[Welcome to Snap Judgment, a new regular Blogtown feature wherein I'll be dropping by places both old and just opened for a one-dish fly-by, and developing an opinion based on that singular experience. Basically, it's the complete opposite of what I do each week for Last Supper. I don't expect to get it right all the time. I do expect you to correct me.- PAC]
The only Micah Camden joint I've ever reviewed is Fats, and I was notably cranky (as was Camden based on the voicemail he left me after that particular review). But, it's important to note I didn't pan the food. In fact I feel I was pretty fair when you get right down to it. No love lost.
With the opening of Camden's Little Big Burger [122 NW 10th], I'm going to concede that he has indeed created and empire. And after sitting down in this joint for a tallboy, a burger, and some French fries, I can honestly say my expectation were completely blown out of the water.
Snap Judgments after the Jump!
The important parts: Little Big Burger is all about its namesake. The menu is exceedingly short. You can get a burger, a burger with cheese, a veggie burger, French fries, a soda, a float, a beer… And that's about it, folks. But there have been tons of places that have built an amazing reputation on few options. In-N-Out Burger comes to mind. In fact, Camden could have a rival here if he ever wanted to franchise this shit.
The less import but still important parts: The space is impressively cool. The graphic mural on the wall is striking and aggressive, as if a "normal" fast food chain had been dynamited and its remnants strung out along the wall. The service is quick and friendly, though being so new I think they're still trying to find a rhythm with the POS situation. Also of note is the big selection of canned micros.
Some concerns: Lines here could be a serious issue; from the sounds of it their opening day was absolutely insane. But, like I said, they are pretty quick. I was in around 1 pm; there wasn't a line and my food arrived promptly. I'm more concerned with the noise level. Even being just "kinda" busy, the place was very noisy. Also, with the front-and-center open kitchen, I'd like the line cooks to tell jokes or something. Admittedly, that may be going to far. (I'd forgotten my phone so I was a bit bored until the food arrived.)
The food situation: Yes, about that food! Goddamn. The burger at Little Big Burger exceeded my expectations. No shit, the thing is slider-small, it says so right on the front door, but it is delicious. From bun to beef it's an excellent morsel and despite its size I did not feel cheated. Picklopolis pickles help the situation, as does the Cascade Natural Beef patty. I ordered mine with blue cheese, and they certainly didn't skimp. The truffle fires are also quite good, and I believe they rival those coming out of Violetta's small kitchen (which is saying something).