April in Minnesota can be a little frustrating. We want the warm weather to get here and stay here, but reality sets in every year and we know we have to be patient. This April had me thinking of beautiful and warm, New Mexico, and it’s incredible, chile pepper dominated cuisine. After seeing Chef Al’s May Burger of the Month, it looks like he was thinking the same thing!
A lot of places do Southwestern dishes, spicy, but they can lack the true chile pepper flavor you never forget once you’ve had it down in New Mexico. Al’s May Burger of the Month is all about chile pepper flavor, which was his goal with this burger. The brisket, short rib and chuck blend of beef was, yet again, cooked perfectly to my requested medium rare. Al has a house-made southwest spice blend that he uses to generously season the beef patty. Again, seasoning is critical to a great burger! Pepper jack cheese is the perfect choice for this baby. It gives it a nice additional chile pepper kick. There’s plenty of it as you can see. Topping the pepper jack cheese is a handful of Al’s house-made jalapeno chips, which are on their appetizer menu. I know what you might be thinking, that these will dominate the burger. They don’t. These are sliced and then marinated in buttermilk for a day to cool them down a bit, then they are fried. I’m going to get the appetizer on my next visit.
The last Southwestern flavor bomb is Al’s fire roasted aioli. He fire roasts a medley of southwestern chile peppers, and purees them into a fantastic, super flavorful aioli. This is generously swiped on both the top and bottom of the perfect Denny’s 5th Ave. bakery bun. I enjoyed this so much. The juices from this burger were running down my hands on onto my plate. Let me stress one thing. This burger is not too hot for the average Minnesota palate. It’s got a little kick, but great southwestern flavor is the major takeaway from this one. It’s yet another great Burger of the Month from Chef Al! I may sound like a broken record each month, but trust me, I’m just calling them as I see and taste them. I can assure you that I wouldn’t be frequenting a place unless I loved it. There are too many great restaurants out there. How many incredible burgers do I need to tell you about before you make the trek to Celts Craft House in Apple Valley? Hopefully, this will be the one that gets you there. If not, Al will keep creating them and I will keep telling you about them.
Hand-Cut Fries – Perfect as usual! Garlic Aioli is the bomb as usual!