A Burger A Week – The Capital Grille
Can a traditional steakhouse meet the burger bar?
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Here’s the basic question that we’re setting out to answer today. Can a super upscale steakhouse do as good a job with a humble cheeseburger as it can with a premium cut of dry-aged beef? I think it’s a question worth answering.
I’ve eaten more than a few steakhouse dinners in my life. It’s mostly a special occasion thing for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the price point. Or maybe it’s that I don’t eat a 32-ounce steak every week. Or maybe it’s both. 🥩
I’m sure our local steakhouses have their regulars like any other restaurant. But I’m more likely to be a dive bar regular. That’s just me.
The Capital Grille is perfectly placed in the University Town Center Mall. Its location suits it to a tee. It’s very upscale, just like its surroundings.
This is a white tablecloth experience, to be sure. And on this lovely fall afternoon, my server, Daniel was up to the high bar these types of places set for themselves. The attention to detail is all part of the experience here.
Here’s something that I have discovered while burgering my way through the first quarter of my list. A burger doesn’t have to be served on a silver platter to be delicious. In fact, the opposite is true in a lot of cases.
When you check into the front desk of a high-end steakhouse, the expectation level is a bit different than if you walk up to a food truck window. But a burger is still a burger, no matter what the setting. And if it’s good, should it really matter what that setting is?…
With that in mind, let’s talk about our Capital Grille burger experience…
RESTAURANT: THE CAPITAL GRILLE (180 University Town Center Dr., (941) 256-3647)
DATE OF VISIT: NOVEMBER 8, 2022
STOP #: 16 OF 52
BURGER TASTED: THE GRILLE’S SIGNATURE CHEESEBURGER
📒 OUR TASTING NOTES
🍔 This burger is served as listed on the menu: Grilled onions. Also lettuce, tomato, and pickle. Served with truffle fries. ($20)
Surprisingly, this ended up being a very simple burger. The only ingredient listed on the menu is the grilled onions! The type of cheese isn’t even in the description. I’m guessing this is Havarti. Only because they offer a ribeye steak sandwich with Havarti and caramelized onions.
The grilled onions were really subtle in flavor. When I saw this burger, I thought they would be the standout, up-front flavor. Not so. Their flavor complemented the beef perfectly.
This was a meaty-tasting burger. It tasted like a burger should. I mean, if a steakhouse can’t serve a burger that tastes like a burger, it’s going to be a problem.
I ate outside on the patio. It was more casual than indoors. That being said, there is zero possibility that you will ever mistake this for Shake Shack.
THE FRIES. OK, these fries were so good that if Daniel had given me an entire platter of them, there would have been no complaint from me (or room for the burger!) The truffle flavor was not overwhelming like it sometimes can be. And there was parmesan cheese basically crusted on them. Home run!🍟
Let’s check out how all of this looked when I ordered it…
BURGER TAKEAWAYS: Simple, delicious burger • Very attentive service • At $20, this is NOT a bargain burger • THE FRIES!! • Excellent for a more upscale meetup • You can hit the UTC Mall if that’s your thing!
👀 SNEAK PEEK: Stop #17 is pretty much the polar opposite of this week’s tasting. We’re getting a water view + an old-school Sarasota burger fav! 🍔
📝 We’ll be taking a little holiday burger break until the new year! Feel free to continue eating burgers. We’re back at ya on January 10th. We will have other Sarasota food, dining, and restaurant news. Have a fantastic holiday season!
We want to hear about your Sarasota burger experience. So much so, in fact, that we’ve started up a special Facebook Group just for this A Burger A Week series. So, feel free to share your Sarasota burger experiences, photos, and anything else burger related you’d like others to know about.
JOIN SARASOTA’S BEST BURGERS FACEBOOK GROUP HERE!
✅ Did you miss a week? No worries. Here’s a link to our A BURGER A WEEK SERIES ARCHIVE! 🍔
🗓️ SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS 🗓️
Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting. All you need to do is make that reservation. We’ve provided you with a link to more info. (If you have an event, send us the details! (EMAIL IT)
ALL DECEMBER – Epicurean Menu, Tuscany – Michael’s On East
WEEKLY POP-UP KITCHEN EVENTS – 99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop
DEC 20 – Yoga & Vino in the Ballroom – GROVE Restaurant
DEC 31 – NYE Candlelight Dinner – Ortygia
DEC 31 – NYE Beach Bash! – Sharky’s on the Pier
DEC 31 – New Year’s Eve Dinner – Madfish Grille
DEC 31 – NEW YEAR SOIRÉE – GROVE Restaurant
DEC 31 – NYE Dinner – Mademoiselle Paris
JAN 7 – Open House Wine Tasting – Michael’s Wine Cellar
APR 20 TO 24 – Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival – INFORMATION
🧑🌾 FARMER’S MARKET INFO 🧑🌾
EVERY SUNDAY – Siesta Key Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – Farmer’s Market at Lakewood Ranch – DETAILS
EVERY SUNDAY – The Meadows Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (Oct-Apr) – DETAILS
THIRD THURSDAY NIGHT – RADD Night Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Downtown Bradenton Public Market – DETAILS
EVERY SATURDAY – Venice Farmer’s Market – DETAILS
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