There are no words for how much I loved Mussels and Burger Bar. I'm in puppy love. I feel starry eyed about this place. I will attempt to work through my emotions in order to give a fair review, but fair warning: I adored this joint. Located close to Stoneybrook Cinema, at 9200 Taylorsville Road, Mussels & Burger Bar was buzzing last Friday night. Forewarned by the reviews on urbanspoon, I called ahead for seating, but it still took us roughly 20 minutes to get a table. No matter--our waiter was cheery, and our appetizer, sweet and spicy calamari came out fast. The taste was wonderful, and the black olive aioli was complex and rich, but the calamari itself was a bit...smushy. No matter, it was still delicious. We tried two cocktails--the cardinal and the wildcat, lime and coconut infused, respectively. Not bad, but not amazing. At this point I was salivating over Mussels & Burger Bar's burger menu, so I was in no mood to drink. It was time for MEAT.
The burgers took FOREVER to come out, but when they did, it was worth it. My Bacon Breakfast Burger, with pork belly, fried egg, caramelized onions, aged white cheddar and maple aioli on a brioche bun ($12), was the best burger I've ever had. Perfectly done, great mouth feel, tons of toppings, flavor combination to die for--this burger has everything. The Bacon Breakfast Burger has left me sitting up at night, clutching my sheets and whimpering in remembrance.
Our party ordered the Mediterranean Burger, with ground lamb, quince marmalade, feta and tzatziki sauce ($13) ; the seafood burger served with avocado , lettuce and tomatoes on a pretzel bun ($13); and the La Frita Cubana ($12), a chorizo burger with Serrano ham, tomatoes, manchego cheese, arugula, fried potatoes and caramelized onions. The sides were similarly outstanding--sweet potato fried with smoky pineapple dipping sauce, truffle potato wedges with a truffle mayonnaise, Mexican style corn on the cop with mayo, parm and chile pepper. Everything we ate was perfectly balanced and seasoned, beautifully presented, and ridiculously flavorful.
We were so thrilled with dinner we ordered dessert. Though the maple bacon beignets tempted us greatly, we decided to share the Trio Pots de Creme, for only $7. Three sizeable pots of creamy, almost creme brulee textured desserts were delivered to us, in pistachio, chocolate, and Nutella flavors. It was the perfect end to our meal, the final tip of the cap, the cherry on top.
Despite somewhat long wait times, I have no doubt Mussels & Burger bar will work out the kinks in their process and deliver. Mussels is also very affordable for a place as beautifully decorated and well stocked with incredible fare--the most expensive burger on the menu is $22, and features foie gras! I can't wait to re-visit and try the mussels!
photos: Elizabeth Orrick