Sunday, April 17, 2016

Small Cheval

While I typically go for a full meal when I go out (appetizer, entree, dessert), when I go out for a burger, I am almost always just going out for a burger.  There was no question about this when I went to Small Cheval.  Located in the former Roxie's By the Slice space and owned by the same group, there were no gross changes in the space between concepts.  It did change the seating layout, putting a counter along the outside walls with bar stool seating and adding a communal table in the center, also with bar stool seating.  Ordering is done at a counter at one corner of the dining room and a paging device is given to you which buzzes when your order is ready.  Small Cheval has, if not the simplest, then one of the simplest menus around.  It consists of two items, a hamburger and a cheeseburger (American Cheese).  The one side is Golden Fries.  The burgers come with Lettuce, Tomato, Grilled Onions, and Dijonnaise.  Bacon can be added for an additional charge.  The burger is based on the very popular burger served at Au Cheval.  There are slight difference between the two, but they are essentially the same.  For drinks, they have an 8 head tap serving beers ranging from the very cheap (Miller High Life and Schlitz) to selections from local breweries like Half Acre and Local Option, to some national craft brews like Ommegang and Founders.  They also serve a small number of cocktails and sell shots.  For my burger, I went with the Cheeseburger with Bacon with a side of Golden Fries and a Half Acre beer.  The Au Cheval burger has been listed as one of the best burgers in America.  The original restaurant, Au Cheval, will frequently have waits of several hours for their burgers and Small Cheval will have a line during hot times.  I will say that while they make a good burger, it isn't worth a several hour wait.  I would argue that a lot of the line is caused by hype.  While I would certainly have and enjoy their burger again, I wouldn't wait several hours for it and would quickly go elsewhere if that was the case.    

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