Food Porn: Soho Burger Bar

A year ago if you were to tell me that I’d be sitting out on Soho’s patio and eating a meal, I would have called you crazy.  In fact when Soho announced it was going to close up shop (during some of their busiest months) to become a restaurant that served gourmet burgers I thought they were crazy.  On a street known for high amounts of tenant turnover, Soho had always seemed like the king of the strip.  But luckily I seem to be wrong and Soho’s transformation to Soho Burger Bar has been, from what I can tell, fairly successful and quite tasty.  We went down last weekend on a Friday night to see for ourselves how great these 12 dollar burgers were, here’s how it went…

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual, Bar & Lounge
  • Cuisine: Burgers
  • Location: Downtown (Chippewa)
  • Prices: Burgers $12-15, Sides $4-7

I haven’t been inside Soho for probably 2 years, so I can’t really tell what about the decor had survived the transition from night club to gourmet burger bar but the current design is great.  The inside has dim modern lighting with a slightly elevated dining area, tables that are built out of factory equipment and napkins that are wrapped with metal clamps.  We walked in on a Friday night to a half full restaurant and were seated promptly.  Unfortunately, we sat at our table for about 10 minutes without anyone coming over to our table and watched as 3-4 servers hung out around the bar, some of them just sitting there texting.  Eventually someone came over and we placed our drink order and our burger orders.  Luckily the service is the only real critique I have about this place.

We’ve been looking over the  menu for a couple weeks so Alli knew exactly which burger she’d be trying out long before we actually sat down.  She ordered the Steak and Eggs ($11), a 8 oz burger pattie that is topped with a hollandaise sauce, thin home fries and a fried egg.  It really took the idea of a burger to a delicious but really messy level.  Alli could barely finish the entire thing and as the egg yolk broke apart and covered the burger and bun, it started to fall apart.  She did however manage to finish off all of the fries (an extra $2 and served in a cute metal basket), they had such a rich and delicious flavor that there was no need to reach for the ketchup.  Honestly, these fries were damn good.

After looking over every single burger on the menu, I decided on the Gold Standard ($13, pictured above).  The Gold Standard is topped with aged cheddar, apple wood bacon, arugula and tomato confit among other vegetable toppings.  First of all the burger was cooked great, I don’t think we even told our waitress how we wanted it cooked but they came out a wonderfully juicy and pink.  When the owners of Soho decided to make a burger bar they went all out and had a customized blend of ground beef from Johnny’s Meats made just for them.  You can tell this isn’t your normal beef, even with the toppings the flavor of this beef really stood out.  Not only is Soho sourcing their beef from a local provider but they also are sourcing their buns from Romeo’s Bakery and it might be the best roll I’ve had at a restaurant in a while.

For my side I paid the extra 2 dollars and decided to try out the Truffle Tater Tots, homemade tater tots that were deep fried and then coated with truffle oil, Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Sounds like an awesome combination right? I really wanted to enjoy them, as both Alli and I tried tot after tot we almost tried to convince ourselves that these were good.  They had a good deep fried crunch but there was something missing about the flavor.  I’m not sure if a dipping sauce of some sort is needed, but they just weren’t as good as you would think.  We tried adding some salt and dipping in ketchup but it didn’t seem to work.

I am very happy to say that I was dead wrong about my initial thoughts and predictions about Soho Burger Bar, the burgers were fantastic and even though the service was pretty bad I’d go back again.  The owners of Soho took a bold step getting away from something that had been working for years and entering the restaurant world, but Chippewa is better for it.  Yes, it’s still the place to go on Thurs-Saturday Nights for the club crowd but now the downtown lunch crowd has a new place to eat.  I just hope they get enough customers to justify the transformation.

Soho Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Food Porn: Soho Burger Bar

  1. i need to go here. prob going tomorrow for lunch! looks amazing!!!!

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