A prose poem that dominates the men's room wall at DMK Burger Bar suggests that the portobello and turkey burgers make a pair akin to Nelson Algren and Simone de Beauvoir. But I'm hard-pressed to see anything even vaguely Algren-esque in that combo, and I'm more than little sad that David Morton and Michael Kornick's most enjoyable contribution to the Year of the Burger is nothing beefier than a nicely sagey turkey patty with smoked Swiss, arugula, and Dijonaise. DMK wants to be the burger place for everyone, offering a house-molded veggie option, two turkeys, a lamb, and the aforementioned fungus in addition to six grass-finished beef varieties (notoriously low in fat and more prone to overcooking than corn-fed beef, but pleasantly resistant to the mandibles). But Kornick and Morton (son of Morton's founder Arnie) have clearly taken a cue from the architecturally topped burgers pioneered by Kuma's Corner. While it makes good business sense to reference that style for the hordes who can't tolerate the prohibitive wait times there, the patties favored at DMK can't stand up to heavy strata of toppings. These are skinny burgers: five ounces, cooked medium with no dispensation allowed for the blood fiend (sensible enough for a restaurant whose customer base is drawn from a neighboring hospital complex). And any flavor or subtlety to the beef is submerged under the equivalent of a Reuben or an order of huevos rancheros or layers of bacon, cheddar, and BBQ sauce. Even DMK's pleasantly gamy grass-fed lamb patty disappears between salty layers of feta, black olive tapenade, and tzatziki. Fries, offered in an almost equally varied selection of flavors and sauces, are more appealing—well browned and crisp. Deep-fried pickles and okra, onion strings, and two choices of grilled cheese join house-made soda, ice cream sandwiches, and lumpy milk shakes to complete a set of referents to burger drive-ins past.
Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover