I find it quite amusing that out of our blogging duo, I’m the one writing about Chuck’s. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I would have insisted that Michael pen this post if he’d been lucky enough to experience the burgers at Chuck’s in Raleigh with me last week. Sadly, Michael was not present for lunch, so it’s up to me to do this impeccably stylish and delicious burger joint justice. Perhaps having someone like me, who rarely opts for such a carnivorous meal, will make the post even more meaningful. After all, my burger at Chuck’s was, in fact, the best burger I’ve ever eaten.
I promise you that’s not an exaggeration. Clearly, I don’t order a lot of burgers, so you have to take that declaration with a grain of salt. Until my meal at Chuck’s, my all-time favorite “burger” was one we sometimes make at home using peaches and portobello mushrooms, and not an ounce of meat. Blue Mango veggie burgers were a close second. Of course, I’ve had memorable burgers in Portland at places like Nosh and Caiola’s, but honestly, they don’t even compare to what I experienced last week.
I ordered The High and Valley with crushed avocado, bacon-onion jam, and blistered red peppers. While I almost went with the veggie option (Chuck’s will make any burger on the menu a veggie burger), I decided that I needed to order the beef version in the name of Map & Menu. As you can guess from my above statement, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest, and I ate every last ounce of my burger – something I rarely do with hamburgers.
Because I had to shoot a wedding and thus was unable to take a nap right after my meal, I opted for the smaller five ounce burger as opposed to the larger half pound. I also did something I’m a little embarrassed to admit, again only because I had to begin shooting thirty minutes later… but I didn’t order any Belgian fries. I never pass up on a french fry, and more often than not, I’m thinking of ways to steal a few from Michael’s plate, so it is with great sadness that I didn’t get to experience a side of fries with roasted garlic aioli.
Wedding or not, I simply had to order a milkshake to round out my meal. While I may only rarely pass on french fries, I never ever say no to ice cream in any form, especially a milkshake. Really, could you or anyone you know actually say no to a Salty Peanut Butter with Roasted Banana milkshake? I didn’t think so. It was amazing and so worth being a tad bit sluggish post-meal.
Chuck’s is just the first of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants I’ve been able to try. Her culinary talents first came to my attention a few years ago when friends Rachel & John could not stop talking about their favorite spot in town, Poole’s Diner. Since then, Christensen has opened other Raleigh favorites including Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Fox Liquor Bar, and now Chuck’s. I cannot wait to get back down to Raleigh and try the remaining three – if my experience at Chuck’s is any indication, I know I’m in for a treat.