Short Order: Stack City's griddled goodness

Beth Stallings

The words "jump" and "shark" always come to mind when I hear a new burger joint is opening in town. The phrase "gourmet burger" is teetering toward obsolete, along with other food buzzwords (think artisanal and local). In concept,Stack City Burger Baris no different than any other gussied-up burger chainlet where local beer and burgers rule and the decor is rustic industrial with a splash of diner-inspired art. But what Hyde Park Restaurant Group's latest Short North eatery lacks in originality, it makes up for in delivery with smash-style burgers under $15.

There are the typical toppers (California-style with avocado, American with the orange-yellow cheese) and the quirky (East-Coast with pastrami and coleslaw, and Philly with shaved sirloin and Cheez Whiz). While kitschy, these toppings are not what make Stack City a worthy burger go-to. It's the griddle top that ensures every patty, regardless of what's on it, is 9 ounces of medium-well ground beef that's juicy inside and crispy on the edges. Swapping beef for turkey, veggie, bison or lamb is an option on any of the nine house specialties, but if you're going old school with the Big Stack City ($10), stick with the classics. This burger is three 6-ounce patties piled with American cheese, lettuce and orange special sauce on a sesame seed brioche bun.

The a la carte sides include fry options that read like a poutine-nacho mashup with Disco Fries ($6.50) topped with mushroom gravy and a fried egg, and Buffalo Chicken Stack Chips ($8) with blue cheese and Buffalo sauce. The best bet is the crisp and thin Truffle Chips ($3), thankfully tossed with a sparing bit of truffle oil.

Whether or not you opt to add booze, get a milkshake and make it the Biscoff ($6). The base is cookie butter ice cream with little flecks of buttery Biscoff