5100 daggett avenue
st. louis, mo 63110
DISCLAIMER: i am well aware that the world does not really need another review of five's burger. there is not much new to read here as my opinion on the burger is the popular one...it's awesome. i am planning to revisit five soon for one of their tastings as i am sure there is much more to this place than just their hugely hyped burger.
located on the hill, five bistro is one of the few non italian restaurants in the neighborhood. five describes their menu as new american, and defines it as "an eclectic mix of ethnic cuisines that celebrate the people of this country and the food of the region." offerings change daily, and while the menu is small, everything is fresh and locally sourced when possible. however, whether the restaurant likes it or not (?), they are probably most well known for their burger. available only at lunch or after ten o'clock thursday through saturday, the burger has been named best in st. louis by st. louis magazine, and was also listed on eater's heat map of the countries top 15 hottest burgers.
arriving on the hill around 11:30am on a dreary thursday morning sans reservations, we were seated without issue in the front dining room. a nice wine list as well as several microbrews and an interesting cocktail list was available, but we both declined as we were not in the mood for alcohol. browsing the concise menu, we each considered the pasta offering for about a millisecond, remembered why we were there, and went back to deciding how to top our burgers.
prior to the main event, we each elected to begin our meal with the claverach farms arugula salad made with pickled claverach farms golden beets, boiled farm egg, hickory smoked benne's farm bacon, and baetje farm 'coeur de la creme'. this was a wonderful salad with the tangy cheese and pickled beets working nicely with the bitter arugula. i cannot stress enough how much i loved these beets.
after a longer than expected wait, the moment had finally come. presented beautifully on a house made bun beneath a forest of greens, our specified medium rare burgers arrived in front of us. for toppings, i selected the prarie breeze white cheddar along with the bacon tomato balsamic jam while carrie added gruyere cheese and caramelized onion. after getting our burgers situated, we both eagerly dug in and were thrilled at first bite. the burger was cooked to a perfectly juicy medium rare, and was full of flavor. the white cheddar was sharp and delicious, and the tomato bacon jam added another element of savor along with a welcomed bit of acidity. often times pickles can be a bit of an after thought, but not at five. these are also made in house, and are absolutely wonderful.
to go with our burgers, we ordered a basket of pommes frittes that turned out to be more than we could finish. we were also brought a trio of house made condiments, which included a pretty decent ketchup, garlic aoili, and a fantastically spicy stone ground mustard.
after polishing off our burgers, we couldn't leave without a little something sweet. there were three choices, but carrie and i each went for the caramel apple bread pudding with vanilla gellato. five's take on one of my favorite desserts is done in what i call "crouton style", as the bread is served in small chunks resembling a salad topping as opposed to being one cohesive piece. while tasty enough, the bread pudding was not as warm as it should have been, with the apples being a bit crisper than ideal. this was definitely the low point of an otherwise fantastic lunch.
overall, our lunch at five bistro was very successful. while i certainly have not yet sampled all the notable burgers in st. louis, i can say that five's offering trumps burger bar, araka, and brasserie by niche as far as great burgers i have had in st. louis this year, and only falls behind the epic led zeppelin burger i had at kuma's corner in chicago as best burger i have had in the last calendar year. as i stated above in the disclaimer, five is now offering a five course tasting menu with wine pairings on friday and saturday nights, and carrie and i are very much looking forward to partaking in that in the near future.