What determines the price of a burger? Is it the cut of beef, the type of cheese, bun, or just the words on the menu? At Stoddard’s, it seems to be a bit of everything, the beef (Meyer Ranch) is excellent, the bun (brioche) is what it is, and of course they have “chiffonade lettuce.” For the uninformed, chiffonade refers to thinly cut strips of flat, leafy foods, usually reserved for basil and mint, not so often with lettuce. Why? Because it’s just so stupid, I mean seriously, who describes or constructs a menu and thinks of chiffonade lettuce? Well apparently the good people at Stoddard’s did, and I guess that’s the difference between what should be a $12 burger and ultimately a $14 burger, it’s all about the wording. I do hate to admit it, but I actually liked the thinly sliced pieces of lettuce, much nicer than the normal chunk of lettuce that can take over a burger. The aforementioned beef, was terrific, and I firmly believe it’s all about the beef, as it should be. But it should also be about the surrounding elements, do they complement the beef and does it come together as it should? Not completely, but good beef is hard to ignore, there is of course too much bread, the cheese in unpronounced, and the house burger sauce, which offers a nice sweetness, is not as prevalent as I would like. Bread and butter pickles round out the sandwich, not a favorite of mine, but that is of course a personal preference. The fries are adequate, but far from perfect. Much too greasy (I know, how can fries not be greasy) and too hollow as opposed to light and fluffy. There is also an aioli of sorts that sits on the plate, (is it for the fries or the burger? or both?) Either way it’s unpleasant, much too strong in the anchovy department and generally off-putting. I love the natural saltiness that an anchovy can offer, but I don’t necessarily want to taste it, especially with a burger or a French Fry, yet I can’t stop tasting it. Really it perplexes me, and can’t understand how it’s even served, does this taste good to anyone?
Although as an entire meal it’s not perfection, the beef in the burger is a delight and it’s cooked and seasoned perfectly, no easy feat as I’m learning. The fries, which are plentiful on the plate, don’t quite live up to the meat of the burger, and the ubiquitous brioche always disappoints. But it is the perfect size (that’s what she said) and there’s something to be said for that, I can’t say I’m in a rush to head back to the Ladder District during the week or any other time for that matter, but it’s a respectable effort that can’t be overlooked.
Overall Score: 83