Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cortland's Garage

Location: 1645 W Cortland
Cost: Typically around $10 per person, but they have $5 burgers on Mondays

For the past two years I've been living above a couple of foodies named Doug and Kelly (see my post on the Girl and the Goat). They recently moved, but before that they shared a bunch of wisdom on their favorite places. Almost all of them were out of my price range, but then they mentioned this burger joint just on the other side of the tracks that they love called Cortland's Garage.

Well my friend Amanda was trying to round up a dinner crew because she decided it had been far too long since we'd gotten together. We were joined by J-ho and Thiel. Now these are 3 pretty tiny girls, but they can all definitely hold their own next to a greasy burger which is why I wasn't afraid to suggest Cortland's (that was meant as a compliment by the way).

The setup is pretty standard for a sports bar. There's a narrow front room with a lengthy bar and a bunch of seating further back as things open up a bit. You won't need a reservation, and I'm pretty sure you can't make one. On Monday nights they have trivia, but it's nothing like State's trivia night, so you can get there right as it starts if you please.

Our server was so nice. She told us it was her first night just after I'd changed my order three times or so because of my chronic indecisiveness. She put up with it well though, but I felt bad. So the deal on Monday's in addition to trivia is $1 off all beers and $5 burgers. These burgers were full sized, and they didn't up charge you for every little thing either.

The Food
We all got the burger special in some form or another. Thiel had the Turkey Burger with bleu cheese, Tiller got a burger with Swiss, I don't remember what exact combo J-ho had (but I'm sure she can comment in on that), and I got a burger with Merkts. We also made sure to vary up our french fries among the regular, sweet potato, Parmesan, and truffle. Thiel said it was the best turkey burger she'd ever had. As far as the regular burgers, we noticed that they were all about one level overcooked (i.e. medium instead of medium rare). The buns were all simple, and the meat was straight up juicy. There was a lot of flavor in each one of these bad boys. I was happy they gave just the right amount of Merkts without overloading it. I thought the fries were all pretty good but clearly nothing you can't get from a frozen bag. Of the three specialties I think the sweet potato were the best.

The Build Your Own Burger with Merkts and Sweet Potato Fries

The Build Your Own Burger with Swiss and Parmesan Fries

The Build Your Own Turkey Burger with Blue Cheese

For some reason we decided to get dessert (notice I didn't blame anyone in particular). They have this one item called the Ice Cream Sandwich. It's basically a waffle sandwich filled with nutella and ice cream. It was really unpleasant. The waffle was clearly frozen since it came out still in that condition making the dish almost inedible. I was really looking forward to a warm, crispy waffle to contrast the cold ice cream and nutella, and yet my dreams were shattered by the Jimmy Dean version of dessert sandwiches.

The Ice Cream Sandwich
(looks deceivingly good doesn't it?)

The burgers carry the meal at Cortland's Garage. Unfortunately they really need to because the other things aren't all that special. The meat was really tasty and juicy, and the toppings were balanced nicely. Besides the slight overcooking and the culminating mistake things were pretty good. I'm giving them 3 out of 5 Pearls.

Cortland's Garage on Urbanspoon


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