Novemburger: Cover 3

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 5: Cover 3
2700 W. Anderson Lane No 202. 374-1121,
Hours: Open at 11 a.m. daily.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 11.05.11
Cover 3 isn’t afraid to be an upscale sports bar, with a cocktail menu and beers from ice-glazed Cobra taps and deep leatherette booths. I see more suit jackets than logo hats, and I see no fewer than nine TVs in my 180-degree field of view.
The burger: Experience tells me the menu at Cover 3 is solid with the basics, and my only penalty flags flew on the fancier plays: scallops, a crab tower, $16 tenderloin sliders. But they do a solid burger, the Chop House for $9.95, with a half-pound of beef that supports a medium-rare sear and delivers some grill flavor on a square ciabatta-style bun with a toasted crunch, a fluffy middle and no gratuitous sweet edge. The only thing standing between this good burger being a great burger is boilerplate shredded lettuce, apologetic tomatoes and fast-food pickles. The salad part of a burger — the least of its magical gifts — can make or break the package deal. At Cover 3, they don’t break the burger; they just blow the coverage. Ask for grainy mustard on the side because the Chop House comes dry, and cheese for 50 cents is a good call.
Fries or rings? The Chop House Burger comes with fries or slaw. There are no onion rings, but Cover 3 obliged my request to do split sides. I might pay $6 for mac and cheese or Southwestern fried rice — just to see what on earth that is — but $6 coleslaw is out of the question. I thought so, anyway, before I tried this coleslaw, with shredded red and green cabbage and carrots, plus things you don’t expect from coleslaw: candied pecans, blue cheese, a sweet vinaigrette and apples I could taste before I ever saw them. Cover 3’s fries look like they were squeezed from a Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper, rough matchsticks painted with parsley and fine shavings of Parmesan. Fries or slaw? That’s a tough call. Negotiate for the split.
My short-pour soapbox: Cover 3 topped my pint glass of (512) IPA with more than a half-inch of foam. If it were dollar draft night, I wouldn’t say anything, but I essentially paid $5.50 for a 12-ounce “pint.” Not to take away from the beer, which is still as bracing as golden grapefruit, if there were such a thing.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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