I’d been meaning to get over to Red Owl Tavern for a while. Hotel Monaco just opened back in September and I’d been to their rooftop lounge, Stratus, but Red Owl is their cozier (and warmer) bar downstairs. I stopped in for Sunday brunch to try – what else? – their Big Red Owl Burger topped with crispy bacon, cheddar, herb sauce, onion marmalade and a side of pepper jack cheese fries. (Other people who had been here told me that they melt shredded cheese on top of the fries and it sounded amazing.)
So I sat at the bar and placed my order while perusing their ridiculously large liquor selection. (Is that a bottle of Hibiki? I didn’t even know you could get that in PA!) They also had a “To Go” cafe inside the restaurant for hotel guests looking to just get a quick pastry and coffee, and an upstairs seating area as well. Finally, my food came out and it was just a pile of cheesy deliciousness.
The waiter warned that the fries side of my plate would be hot, obviously from them sticking it under the broiler to get the cheese to melt. I liked the little bit of cheese; I was originally worried they would be too ooey-gooey, like diner-style cheese fries.
I had ordered my burger medium and it was slightly medium-well. But I really the herb sauce & onion marmalade; it helped distract from the overcooked flavor. Tomato & lettuce were nice and fresh, bacon was nice and crispy, and the bun was a cute little seedy brioche. (What can I say? I love cute buns!)
I would definitely try the burger again in the hopes of getting it spot on pink & juicy. The other elements of the burger really helped keep it together instead of making it a disappointment.
Burger rating: “B”