I’m convinced a good number of menu’s are written on a whim; random ingredients pulled out of a hat that kind of sound good on paper but are never actually tested in the kitchen. The food at Scholar’s feels exactly that way, a few twist and turns strewn about, making it sound interesting at the very least. But in the end, the question of whether or not it tastes any good is the only thing that matters. Too bad for Scholar’s because it really doesn’t. Gary, the SBK and I headed to Scholar’s on a rainy Saturday afternoon and decided to each order the house burger and split the Apple Chutney Burger. Hey, it’s what we do, don’t judge…
The Scholar’s House Burger claims to be a; “bacon fat burger, smoked maple syrup, melted brie and grilled tomato.” Sounds interesting, right? Then again, looks can be deceiving, as the only flavor present is the maple syrup, completely taking over the burger. It’s all sweet and none of the other flavors, especially the bacon, but especially the burger. The brie is irrelevant and the grilled tomato is in name only. A couple of sad charred marks make their appearance on the bland tomato, but no smoked or grilled flavor as one would expect. The beef is also a let-down, hoping it would at least have some fat due to the self-proclaimed bacon fat introduction, it’s a redundant burger blend that lacks any character or genuine flavor. Never mind the fact that it’s very over-cooked, nary a trace of pink and thus yielding minimal juiciness. The bun is ciabatta, working modestly well, but a bit too large for a burger that cannot quite reach the bread’s outer limits.
The Apple Chutney burger was a little more appealing, despite the additions of raisins and cashews, the flavor was adequate, if not fully matching up with the traditional flavorings of the burger on hand. And once again, they couldn’t even melt the damn cheese. Lime Parmesan frites come with the burgers and also sound better than they actually taste. They felt more frozen than fresh, and none of the promised flavor came through. (sensing a theme yet?) Overall, the discussion of design versus execution came up, as it usually does with Gary and I, and while I’m not convinced the burgers would have been great even if they had been treated properly, it’s still a discussion worth having.
Overall Score: 66