Burger joint of the week: Red Door | Rock Candy

Burger joint of the week: Red Door

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FLAT STACKED:  Two chargrilled patties on a Mamas Manna bun at Red Door.
  • Kat Robinson
  • FLAT STACKED: Two chargrilled patties on a Mama's Manna bun at Red Door.
Little Rock diners already know Red Door for great brunches on the weekends, amazing baby back ribs, the place to get your old Bene Vita kicks and some Blue Mesa cheese dip. But how’s the burger? I noticed a while back that the Little Rock Burger Caucus planned a trip over there, so I needed to check out that burger, too.

Of course, one look at the lunch menu meant I had to get more than just a burger. There are some pretty awesome things on the menu.

My dining companion and I started our lunch with some of those big fat Stuffed Mushrooms ($6.95 for six). They’re big caps stuffed with a blend of crab, lobster, cheese and more mushrooms, served up in a Tuscan veal sauce. Now, while the sauce was a bit on the runny side, the seafood-packed mushrooms were decadent. A blend of mozzarella, Romano and parmesan cheeses sealed in the savory bits, all nice and tender and pliant to the bite. They were served with one buttery crouton slice, which we divided and used to maneuver the mushrooms onto the big serving spoon and onto our plates. They were delicious.

My dining companion wasn’t interested in a burger; instead, he went for a Fried Oyster Po’Boy ($9.95) and was shocked to discover that for some reason Red Door doesn’t carry cocktail sauce. It seemed unfathomable. But it turns out, the cocktail sauce was unnecessary. The oysters on the po’boy came dredged in a flour and spice batter, fried then covered with white cheeses and broiled. The cheese melded together oysters and sandwich for a surprisingly easy to eat plate. The po’boy came with the same accompaniments as the burger — green leaf lettuce, red onion, tomato and hamburger dill — and with the restaurant’s Pomme Fritz (an additional $1.75), a mix of shoestring white potatoes and chunky sweet potato fries — once again, just like the burger. The oysters, I do have to say, were fresh and not fishy or tough.

But that burger, listed as the “Really Good Burger“ ($8.95 with chips)… well, when it was first delivered I was a little underwhelmed. It looked so tiny on the big plate. Then I realized it was a double cheeseburger. The bun, a Mama’s Manna standard, was golden brown with huge air bubbles inside, making for a very textured experience. The twin patties of ground beef were lean and char-grilled, with a very light crust. They smelled lovely. They were coated with a slice of Cheddar cheese for each patty, so much cheese it almost overwhelmed the burger. Other options were Provolone or American — I think Provolone would be too strong for the burger, honestly. Gourmet mustard and a very thick mayo were served on the side.

All that being said, the burger was pretty good. I’m not sure if it was $9 good, but it was tasty and a different take on the burger experience. I will say this — our waiter told us the chef would not consider anything less than a medium doneness to the burger. I didn’t understand why at first, but now I do — with such pressed flat patties, it’d be almost impossible to get the nice redness in the center and still be able to call the burger cooked.

You’ll find Red Door at the intersection of Cantrell Road and Old Cantrell Road, next door to Loca Luna. It’s open Tuesday-Saturday for breakfast or brunch and lunch and seven days a week for dinner. Check out the website or call (501) 666-8482.

From the ArkTimes store

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