Monday, January 17, 2011

KC Smoke Burgers has some serious burgers

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 12:00 PM

The fire burger, topped with jalapenos and cheddar, is a hot seller.
  • The fire burger, topped with jalapenos and cheddar, is a hot seller.

No neighborhood in Kansas City can resist the burger craze, so it's no surprise that the avalanche of grilled patties has finally reached 39th Street. And KC Smoke Burgers (1610 West 39th Street), in the former Jerusalem Cafe location, hasn't just dipped a toe into the waters. With half-pound burgers and branding that begins with an actual brand seared into the bun, this is a serious burger stand. 

click to enlarge There's a larger patio at KC Smoke Burgers when the weather gets warmer.
  • There's a larger patio at KC Smoke Burgers when the weather gets warmer.

It's clear that you're not in an average burger joint as soon as you walk in the front door. The slightly elevated ramp takes you beneath a faux-brick archway and into a dining room that is under a motley collection of classic movie-star pictures, football-player cutouts and Nascar ephemera. It's a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode waiting to happen. 

The burgers are pressed patties with charred edges ($7.95 to $9.95) that come with a double handful of handmade, curly fries. For sheer patty variety, KC Smoke Burgers has to be commended. You can get a chicken, turkey, lamb, beef or gyro burger. 

click to enlarge The inside of KC Smoke Burgers has walls to remember.
  • The inside of KC Smoke Burgers has walls to remember.
The Fire Burger (jalapenos and cheddar) lived up to its name. The grilled jalapenos were delicious, if slightly dominant. The lamb burger was a throwback to the Jerusalem Cafe (owner Adel Allezeh owns and operates KC Smoke Burgers, as well). The meat was lean and nicely seared, but a half-pound of anything was still pretty heavy. 

KC Smoke Burgers was ultimately a bit too much for me. The buns are slightly too big, even for the substantial patties. And while the fries are copious (picture a pile roughly the width and depth of a paver brick), they are forgettable. There's value for the price, but I just found myself wanting to do a little less work to feel that I had made a dent in my plate. Split lunch and you'll leave KC Smoke Burgers happy.

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