As much for a change of pace and for my equal love of lamb, I decided to venture over to Matt Murphy’s for a taste of their Lamb Burger. A charming little restaurant where you instantly feel at home and comfort is the key. The menu is driven by (mostly) classic Irish Pub fare, but a few notches above your typical neighborhood establishment, and the price reflects that too. You pay for the upgrade, certainly not phenomenally high, but when was the last time you paid $19 for a Shepherd’s Pie? I suppose you could make the same argument for a high priced burger too, but I digress. The aforementioned Top Round Lamb Sirloin Burger is topped with feta, red onion jam, and minted yogurt and sits in between a fluffy Focaccia “bun.” Yes, I said fluffy. A house-made ketchup sits alongside the burger and fries, a noble attempt but it’s much too watery and lacking any flavor to speak of. The burger is hit-or-miss; some elements work well, while others are lackluster.
The star of the burger is indeed the lamb, which is luckily the predominant flavor throughout. If you don’t like lamb then this certainly isn’t the burger for you, and the fact that they use Focaccia as a bun only begs to bring up the debate of whether it’s actually a burger or not. But the meat and the bun work in its favor, something that the majority of meat and bun combinations can’t claim. The lamb is cooked to medium, although I was never asked how I wanted it cooked. It’s juicy and well seasoned but I can’t help but think how much juicier it could have been had it been cooked slightly less, there also isn’t quite enough fat to keep it juicy from start to finish. The Focaccia should have been too large and too airy but it’s really just right. With good flavor from garlic and herbs, it is an unorthodox but successful bun that makes the Matt Murphy’s burger stand-out even more. They do miss the mark on mostly everything else. The cheese, red onion jam and yogurt sauce are so scarce they are barely detectable. What I do pick out and try separately is bland, and the promise of a great supporting cast is not realized. The fries are uneventful as well; thick with the skin-on, they are dry and completely lack salt.
The burger rings in at $13, not a bad value for a pretty substantial meal. While the fries and sauces are underwhelming, the meat and the bun are the two stars of this dish. Something different from all the ordinary beef burgers out there and worth checking out, Matt Murphy’s burger is only held back from greatness by their own limitations.
Overall Score: 82