by Kat Robinson
I put out a call yesterday for lunch suggestions on my Facebook page -- I mean, after all, I give a lunch suggestion every weekday, it’s about time I listened to someone else, right? Catherine Lawrence suggested I try the Bistro Burgers at Lulav. Strangely enough, I hadn’t considered that.
So I went. And if they’re all as good as the two I sampled, whoo boy. Them’s good eatin’.
Though that’s not the sort of vernacular you’re going to hear in such a swanky place. Lulav bills itself as a “modern eatery.” Its chocolate milk-colored walls are decked out with oil paintings, copper accents and wine bottles (mostly full), and the music is soft adult contemporary hits. The wood is dark, the napkins are golden yellow, and there’s a wine glass and matching dinnerware at every place set at each table. Not the sort of place you’d consider finding a mighty fine burger, that’s for sure.
And when you read the menu and see that the burgers are meant for sharing, you might second or third guess the suggestion to have a burger lunch there. After all, 2.5 ounces of meat isn’t even 1/6th of a pound, and at $2.75 each they seem pricey. And that whole ground steak thing -- we’ve seen that before, and it’s been dry served up elsewhere.
But when a reader suggests something I take it seriously. I scanned the 15 burgers for a couple to try. Some were predictable, like the American (lettuce, tomato, pickle) and the Hoppin’ Jack (jalapenos and pepper jack cheese); some seemed weird, like the El Greco (Kalamata olives, mission fig and Feta cheese). But most of them seemed a little inventive. I chose a couple and paired them with a salad.
Didn’t take long to get my lunch. The Montalcino salad was nice and salty, being a mix of greens, Feta cheese, sliced almonds and a vinaigrette. It was served in a small bowl, which meant I didn’t get vinaigrette on the bun of my burgers. That’s great.
I tried the Monte Carlo, which had a nice lump of crabmeat and a chili sauce on top. It came out almost sweet and a little corny, and gave the burger a taste similar to a crab cake. I also picked up a Santa Fe, which I really liked. The red bell pepper flavor echoed through the assemblage, nicely roasted and tied in well with the pepper jack cheese and the chipotle mayo. Both burger patties were apparently hand-patted and thoroughly seasoned. I was surprised by how moist the burgers were. The specially made buns are very lightly toasted and fit in your hand really well.
I didn’t realize side items came with the burger, so I was quite surprised to not find anything about the salad on my receipt. So if you think about it, $5.50 for two burgers and a salad? That’s a pretty cheap lunch for something that good. And it was filling.
Now, when I was leaving, I overheard one of the wait staff talk about the desserts. Kinda wish I’d stuck around for the Tequila Crème Brule. That sounded interesting.
Lulav is a smoking establishment according to the sign on the door, but I didn’t see anyone smoking the whole time I was inside. That also means it’s 21+ only. It’s located at 220 West 6th Street. You’re probably going to have to pay to park unless you want to walk a few blocks. The bistro lunch is available Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Worth a shot. Check out the website for more information.