Review for: Abbey Burger Bistro
UPDATE: I went three times this week. Tuesday (PBBB), Friday (Turkey from the menu), Saturday (Bison as made by me). On Friday I took my Dad who was in town from California. He's a man that has sampled burgers all across this great land of ours. He took one bite, looked up and said, "Wow."
I hated Sky Lounge. Loathed it. I have one friend that shall go nameless in this review that would imbibe a bit too much, swing a smoke high in the air and demand that we leave a good time so that she could dance. In Federal Hill, if over the age of 27, that meant Sky Lounge. And it also meant that's when fun would die for the evening. I hated Sky Lounge.
To see a place that so frequently squashed my fun be reborn into something like The Abbey, I immediately gave it 3-stars. Sight unseen, 3-stars, based on the simple fact that it wasn't Sky Lounge (I hated Sky Lounge).
The last two stars were added on two separate occasions. The first came after the Thanksgiving Day Parade. A friend and I found ourselves wondering back to Federal Hill for lunch. My initial thought was to go to tried and true standards, Mother's, Ryleigh's, or MaGerk's. On the way down Cross St. a sign in the sidewalk halted our progress and diverted us the alley alongside No Way Jose to The Abbey.
"Oh, hey. This the new burger place that I read about 600block.com. Let's give it a whirl," I said.
"Ok," my friend replied. "If it sucks, you're buying."
That early on a cold Saturday after being opened only a few short weeks, it wasn't very crowded. Only a few people were scattered about the place. We picked a table near the bar and I immediately recognized that we were sitting where the bathrooms were. The layout had been opened up and the space seemed far less cramped up front. Plenty of room for people to eat at the tables and weekend revelers to enjoy their drinks at or around the bar.
Mike, I think, came over to chat it up and take our order. We started with a schooling on their rich, non-typical, selection of beers. The menu of ales seemed to have had a happy arranged marriage with the artful selection of burgers. I picked an IPA that was delicious. Not sure of the exact name, but my second time in I said "IPA" and got the same beer.
The menu was full of tempting burger combinations. The one that most stood out was a burger with bacon and peanut butter. What? Who does that? I shied away and went to the make-your-own burger menu. It was full of everything from your choice of meats to fancy cheeses, a variety of toppings and breads. I went turkey burger, [insert fancy name] cheddar, and alvacado. Side of sweet potato fries.
Delicious and I was left surprisingly functional afterward. It wasn't a monster burger. A lack of flavor and goodness wasn't masked by sheer size. It was just enough and tasted awesome. Do I credit my concocting or the griller and assembler? OK, it was all me.
That experience left me both excited and confident for my second visit where the fifth and final star would be added.
I rolled in a couple days ago ready for that same beer because I like delicious beer and it had been one of those days where Miller Lite just wasn't going to cut it. Likewise, I was ready to tangle with a real burger. Something a notch above. "GIVE ME THE PEANUT BUTTER BURGER," I bellowed.
Quick, look in the mirror. What does your face look like? Are all your features moving to the center of your face as you think, "Peanut Butter Burger." That's natural, I suppose. It's an odd combination. However, I am here to tell you it's fantastic. It's a flavor experience. The peanut butter doesn't hit you immediately. It waits its turn. Burger, bacon and then peanut butter. In that order, it is awesome. It's rich, flavorful and burger-tastic with each bite. If you are at all an adventurous eater or curious, I highly recommend. Just saying that you had one seems to be fun, in concept.
So, yes. This new addition to Federal Hill is very exciting. It goes along side of a wonderful collection of restaurants that continue to give residents and visitors delightful dining options across any scale experience.
I hated Sky Lounge.
What do you think of this place? Write your own review.
Peanut butter and a burger seems wrong. You are a brave man.
Can you tell us how you really feel about Sky Lounge, Tom?
I can't wait to try this place out...like you I, too, despised Sky Lounge.
About Abbey Burger BistroNeighborhod: Federal Hill
Category: Bars, Burgers
1041 Marshall St
Baltimore, MD 21230 (443) 453-9698