I don’t need my ideal burger to win any beauty contests, I just want it to taste great. The City Landing burger is really friggin’ good looking, but it’s all beauty and no substance. All of the elements should have been there, and maybe, just maybe, a return visit would yield different results. I only say that because the burger fails largely due to a universal lack of seasoning, but that’s a tough road to recover from. It’s a $15 burger that of course sounds nice on paper (scallion-basil aioli, caramelized onions, sliced pickle, spiced fries) but that’s where the excitement ends.
The well proportioned and properly cooked burger boasts a toasted yet soft Kaiser-type bun that is a great choice, holding in the patty like a glove. The fully melted cheddar is a highlight, offering a sharp tang that mostly dominates the flavor profile. The burger shows grill marks but has absolutely no crust, it’s as if the marks are artificial and it was just steamed because there is no flavor development on the exterior of the patty. It’s a very bland patty too, with a very minimal amount of juiciness and little else to speak of. The caramelized onions are watery and also lacking any punch or predominant flavor. The pickle is warm and completely bland as well, offering no acidity or crunch like a great pickle should have and the promised scallion-basil aioli is completely undetectable. The fries, however, are close to perfect despite not necessarily having much “spice” as promised on the menu. A lot of places try to mimic the famed McDonald’s fries, and the one’s here are as close to the golden arches as you’re going to get. Thin, crispy and salty, they are unoriginal but delicious and there’s nothing wrong with that in my book.
Sometimes one element of a burger may be off or simply be not my cup of tea. Unfortunately for the City Landing burger each element is severely under-seasoned with the beef being the primary disappointment. Is it a mundane blend or would a more generous sprinkling of salt fix the problem? Hard to say because the beef has little to no flavor and my guess is that’s due to seasoning even if it may just be a standard blend of beef. It’s clearly a showstopper of a burger, looking better than it is, a wise bun selection and delectable fries can’t be the saving grace this time around. Well, at least the soups are great.
Overall Score: 74