A block and a half away from Louis’ Lunch, the birthplace of the original hamburger, a new burger joint opened last fall after the decline of Liberry at 45 High St. The burgers at High Street Burger are the sort-of healthier cousin of the standard burger, though: they’re steamed. (Incidentally, the steamed burger was born half an hour away in Meriden, Conn., at Ted’s Restaurant.)
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“So what exactly is a steamed burger?” I asked at High Street Burger. “It’s a burger,” was the response I go. “But steamed.” Okay, then. Helpful. Going off of that, I decided to forge bravely onward. I looked over the menu, which I have split into three different categories for your convenience. On Team Steam, there are burgers and hot dogs; on Team Bake, there are “loaded” potatoes; on Team-Neither-Steamed-Nor-Baked, there are shakes and frozen custard.
I decided to channel the spirit of yesterday’s sun with the California burger ($4.50; aged cheddar, avocado, tomato and watercress) and a cookies ‘n cream milkshake ($3.50).
The shake was milky and good enough, largely unremarkable. The whole point of the trip was the burger, though, so onto the burger I went.
Sizing it up before the first bite, it looked respectable. Not at all different from its grilled-patty counterpart. I took a bite. It was underwhelming. Surrounded by High Street Burger’s cheery orange walls, I wanted to like it. But the patty was bland, with only a gratuitous amount of cheese saving it from total blah status. I also like my burgers bleeding, but there was no risk of getting E. coli from this baby. And how was my burger dry if they steamed it?
Regardless, I do believe that one of the saltier options — the Texan burger, maybe, or the Buffalo burger, although as a Buffalonian I tend to steer away from Buffalo-flavored foods when I’m not home — might have some potential. And considering nothing on the menu is over $5, it will be worth another try.