When Salvation Burger opened in January, we knew immediately: our Instagram feed was flooding with pictures of what we now know is The Classic, a masterpiece of a cheeseburger, double decker and oozing with sauce. It looked great, but you know, it was another burger place in a city blooming with new restaurants to try and favorites to return to. The circumstances changed, though, after Emily was forced to part with all four of her wisdom teeth as well as a week’s worth of solid food. There was only one way for her to survive her sad, pain-fueled fast: the promise of SALVATION BURGER at the end.
The day we planned to go, food critic Pete Wells gave Salvation Burger a star review. We considered this a lucky sign, and used his review as a cheat sheet for what to order. There was no wait, and we got the best seats in the house: the bar overlooking where the food was being prepared. The chefs there are really artists: the man preparing slices of banana pie was so extremely precise in placing shards of banana “glass,” watching him was like being at the theater.
We had to order the chili: also we were starving, and needed something fast. The portion size was relatively small, but it was topped off with a giant dollop of sour cream, fistfuls of cheese, onions, cilantro, and watermelon radish, with a surprising sprinkle of corn nuts on top. Chunks of the most tender meat you can imagine suspended in magically rich, spicy sauce made it the chili of our dreams. Olivia, who is no stranger to cooking chili herself, said multiple times that it was the best chili she’s had in her life. Take note, homesick Texans: with the corn nuts, it could almost pass for Frito Pie.
Salvation Burger: 11/10
This burger is a bit in flux: sometimes it appears with mushrooms and cheese, sometimes with caramelized onions, taleggio, and crispy onions on top. The night we went, it was caramelized onions, ramp butter, and taleggio. It sounds completely disgusting to put onion flavored butter on top of already greasy meat, with soft cheese. We know how bad that sounds. But this burger was truly of the gods. From our first bite, until minutes after we finished, we were unable to speak any words but, “holy shit.” One of us is not proud to admit it, but she took a french fry in her hands to soak up some precious ramp butter and then ate it, and it was the best thing in the world.
Classic Burger: 6/10
If the Salvation Burger was an actor, it would be Jon Hamm (ha): classy, tall, handsome, and a bit over the top. If the Classic Burger was an actor, it would be… Seth Rogen. We love Seth Rogen, but it’s kind of hard to be satisfied by Seth after
a whirlwind romance an encounter with Jon Hammburger. It was two thin double patties smothered in cheese and sauce — really, it was the burger flooding our social feeds — but it just didn’t hold up for us. Both of us wondered if Shake Shack made a better burger. Our advice? Skip the Classic and stick to the Salvation for burger bliss.