Like the little black dress, Casablanca and Sean Connery, hamburgers will never go out of style—a fact bolstered by the steady expansion of spic-and-span burger chains. And whether it's by means of a smashed, craggy-edged patty or a lacy Parmesan crisp, each eatery puts a fresh spin on the beloved sandwich.
At Sherman's Shackin Grant Hill (549 25th St.), the burgers are stuffed. The one-room restaurant opened late last year and offers Southern California comfort food: Burgers cozy up next to tacos on the menu. And there're just enough salads to make you feel OK about polishing off a fit-to-burst burger.
El Diablo, for instance, boasts a patty packed with spiced Monterrey Jack cheese, bacon and jalapeño, and a creamy habanero ranch dressing caps the creation. But I was craving something a bit more indulgent. The way I see it, if you're eating at a place where stuffed burgers are the standard, you might as well do something extra wild, right? That brings me to Sherman's signature burger—the Shack.
In the Shack, a fried egg crowns a patty puffed up with bacon, cheese, mushroom, jalapeño and caramelized onion. Its high-octane status is boosted by a generous heap of crinkle fries. Yes, I know, eggs-on-burgers is so 2011, but I've always been a fan of fried eggs, and none of the other menu offerings enticed me quite as much.
The Shack's brioche-like bun was a delight—pillowy-soft and chewy with a faint sweetness. More importantly, it held together the slippery toppings. After all, few things are more frustrating than burgers that can't keep it together.
Unfortunately, despite the egg's luscious, oozy yolk, the burger patty remained relatively dry. It wasn't terribly dry, just not juicy like I expected. Luckily, the jumble of ingredients inside the patty—like the mushroom and jalapeño—added bright plinks of flavor, making for an altogether toothsome meal.
As for Sherman's fries, they're more than just a side dish. Once you're on a roll, it's hard to stop noshing on the golden-brown, crispy-edged spuds.
I wish I could say the same about the sweet-corn hush puppies. I bit into one of the knobby morsels anticipating the robust flavor of sweet corn. Instead—even after a dunk in buttermilk ranch—the hush puppies were lackluster and barely evocative of corn.
I also made room for a carnitas taco. For $2.25, you get a rich layering of slow-roasted pork, marinated onions, queso fresco and cilantro-lime sour cream. It was solid, but the pork was all-around crispy—as if it'd been deep-fried—rather than tender.
The dessert pickings at Sherman's Shack are slim. But it doesn't matter, because you'll want seconds of the churros. The coconut-crusted beauties arrive fresh out of the fryer. Crunchy, chewy and perfectly sweet, they make you briefly forget about all the other grub you just downed. Which is what great dessert is all about, if you ask me.