The Food Bros are always on the lookout for new burger joints in the area and we heard about Red Cow a while ago but put it to the back of our list. Why? Well it’s hard for me to believe a place putting figs and goat cheese on their burgers is not exactly up our alley. But if your burger is good enough we will come eventually.
Right away I have to apologize not only to you but to my fellow Food Bro Brandon, you see another friend joined us on this visit and while he loves everything buffalo flavor he doesn’t eat wings on the bone so to accommodate him I ordered boneless wings. I know, I know its almost a crime against nature but I had a moment of weakness and I am truly sorry and it won’t happen again, I swear on tiny baby Jesus. In spite of my egregious mistake I enjoyed them. The sauce had the buffalo flavor your familiar with and a little sweetness in the back ground and the heat level was a low medium. The blue cheese dressing served alongside was good as well, not the usual thin flavorless crap you get everywhere now but thick and full of blue cheese flavor. The chicken was crispy and juicy unlike a lot of boneless wings served elsewhere. So even though our friend was informed that when he joins us on future endeavors that boneless is not an option these weren’t a total loss and if the sauce and attention to detail is any indication the wings will be good as well, we may have to go back just to try them.
So while I ordered the BBQ burger I had some reservations as a recent trend for burger places is to pile on a bunch of crap to hide the poor quality or lack of cooking ability when it comes to the burger itself. Red Cow starts with an angus burger topped cheddar cheese, root beer pulled pork, onion rings and bbq sauce. I didn’t realize till our server was gone but she never asked how I wanted my burger cooked so it came out just above medium, not pink but still juicy which is a bit more than I like my burger but it was still very good. The burger is made from quality meat and has a nice sear from a flattop which adds a great tasting flavor to any burger. The root beer pulled pork and bbq sauce were excellent and there was just enough to add the flavor but not over power the burger. The bun, cheese and onion rings all were quality ingredients and added just enough flavor. All together this is a damn good burger that I will happily return for and may have trouble passing over to try other creations. Red Cow’s attention to detail doesn’t stop at their burgers; the fries both regular and sweet potato varieties were also excellent. The regular fries are fresh cut skin on and fried perfectly crispy and while I am new to sweet potato fries the combination of the sweetness and the bit of spiciness from the smoked pepper aioli served alongside was addicting.
Inside Red Cow you will find some interesting art consisting of cows staring at you during your meal and a sleek modern décor, not something we worry about but it helps it fit in the neighborhood. In the end Red Cow achieves its goal of being a quality burger establishment, one we will defiantly be returning to.
Let me begin with my expectations for Red Cow and how these expectations came to be. First, when looking at the Red Cow menu online, I noticed the words “fine” and “gourmet”, and even “craft”. To me, all of the words just started sounding like “pretentious”. Next, I start to notice things on the menu that I am just clueless about. I have eaten at many restaurants, gone through countless cook books, and watched an unfathomable amount of food related television, and yet I have never heard of Orange Ponzu or had Piquillo Pepper or helped myself to a heaping helping of Boschetto al Tartufo? If you know what any of those things are, then good for you, you are the greatest human to ever walk the earth. Is my sarcasm coming through in that last sentence? Last but not least Red Cow is located on 50th and France. The area screams snootiness. So there it is. In my mind Red Cow was just another upscale, trendy, full of douchebaggery restaurant. I am pleased to say that I was totally wrong. Red Cow is far from being “just another trendy restaurant”. Red Cow has a bit of a rustic feel to the inside with giant pictures of cows hanging just about everywhere. How upscale can a place be if they have cow pictures everywhere really? Needless to say so far I was pleased.
Unfortunately we decided to order the Buffalo wings. Not “unfortunately” because they were bad, but “unfortunately” because we were having lunch with a sissy girl (not really a girl) and he decided on boneless wings. Boneless Buffalo wings at a gourmet burger joint? Boneless wings at a place with pork belly sliders on the appetizer menu? The wings (if you can even call them that) were good. But to be honest I couldn’t tell you the difference between Red Cow boneless wings or Applebees and for $10 I was a bit let down. Not Red Cow’s fault by any means. It’s my fault for not making the record needle sliding off the record sound when my buddy asked for boneless wings.
Like stated earlier, I have watched a crazy amount of food related television, and over the years I have often come across the name Pat Lafrieda. Pat Lafrieda is a famous butcher out of New York City that is known for providing restaurants with the highest quality burgers in the country. If you are a burger lover, look him up on YouTube and see his operation for yourself. As soon as I read the name Pat Lafrieda on the Red Cow menu, my mind was made up, I was ordering the Manhattan. A burger made with 8oz of the famous Pat Lafrieda beef, and topped with cotswold cheese (yet another item I was virgin to) and bacon. The beef on my burger was delicious. It was airy and had almost a meatball-like texture to it. When I would take a bite, a bit of meat would crumble away from the burger and fall to the plate. The Cotswold cheese had bits of chive in it and was sharp without being too strong. The bacon was well, bacon. Overall the burger was delicious, but I have to say I learned a bit of a lesson when it comes to good burgers. You can spend $15 on the Manhattan, use fancy cheese with even fancier meat, but at the end of the day the cooking method is what makes a good burger to me. Personally, I need at least one of two things to happen to make the perfect hamburger. The best burgers need to either touch a flame on a grill or if you must cook them on a flat top, develop the flavorful outer crust while maintaining the medium pink center. Neither can be said about my burger at Red Cow and that’s what is keeping it from cracking a spot in my top burgers list.
Overall, Red Cow is exactly what it claims to be, a gourmet burger joint that takes pride in serving burgers of the highest quality. I will most definitely be back to try a few more of their burgers and give the root beer braised pulled pork sandwich a try. If you are food junkie like the Food Bros, I suggest you head down to Red Cow and live it up a bit. Did I mention they have a huge selection of craft beer? Enjoy!
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