Somewhere between McDonald’s and Mackenzie’s; between Burger King and Burger Bar, exists a space. Let’s call it the High End Burger Shack. (HEBS). The HEBS business model has been exploding in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why.
Say you want a nice, juicy burger. (In other words, say you’re me, at any given time). You don’t want to do the whole sit-down dinner thing with a wait staff, and a hostess, and tipping – I mean, it’s just a damn burger. But at the same time, you don’t want one of the synthetic sodium grenades you’d get at a fast food place.
So, what’s the solution? Five Guys. Shake Shack. In-N-Out Burger (I will have it someday, dammit!). The solution is the HEBS. The wonderful little grey area between eat-in and take-out. The perfect beefquilibrium.
I love the HEBS. It’s my kind of place. So when I found out that Station Eats had opened in downtown Stamford, and had already received ringing endorsements from our comrades at OmNomCT, I just had to check it out.
The interior looks, well, like a HEBS. It’s stylishly designed, with the menu written on the wall in huge letters, so you can read it clearly, regardless of how drunk you are. The order process works more like Subway or Chipotle than Five Guys – you tell ‘em how much meat & cheese you want up front, and then walk your cooked burger through the topping station. It’s a perfect opportunity for impulsivity (OOH! I want jalapeños, too!)
I ordered a double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, oni…wait, you don’t care what I got on my burger, do you? It’s okay, I wouldn’t care what you got on yours either. The point is, they’re made to order and you can get whatever you want. Same with the fries – you can get them with cheese, chili, Station Eats signature sauce, whatever your clogged little heart desires.
I also ordered the U-Turn, one of Station Eats’ “Hi-Octane” shakes for grown-ups. Chocolate ice cream, Oreo chunks, and bourbon - it’s like breakfast at Charlie Sheen’s house.
The burger was everything I could have expected – juicy, fresh, and tender…due in no small part to the fact that their meat is organic, and grass-fed, and locally sourced, and all that good stuff. The fries were perfectly hot, crispy and potato-ey. The shake had just the right amount of bourbon where its presence was felt, but it didn’t overpower the chocolate.
It was a perfect HEBS experience. Oh, yeah - did I mention that we were sitting on one of the picnic tables on their ROOFTOP DECK? Burgers and fresh air – what a combo. Just imagine what this place is going to look like on Alive at Five nights this summer.
It’s a good time to be a burger junkie. Long live Station Eats. Long live the HEBS.