Whiskey Burger – Formoli’s Bistro – Sacramento, CAMay 19, 2011 • By Rodney
Formoli’s Bistro is a casually upscale full service restaurant in the East area of Sacramento, CA. They have been serving their take on Mediterranean inspired New American menu in the same neighborhood since 2008.
I first heard about Formoli’s Bistro from @dobrien917 on Twitter, who I first met a couple months ago at a #sactweetup social networks-meets-the-offline-world event. Somehow we got on the topic of burgers (I say somehow, but most of my conversations end up with burgertalk) and she recommended that I try the Whiskey Burger at Formoli’s Bistro. As usual when someone gives me a burger recommendation, I start taking notes on my iPhone. Even after that recommendation, when talking to other local burger lovers (like the good dudes at roshamburger), the Whiskey Burger at Formoli’s Bistro came up often.
When National Hamburger Month rolled around, I figured it was time for me to check out this neighborhood gem.
The Whiskey Burger’s menu description reads like a beautiful burger poem:
Pepper encrusted burger
with a whiskey demi-glace
cheddar cheese, habanero aioli
and mixed greens on a ciabatta bun
Seriously, everything about that description screamed my name.
I ordered my burger medium rare and after a reasonable amount of time, the waiter delivered maybe the most juicy burger I’ve seen in my life. So juicy that it looked like a waterfall of flavor flowed down the sides of the sandwich.
In fact, I was so captivated by the cascading juices that I turned on the HD video function of my camera and took this short video so I could accurately portray to you just how juicy this burger was:
I was also surprised at the size of the burger. For $10 (including fries), I think I was expecting a much smaller burger. First bite: delicious. Second bite: fantastic. It wasn’t until I was about halfway into the cheeseburger that I noticed the lack of the “peppery” flavor that was supposed to be encrusting the perfectly cooked patty. I was probably expecting a bit more bite from a burger that is described as “pepper encrusted”. The other flavor that I could have used more of was the whiskey demi-glace. I’m sure it was on there, but what I tasted more was the creamy and zesty habanero aioli. The melted cheddar cheese covered the burger nicely with a semi-sharp flavor and the fresh greens were a welcome contrast to the twinge of guilt I felt crushing this monster of a cheeseburger. The bun had its work cut out for it with the moisture in medium rare masterpiece, and it took care of business with a soft but firm elegance.
The Whiskey Burger at Formoli’s Bistro has that crave-worthy factor that I look for in a great burger. At only $10 during lunch, it’s one of the best burgers for the value that I’ve tried in a long time.
While I was there I learned from the waiter that Formoli’s is finally moving to a larger location a few blocks down J street to switch spots with Ganul’s Cafe at 3839 J Street. They will be closed on May 31 and will open up mid June 2011 with an added brunch menu. I definitely look forward to more trips to Formoli’s in the future.