By: Mark Hancock
Please, have a sit. Kaiser’s American Bistro is dropping its green chili cheeseburger. I know, I know. Just let the tears flow.
called the Hasta Infierno burger, the green chili cheeseburger ($8) is a
magical mix of beef, chorizo sausage and jalapeños, topped with green
chilies and cheese. It has a kick and will be missed.
it’s not gone yet, so go get one and make some really overt yummy
noises. Maybe Kaiser’s will keep it ... although the patty melt it’s
being replaced with sounds pretty good, too.)
Shaun Fiaccone describes Kaiser’s as “stick-to-your-ribs home cooking,”
but I think of it as diner food made better. Yes, the eatery has
burgers and soups and salads, but they’re made really, really well.
Case in point: The Pollo
Diablo ($8) is a chicken sandwich. Usually I hate chicken sandwiches.
They’re boring. They’re bland. The texture is all wrong. Not this time.
Here you’ve got roasted chipotle chicken, pulled and chopped, mixed with
poblano peppers and topped with provolone cheese. Wrapped in Prairie
Thunder focaccia, it’s texturally and flavorfully exciting.
sandwiches come with a side. I preferred the mac and cheese and kettle
chips to the pasta salad and french fries, but your taste buds might
prefer another combination.
you need something with a little less heat, but just as much flavor,
the smoked salmon burger ($9) might be swimming against the stream and
into your alley. The salmon flavor is mild, complemented by melting feta
cheese and a caper aioli. Squeeze on a little lemon while you’re at it.
And if you’d like to continue thanking me, might I recommend some soup?
Grateful Bean ($3.50 a cup/$5 a bowl) is a ham and bean soup made with
smokey ham hocks and lots of diced veggies. The broth takes on a creamy
consistency as the beans break down a bit. I put in a little hot sauce,
but you do what you like.
chicken and dumplings ($3.50/$5) is even creamier, with doughy,
slightly chewy dumplings and big pieces of chicken. Very satisfying, if
you’re the type of person who gets that sort of thing from soup. (I am.)
We really can’t go on without talking ice cream. Yes, I scream, you scream, we all should get our hearing checked.
Seriously, guys. Enough
with the screaming. I know you’re excited for ice cream, but there are
better ways to show it. Maybe smile. Or offer to pay for your own.
Kaiser’s makes ice cream.
told me his favorite is salted caramel, so I tried it. He’s right: It’s
pretty awesome. You can also get sundaes, ice cream sodas and Chocolate
Nirvana ($7), which includes a fudge brownie, ice cream and whipped
cream. It’s big and it’s good.
menu at Kaiser’s will keep on changing, I’m sure. And we’ll lose some
old friends — sniff, goodbye, green chili cheeseburger — and make some
new ones. As long as the place keeps making dinerstyle food with
high-end techniques, I’ll still be a fan.
Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive
aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.