I happened to be in Palo Alto this weekend and I knew that I had to try a burger that seems to be on everyone's "Best of Palo Alto" list, Workshop Burgers. Unfortunately the restaurant Workshop Burgers could actually use some work of it's own. The decore is quite worn down, the air was hot and stale, and the servers didn't seem to know what they were doing. It actually seemed like a typical college bar.
I opted to order the standard Workshop Burger because the other burgers on the menu looked a little too busy for the mood I was in. Our waiter was new and I was a little worried that he would mess up our order because every time that he would repeat the order back to us he kept forgetting to mention how we wanted the burgers cooked. We kept reminding him about how we wanted the burgers prepared but he didn't seem to pay attention. And when the burgers arrived, what you know, he messed it up. Mine wasn't medium-rare and my buddie's burger wasn't medium well.
Despite the food not being cooked to our requested taste, luckily whoever was manning the grill knew what they were doing. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium, was super juicy, and flavorful*. My workshop burger was topped with a pile of sautéed onions, a perfect special aoli sauce, and cheese as I have never had on a burger before. The parmesan cheese was actually cooked and cooled into a thin disc so that it was sitting on top of the burger like a giant cheese chip. Delicious and a perfect texture complement to the juicy onions.
Lucky for us, the food wasn't typical bar food. Far from it. Lucky for Workshop Burgers that we only rate the food and not the restaurant. After much debate I have decided to hand out a five star rating. I'm not saying that every burger on the menu is going to be five stars but mine certainly was.
*in my experience medium usually means overcooked and dry which is why I tend to order medium rare. If most places could cook a burger to a perfect medium I would order medium.