Chuck's It Out the Window

Burger Rating: 70
Service Rating: 98
Aioli Rating: 60-95
Fry Rating: 80

I'm not being completely fair to Raleigh Chef Ashley Christensen's new burger joint, Chuck's, when I suggest flinging its products into a garbage pail. My girlfriend and I, always on the hunt for really good burgers, had gotten ourselves jazzed up about trying this award-winning chef's newest project. To our foodie hearts' dismay, our server told us that there's some regulation that they can't cook the burgers under fucking MEDIUM.

We decided to get the 5 oz. versions instead of the half pounders since the point of getting a burger that size is the potential for it to be cooked correctly (read: rare).

Cooked to medium, the meat is basically just there for protein and grease. The (very friendly and helpful and apologetic) waitress said they were hoping to be able to start cooking them to order one day, after getting some kind of license or passing some inspection or whatever, but what the fuck? Don't fucking open and promise award-winning-chef-quality burgers to the public if you have to cook them medium. There's no such thing. You're just hoping the fun little toppings are going to mask the problem for the undiscerning masses. It's insulting.

The High and Valley: with crushed avocado, bacon-onion jam, and blistered red peppers - $6.75 for the 5 oz. ($9 if you go for the 1/2 pound burger) - The toppings didn't save them. There was one roasted pepper on this and a very light spread of avocado on only one half of the top bun. While eating it, we forgot completely that there was supposed to have been the bacon-onion jam on it, so that couldn't have been very flavorful. As you may notice, they actually cooked the burgers medium rare for us, which was very nice of them, but medium rare is still too cooked. Much better than medium though, good gracious.

The Dirty South (Carolina): with smoked pork shoulder, Anson Mills Sea Island red pea "chili, crispy tobacco onions, roasted tomato malt vinegar slaw, Ashe Co. Mountain Cheddar, and yellow mustard - This burger was kind of tasty, with the slaw and chili mixing together interestingly with the sharp taste of yellow mustard around the burger puck. The potato buns are cute, and they had a nice little char from where they'd been griddled. Maybe when they can cook them rare it'll be good, but the toppings need some work too. Though I liked these toppings better than the Valley one, I would find them a little overpowering if I actually wanted to taste the beef.

We got a flight of aiolis. They are supposed to be $.75 each after the first two that come with the fries, though they gave us a few of them for free.

Unfortunately the fries were greasy and undercooked anyway.

The space is big, with lots of seating. It wasn't too busy at 3 pm on a Sunday, surprise surprise.

I wish I'd been in the mood for a beer or a milkshake. That shit sounds pretty good, and oh how I love North Carolina prices.

 Chuck's on Urbanspoon

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