First look: Stack City Burger Bar

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

I'll be honest: the news of a new burger bar doesn't get me going anymore. The skeptic in me always wonders, how different yet another gourmet burger bar really be?

Stack City Burger Bar-Hyde Park Restaurant group's new eatery that opened last month on the Cap in the Short North (600 N. High St.)-was no exception to my cynicism. It hits all the fancy buzzwords: grass-fed beef, truffle chips, boozy milkshakes, craft beer.

Stack City is not the most inventive restaurant out there. But what this place lacks in originality, it makes up for in delivery. The burger joint is on point with what it offers-solid burgers, a great beer list that highlights some of the best local brews, and diner-worthy milkshakes that don't need to be gussied up with alcohol to be satisfying.

The one thing that separates this Short North spot from the herd is the style of burgers-beef smashed on a flattop and cooked until medium to medium well. I went old school on my first visit with the Big Stack City ($10), two 6-ounce patties (a regular burger here is one 9-ounce patty) piled with American cheese, lettuce and orange special sauce on a sesame seed brioche bun.

My dining companion went for the grass-fed bison burger ($11) topped with goat cheese, dried cranberries, grilled onions and sweet balsamic glaze. He loved it, though it was a little sweet for my taste.

Sides are a la carte. We did not delve into the smothered fry options-you can get potatoes doused in mushroom gravy or pulled pork. A side order of Simple Fries ($3) was ho-hum, tasting oddly stale even though they were hot from the fryer. I'll be more likely to reorder the crisp and thin Truffle Chips ($3) that are thankfully tossed with a sparing bit of truffle oil.

Get a milkshake, and make it the Biscoff ($6). The base is cookie butter ice cream-a taste that brought me immediately back to making cookies with my mom, and stealing a finger full of the batter from the bowl before any dry ingredients were added. Little flecks of buttery Biscoff cookies are crumbled throughout. A nice touch. (You can add bourbon for $3.)