.  This is not my first green chili cheeseburger.  Ten years in New Mexico and I have tried a few.  This was cooked a perfect medium as ordered.    However, this rendition was unique with the addition of fried green chili’s and green chili mayo.  The fried green chili’s offered some crunch.  You get a nice slow burn from the green chili’s.  Dare I say better than many of the great green chili cheeseburgers of the Southwest?  Yes I do!

The burgers do not come with fries but there are options for sides.  I tried two of them:  cheese curds and sweet potato fries.  First up, the cheese curds.  WOW.  You can’t go wrong with melted cheese.  The batter was light and and they were served nice and hot.  I could see myself sitting at their bar enjoying some local craft beers snacking on these.  Sorry fries, this is my new favorite burger side.  The sweet potato fries were also very good but were overshadowed by the cheese curds.  I love the little fryer baskets they are served in as well.  Nice touch!

5 star burgers lives up to its’ name. It has a bright future in Clayton.  I look forward to ordering some of their other burgers on future visits.  Maybe they can make a burger with the cheese curds on them…hint hint.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  3.  Very nice modern interior.  It’s a family friendly atmosphere but you can also enjoy some fine adult beverages.  Although I did not sit at the bar, it was a very popular place.  With the selection of craft beers I noticed on tap, I could understand why.  Much nicer than your typical burger place.

Five Star Burgers on Urbanspoon

Southwest Diner – A Taste of New Mexico

Living in New Mexico for almost 10 years will change your palate.  Now that I am back in Missouri, I have green chiles shipped each fall to roast and store for the year.  Needless to say I was excited to see a restaurant open here serving New Mexican cuisine.

The key thing to know about New Mexican food is the answer to the question: “red or green?”  This is in reference to chile peppers and how you want them prepared.  I am a die-hard green chile fan.  However, for my first trip to the Southwest Diner, I opted for a Christmas (red and green) sausage breakfast burrito served enchilada style (smothered).

Sausage breakfast burrito served Christmas style.

The green was the closest thing I’ve had to a typical New Mexican green chile sauce since I left.  My only wish was that it was hotter.  The red was slightly hotter but still doesn’t pack the flavor or the texture of the green.  My preferences to green is based on a few things:

  • Better vehicle for the onion / garlic.  For those that have read other reviews, I talk a lot about garlic
  • Texture – the red can be a little more gritty.  I prefer the green since it has pieces of the meat of the chili pepper
  • The green is unique to the region and really unlike anything from elsewhere.
The ingredients in the breakfast burrito are pretty simple.  Besides the sauce and tortilla, you have eggs, potatoes, and meat of your choice.  The eggs were scrambled and were fluffy.  The potatoes were well seasoned.  I was surprised there were not more of them.    Most breakfast burritos in New Mexico are 1/3 to 1/2 potatoes (likely due to cost).  This had a lot of sausage patties chopped in it.
I also had a side of their cornmeal pancakes.

Small stack of cornmeal pancakes.

I was surprised how much I liked these.  At first bite you taste pancake, butter, and syrup.  You then notice that the texture is like cornbread and so is the finish / aftertaste.  I liked the sweetness to compliment the spice of the red sauce on the burrito.  I appreciated these pancakes more with each bite.  Before I knew it they were gone.

For those that have not had New Mexican cuisine before, I recommend trying Southwest Diner.  The breakfast burrito is the closest thing I have had to a real New Mexico one. If you are planning a trip to New Mexico, this is a great way to introduce yourself to the cuisine.  You can learn how to answer “red or green” and try chile at a St. Louis-hot level.

Dive 2 Five Scale – 3.  Nice local diner with a very friendly staff.  I suggest going early or off hours.  When I left there was a wait.  It is decorated with several things that reminded me of my days in Albuquerque.

Southwest Diner on Urbanspoon