I met some friends at Open Society for lunch the other day. I heard they have a new chef and I looked at the menu online and was intrigued. It has been changed a bit since the last time I was there, which was quite a while ago.
So I was torn between breakfast type items and lunch, but when I saw they had something called the society burger, which is further described as a “smash burger,” I got even more interested. Could it be a nice thin burger? I mean what else could “smash burger” mean right? Well, I don’t know why they use that term, because this was actually more like a meatball than any type of patty. I was kind of sad about this. Also, it was a very well-done meatball, which was also a bummer (they didn’t ask how I wanted it). It came topped with cheese, arugula, pickles and a special sauce. I enjoyed the flavors of the toppings, but sadly, the meat was disappointing. And the bun was also quite round in shape. The whole thing ended up being like the opposite of a thin burger. The fries here are quite delicious though. I particularly like the crunchy end bits. I like a nice crunchy fry, and these hit the spot. They serve them with ketchup though, which is kind of boring.
I also had a couple of bites of my friend’s avocado toast ($12), which visually looked amazing. How can you go wrong with avocado, egg, and cheese right? Well, the whole plate, salad and asparagus included, was strangely under seasoned. I guess because avocado and eggs both cry out for salt, but we kept salting it (which we had to ask for) and still were not getting it right. Same thing with the dressing on the greens. It was kind of sad for something so beautiful to be lacking such depth. Especially since the description described Aleppo oil (Aleppo is a type of pepper) as an ingredient, which we thought would liven it up, but we struggled to find the flavor of it.
The final thing I had just a bite of was ‘nduja sandwich ($15). It came topped with local ‘nduja, avocado, roasted red pepper and Havarti on Amelia’s bread. It also had chips on the side. This sandwich had a distinct spicy flavor to it, unlike the others. It must have been the ‘nduja, but it had a kick to it for sure. It was not like ‘nduja I had had before—not as soft and spreadable, but still the sandwich was pretty good. I liked the thin cut bread. This is the type of bread I really enjoy on a sandwich. I can’t say it’s a sandwich I would repeatedly order, but I enjoyed the bites I had.
Overall, I was a little disappointed with the food I had, particularly my “smash” burger. Hopefully one day I will find out what it has this name.
4850 North College Ave
Noise rating (at lunch): 1 bell out of 5.