Novemburger: Black Star Co-op

 
Because 50 Burgers, 50 Days wasn’t enough, I’ll write about a new burger every day this month. And next. We’ll call that Decemburger.
 
Day 1: Black Star Co-op
7020 Easy Wind Drive in the Midtown Commons center at Airport Boulevard and North Lamar Boulevard. 452-2337, www.blackstar.coop.
Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday. 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday. 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 11.01.11
 
The burger: For a brewing cooperative, Black Star gets extra points for treating food with the same respect as beer. The $9 Black Star Burger’s thick, yeasty bun gives the sweetness trend a defiant finger, and the Niman Ranch sirloin inside was cooked a bright medium-rare with a fine grind and big beef taste, topped with thick, salty cheddar and bright Bibb lettuce, tomatoes and red onion.
 
Fries or rings? The plate comes with flat-cut potatoes in the English chips style, with skins and salt and garlic, lots of garlic. If you weren’t thirsty before, you will be after these, and that’s reason enough to eat as many as you can. There are no rings, which leaves you free to explore sides like braised greens or mac and cheese. But for a taste of Black Star’s artisan funk, go an extra $4 for a dish of pickled vegetables. Let’s see: green and yellow squash, stem-on green beans, banana peppers and fat little cucumbers, all with that raw vinegar-and-herb whang that screams homemade. It might scream too loudly for you, but it’s blessed relief from the washtub pickles that frame the everyday burger experience.
 
Oh, and the beer: I hate to tell you about these Black Star beers, because they’ve probably rotated out by now. I caught a little glass of Epsilon, a high-ABV Scotch ale that tasted like Balvenie with a spritz, a product of peat malt and a nap in whiskey barrels. The boozy balance of a beer-and-a-shot, all in one glass. That beer’s sunshine opposite was an American wheat called Able, which turns Black Star’s Elba sideways with lemongrass and a sour-ale edge that demands respect. And in case you didn’t know: You don’t have to be a member to eat, drink and be cooperative at Black Star.
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
 
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