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The first time a plate was set before me at Crave Real Burgers, I nearly choked.
3982 Limelight Ave.
Castle Rock, CO 80109
Region: Southeast Denver Suburbs
I was sitting at the brightly lit bar that faces the open kitchen, surrounded by the din of a busy dinner service and sucking down a mint chocolate chip milkshake. But when I got a look at my own dinner, I was so surprised that I inhaled a chocolate chip and started sputtering.
My burger, dubbed the Cubano, was comically monstrous, somewhere between six and eight inches in both height and circumference, stacked with slices of fried ham, a splayed sausage that the menu described as chorizo but more closely resembled a hot dog, a slab of battered and fried pork, a gooey egg, a wad of cheese, a flood of chipotle aioli and a couple of slices of avocado and tomato — you know, for good measure. I practically had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite, and as I gnawed at the pile of pork and cheese, smearing my face with grease, the tart-spicy sauce blended with the egg yolk and oozed out the back of the soft, buttery bun. It was a sloppy, delicious mess — but where, exactly, was the burger?
I stopped chewing long enough to do some excavation work, and found the quarter-pound patty buried under all the other accoutrements. This was a burger in which the burger had been relegated to a supporting role.
There are many accounts of how the hamburger evolved in this country, but it most likely got its start with German immigrants, who brought the Hamburg steak — low-quality meat heavily seasoned to hide flaws — across the Atlantic with them. The invention of the meat grinder allowed that beef to be turned into patties. The term "hamburger" appeared as early as 1826, at Delmonico's in New York — though that could have described the Hamburg steak — and ground-beef patties were sold at the World Fair in St. Louis in 1904. The Library of Congress credits a Connecticut joint with serving the first burger, dating it to 1895, although other sources place the origin in Tulsa, New York and Akron, Ohio. Regardless, by the mid-twentieth century, the hamburger was ubiquitous, and since that time, it hasn't changed much — but what tops it certainly has.
More Photos: "Colorado Burger Porn" at Crave Real Burgers.
Jeff Richard, the chef/owner of the Old Stone Church, a New American eatery in Castle Rock, loves old American food, too, and a few years ago, he started putting together plans for a burger joint. While continuing to run the Old Stone Church, he leased a strip-mall spot near the Castle Rock shopping outlets, building out a hip, modern take on the lunch-counter concept, using blond woods, metal and a healthy shot of vibrant orange on the traditional bar and booth elements. This reimagined classic American diner would also feature a reimagined diner staple: the burger, using the traditional ground-beef patty as the foundation of another dish entirely. The Wing, for example, adds all the elements of hot wings, including crispy chicken, to that base. The Dim Sum Daffy is stacked with roasted duck, hoison and wontons. There's so much to crave on some of these combos that you can skip the burger altogether, simply ordering them as sandwiches.
The all-American Crave opened on July 4, 2010, and was such a hit that a second store will open in Colorado Springs this fall. Every time I've stopped by — whether at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night or noon on a Sunday — Crave has been running a wait. After my first dinner at the bar, I returned with friends.We fought the crowd and grabbed a table in the narrow dining room, where the casual, energetic staff had no qualms about yelling to each other over the din, seeming to thrive in the organized chaos. We perused the beer choices, but the best drinks at Crave are the milkshakes; like the burgers, they've been given a makeover and are offered in such variations as peanut butter, bacon and banana, and can be spiked with alcohol. We shouted out our food and drink orders over the pandemonium. Despite the crush, our food came out quickly — saving us from the ice cream headaches we seemed determined to give ourselves.
Because it seemed like the best idea ever when I'd spied it on the menu, I'd coerced one of my friends into ordering the Luther burger, a heart-stopping combination of bacon, egg, cheddar and bacon all served between a couple of glazed LaMar's doughnuts. But the reality didn't live up to my imagination. I'd expected the savory filling to offset the doughnuts, but the sweet pastry overpowered everything — including a bone-dry, overcooked burger. I'd gone with the Slopper, Crave's version of a Pueblo creation that traditionally features an open-faced cheeseburger completely smothered with chile. This one subbed a grilled cheese sandwich for the bun, stacked a cheese-covered patty on top of that, then added onions, tomatoes, more cheese, poblano peppers and a dollop of sour cream before drowning everything in what was allegedly green chile — but tasted like thick gravy with no suggestion of heat.
I guess the burger market is getting quite saturated now. The Fatburger locations in Park Meadows and Highlands Ranch have now been turned into "Epic Grill."
I liked it. Can't say if it was the best burger I've had because of all the toppings but the menu was compiled with all the strange/unique burgers and people seem to love it. And it isn't a chain but still owner run! It was solid and unique.
I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my girl-friend loves her Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from : BidsBit.com
I have eaten at Crave at least 12 times, and I think that they serve the most amazing food. Jeff Richards is a culinary genius. Nobody that I know who has eaten at Crave has not fallen in love with the concept. They had me at the first bite of the Nutty Professor burger.
I have completed every burger @ Crave and I am inclined to agree with the previous comment. I have never had a burger remotely even close to dry or overcooked. I love every burger on the menu and even ones that aren't. I definitely recommend Crave to anyone and everyone that appreciates great creative burgers.
I've been to crave over 10 times and so have many friends and NEVERRRRR have i had an overcooked burger, they are always exceptional and tasty ........and only a real foodie can tame to Luther
What exactly is a "real foodie?"
I don't find the piling on of rich, sugary, fatty, and salty ingredients to an already rich, fatty, and salty item like a hamburger to be in any way an advancement in food, nor do I find the celebration of gluttony in the style of Adam Richmond or Guy Fieri to be anything but ultimately gag-inducing. Eating can certainly be fun, but any definition of foodie has to include the fact that you like food. People who like food don't do this kind of thing to food.
People who like food don't judge a dish until they've actually tried it, and I see nothing in your patronizing comment to suggest that you've ever eaten at Crave. I assume you're familiar with the dictionary. My bet is that your name is the first definition under the word "prick." If not there, then try "arrogant asshole."
I suggest you look up the word patronizing. You will find that my comment may have been arrogant, asshole-ish, and prick-like, but was hardly patronizing.
I don't need to eat at Crave to understand that stacking a burger on top of a doughnut on top of a fried egg on top of bacon on top of cheese is neither creative nor inspiring. Also, in what world is food never judged until it is eaten? There are many juvenile and repulsive combinations of food that someone could put together on a plate that nobody in their right mind would consider eating.
Crave is creative and pushing the envelope and I love it ....... It's great to see a small businesses thrive and become so successful, crave is an indulgence, but of course in moderation... It's an experience that won't be a let down, but like many things not for everybody .......
ì just got an iPad 2-32GB for $ 23.87 and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $ 38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $ 657 which only cost me $ 62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://x.co/ZFwj
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