b:2 A Burger Boutique
Different is not always better, nor is change for change’s sake. That was my impression of b:2, a Burger Boutique, Blanc Burger‘s less affluent sibling. It’s going for the same minimalist vibe, in blue and brown rather than Blanc’s orange and white decor, with basically the same burgers only with different toppings. But execution of the menu faltered in places where it needn’t have.
I ordered a patty melt, which was topped with generous portions of swiss cheese, mushrooms, and grilled onions. The very fresh Farm-to-Market marble rye bread was toasted, though the sandwich was not grilled in the traditional manner of a patty melt. It was cooked to order and very flavorful. I was glad I had picked a burger with bread though, because looking around at other diners’ selections, it was obvious that the buns overwhelm the burgers. This may be a result of the patties being 6 ounces rather than Blanc’s 1/2 pound version (which would also explain the cheaper prices).
My husband tried b:2’s only version of a vegetarian burger. Called Almond Crusted Eggplant, it was marinated in harissa, slathered with hummus and spiced aioli and topped with mixed greens on a focaccia style bun. Though fairly tasty, it was very hard to eat. The sandwich fell apart at first bite, and the eggplant didn’t hold its own with the other ingredients. Considering that so many people really don’t like eggplant in any form, the owners may want to reconsider this offering. And unlike Blanc which gives non-meaters three good choices, the eggplant “burger” is the only entree option on the b:2 menu for vegetarians. Perhaps a vegetarian version of the b:chili? With Blvd Bully Porter, mole and black beans, this would be a hearty meal even without the meat.
Thinking I’d be enjoying the same sweet potato fries that Blanc has, that’s what I ordered. They came in a basket not a mini-shopping cart, but the major difference was in the cut, which created a totally different fry. Rather than a thin fry with the skins still on, these were a thick crinkle cut and weren’t anything special, although I did enjoy the creole remoulade dipping sauce. The chef kept the regular fries the same as Blanc’s, which was a good thing. My husband took them to another level by ordering the fries with a smoked gouda fondue, which he said was a real winner. (Yes, I tried them, but I’m not a smoked cheese fan, and prefer my fries with ketchup.) Except for the unexpected bacon, which is not mentioned on the menu. That is something that certainly should be pointed out –verbally if not on the menu–especially to someone who ordered the vegetarian sandwich! Otherwise though, the service was quick, friendly and attentive.
If I lived in Lee’s Summit, I’d be delighted to have an independent restaurant of this quality in my neighborhood, it’s one of the few non-chains around. But I’ll save the gas money and spend a few dollars more to stick with Blanc.
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