Red Coat Burger
While the Burgermeisters specialize in New York burgers as a rule, Brad felt that it was time to check out a piece of Burgermeister history. While in his hometown of West Bloomfield, Michigan to visit his family for Thanksgiving, Brad took his mother, sisters, brother-in-law and stepfather the Red Coat Tavern, home of a burger that Brad calls “Ground Zero for Burgermeister Brad.” Since Burger Weekly is strictly restricted to New York restaurants, Foodies & Fatties seemed the natural home for this out-of-town Burger Adventure.
Burgers Ordered: Brad & Ronna – The Red Coat Burger & The Brasserie Burger; Ann & Justin – The Red Coat Burger
The Experience: Brad didn’t discover the Red Coat Burger until he began his adult life. Considered by most in the area to be the best burger in Metro Detroit, it wasn’t until Brad started making trips home from college that he discovered the burger on his twentieth birthday. From then on, Brad boasted that the Red Coat Tavern was home to the best burger in the world. Now, seven years later, Brad had sampled some of the best burgers outside of his home region and was eager to see how the burger he considers the origin of his burger-lust stacked up.
When he and his family arrived shortly after 8 o’clock the restaurant was PACKED. Told that a table of six would take an hour to be ready, Brad and his sister Tess took a seat at the bar to discuss the Burger Adventure game-plan. Tess and Brad’s stepfather Harry don’t eat red meat. Tess wanted to figure out a loophole to get her fish sandwich Burgermeister coverage, but sadly for her and Harry all they get is…
It didn’t take quite the full hour to be seated, and once Brad’s family was at the table they were quickly greeted by their waiter. The Waiter Culture at Red Coat was relaxed but professional, and because the place was so busy the wait staff was eager to get Brad’s family fed in a hurry. Brad thought that he, his mother Ronna, his sister Ann and her fella Justin would all get the Red Coat Burger. However, when Brad saw the Brasserie Burger on the specials menu he knew he had to have that too. It takes a great woman to raise a great Burgermeister, and Ronna proved she still had fantastic maternal instincts when she agreed to split both the Red Coat and Brasserie Burgers with Brad.
Taste: Justin had never had the Red Coat Burger before, but since he will soon be a part of Brad’s family it was something of a requirement that he do so. He was nervous because he doesn’t like onions, and the Red Coat Sauce that gives the burger its signature flavor might taste too much like onions for his taste. However, when asked how he liked the burger, this man of few words gave Brad a thumbs up and said the sauce was excellent and that he thoroughly enjoyed the burger. Ann wasn’t sure how to define her burger experience, and simply stated that like every other time she’s had the Red Coat Burger, it was the sauce that keeps her hooked.
Ronna, who has to be considered one of the Red Coat Burger’s biggest champions, was feverishly supportive of the Red Coat Burger and unsurprisingly antagonistic of the Brasserie Burger. Brad knew this would happen, because she’s very averse to change. The Brasserie Burger was a half-pound patty, just like the Red Coat Burger, topped with Swiss Gruyere cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and watercress on a buttered brioche bun. Because she was so biased against this specialty burger before it even arrived, Brad decided not to ask her opinion of it and just run it down himself.
For his part, Brad felt that the Brasserie Burger patty was cooked perfectly medium rare. Though not the most flavorful burger he ever tasted, he felt that the watercress gave it a fantastic crunch and the buttered brioche bun added the zing the patty might have lacked. Sadly, the bacon was a bit dry and the onions did not add much to the experience. At around ten dollars this burger would be acceptable at a New York City restaurant, but not worth it’s price in suburban southeast Michigan. The saving grace for this burger was the Dijon mustard that Brad ordered on the side. With every slathering swipe of his knife he added a condiment that completely brought the sandwich together and made him finish it in what seemed like no time at all.
As expected, Ronna praised her Red Coat Burger. For her the meat was perfect and the sauce was as fantastic as she remembered it being. Brad’s experience was similar, but somewhat disheartening. Now spoiled by dozens of notable burgers, the Red Coat Burger’s patty, though cooked precisely medium rare was not as flavorful as he remembered it being. Having ordered extra Red Coat Sauce on the side for his fries, Brad drowned his burger in the sauce. He said that the Red Coat Burger was good enough for his nostalgia kick, and probably the best burger in the area, but not the best burger he’s ever had.
Ann and Justin shared an Ice Cream Burger for dessert. This has nothing to do with anything, but Brad felt that this review needed more photos and the dessert had the word “burger” in its name.
Verdict: In a sad moment, Brad realized that he can no longer use the Red Coat Burger as a barometer for burger quality in New York, as many of his Burger Weekly Adventures have delivered him superior burgers. Truly, he can only hope that Red Coat Sauce somehow makes its way to New York’s Pommes Frites: Authentic Belgian Fries, so that he can continue to dip quality potatoes in this delicious concoction for the rest of his life.
The Red Coat Tavern is located at 31542 Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, Michigan and 6745 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.
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