I am constantly asked when the subject turns to burgers... “Have you tried The Goose…have you tried The Goose…have you tried The Goose?” With all of that positive energy guiding me to downtown Darien and a plaque commemorating The Goose’s “2014 Best of...” greeting me as I approached the front door...my hopes were pretty high that The Goose's burger would knock my socks off.
I decided to grab one of the high top tables in the bar. The bar area had a fantastic vibe with its high top tables in front of a long wood bar that dominated the entire length of the room, behind the bar a full wall displaying a wide array of liquors, and TV’s airing ESPN, Sports World, Baseball World, all things wood and sports, a great pub feel.
The menu included two beef burgers; the basic BLACK ANGUS BURGER, where you can build your own combination, and THE GOOSE BURGER, which included bacon, blue cheese, crispy onions and horseradish cream (definitely a pub-creation). I decided on my traditional bacon cheeseburger medium-rare and added the crispy onions. I asked if fries were included and I was informed I could substitute fries for the chips for an additional $1. So the total for my creation was $17, high for a bar, but completely in line with its neighbors, Darien Social and 1020.
When the burger arrived, it sat on the plate open faced. The patty was topped with the bacon, melted cheese and crispy deep-fried onion bits. The bun side was topped with iceberg lettuce and slices of tomato, red onion and a pickle. Included on the plate was a large mound of golden brown fries and a little plate of ketchup.
I cut the patty in half and it was a bit overcooked, more medium to medium-well than the requested medium-rare. The thickness of the patty was about a half-inch, firm in texture and flat on both sides, probably pressed while prepared. The flavor was good, with just a touch of richness, nothing special. It lacked any seasoning and I would have preferred a little salt and pepper (shakers on the table). It was very juicy with the bottom bun absorbing a fair amount of the juice. The bacon was standard fare, cooked perfectly and delivered a little saltiness and smokiness. The generic cheese was well melted, and oozed down the sides of the burger. The crispy onions offered a crunchy textural difference and I liked the oniony flavor that they added. The basic potato bun was quickly grilled prior to assembly. Individually the items were non-descript, but together they delivered a very good combination. Maybe a contender in my next annual Best Bar Burger category.
I only wish the fries were as good as they looked. Some were delicious but most were undercooked...the beautiful golden brown exterior was paired with less than fully cooked interior. The seasoning was also very erratic, some with zero salt, some perfect and others over-salted.
Overall, the burger at The Goose was a very good bar burger, but fell short of the tremendous hype I received prior to the visit, and the fries were disappointing.
972 Post Road - Darien, CT 06820