- Griffin Swartzell
- Gourmet burgers arrive piled high, while drinks disappear plenty easily.
But there’s no need to play mixologist if you just want one of Single Barrel Craft Burgers & Brews’ house cocktails ($9-$10), like a candied bacon Old Fashioned with Deerhammer’s excellent single malt whiskey (misidentified as a bourbon, though it’s bourbon-inspired) with orange bitters, maple syrup and a garnish of sweet swine. Ours arrives needing a stir to finish mixing the inputs, but we’re quickly happy.
Our only drink blunder at the newly renovated spot — which replaces The Cow Pub & Grill, under the same owners, Chuck and Heath Schafer, who also operate Peyton’s Purple Toad Social Tap & Grill, with a hand as well in Ivywild’s Prime 25 — comes with an order of the Laws Whiskey margarita, made with their rye, but served sans citrus or sweet balance, overwhelmingly sour and watery with too much ice in a pint glass, burying the fine spirit.
Location Details Single Barrel Craft Burgers & Brews
Trendy? Sure, but pan-seared, sea-salted shishito peppers shine with a sesame-forward Asian dip. For salads, a Caeser’s tossed in a commercial dressing that’s nicely anchovy expressive, better than most. And you may like the concept of a bacon blue cheese burger salad more than we do; it’s oily and hard to fork ground beef bits that crumble amidst the mixed greens, and with the thick dressing it’s just heavy.
The burger patties, 4-ouncers double stacked for an unruly-tall bite, are blended in large part with steak scraps from Prime 25, hence a pervading richness. The Single Barrel Signature Burger with Swiss, mushrooms and whiskey-onion jam pops with that touch of sweetness, totally fulfilling medium-rare. Our “P” Three is overcooked past request to a medium-well though, overly pungent with cumin that steals from the poblano, provolone and portobello accents. We do like the fluffy brioche buns, and side onion rings are bully with an airy crusting and piquant dip our waitress can’t identify (the staff generally needs more product knowledge).
With a bit more refinement Single Barrel should achieve its aims, but it’s already worthy of a stop-in, if only to build your own whiskey-fueled adventure.