Walter Mencken 7 p.m., Dec. 10
Sherman's Shack replaces Urban Chicken
Grant Hill loses a chicken house and gains a burger joint.
Urban Chicken was cool. It wasn’t the best place in the whole wide Grant Hill, but the chicken was tasty and the funky building had some charm. Naturally, I was a little bummed when the place shuttered and quickly deteriorated, the window punched out in a matter of days. But the little restau at 25th and Market is back in action, reincarnated as Sherman’s Shack, a burger and taco joint. It looks about the same inside, that is to say it’s pleasant and low key.
The menu is very different, however, being dedicated to stuffed hamburgers.
Yup, stuffed. They fill them with all manner of nonsense so that the burger appears lonesome and unadorned on its challah-like bun, a little stack of lettuce and onions (and a side of crinkle fries) its only friends. But appearances deceive and, as I chewed my way through a surf and turf burger ($10), I found tender shrimp and melted cream cheese mingling in with the ground beef.
I couldn’t stop eating it, despite being stuffed from the two enormous tacos I had just devoured. Inexpensively ($2-$2.50), the tacos were stuffed with meat and not much else. Each was a departure from the Mexican orthodoxy, but for the most part delightfully so. While the meat could have been more expertly coaxed into tenderness, the carnitas taco was loaded with sour cream, onions, and queso fresco. The drunken chicken taco was a good idea, but the whiskey-imbibed meat wasn’t exciting enough to justify a lack of sauce and cheese.
With more-than-reasonable prices and a wall of exotic hot sauces to choose from (there’s even a few bottles of naga and ghost pepper sauce for anyone suicidal enough to try them), this new restau is right on track to become a cool spot in the neighborhood. Time will tell if it will weather the iffy location.
549 25th Street