The Byrd at Hearsay Gastro Lounge

There was a time in my life when I couldn't imagine spending more than five bucks on a burger; now, I'm smitten with The Byrd at Hearsay Gastro Lounge despite its $15 price tag.

At Hearsay, the regular burger, composed of angus beef, cheddar, bacon, red onions, and chipotle mayo, is certainly enticing and slightly cheaper ($12). If I were a more moderate girl, I would have ordered and enjoyed it.

But when dining out, and especially after one or two cocktails, I usually go for the over-the-top entree: large, decadent, and usually expensive. The Byrd definitely fit that description.

In addition to all the components of The Hearsay Hamburger, The Byrd also has mozzarella (now we're up to TWO cheeses), onions, jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, tomato, AND avocado AND a fried egg, two of my fail-safe food add-ons. Furthermore, in lieu of the parmesan fries that accompany the regular burger is a deep dish of "Mac and Four Cheese," which, in case you can't tell by the name, is Hearsay's delightfully wet version of macaroni and cheese.

I ordered my burger rare, but the server informed me the kitchen wouldn't do anything more raw than medium rare. From past experience, I've learned a request for a rare burgers is not always granted due to restaurant regulations and liability issues. Commenter Vonroach has also rightfully advised me that being an "ass" when ordering a rare burger doesn't help my chances either.

So, at Hearsay, I shut my trap and replied, "Medium-rare is fine."

Maybe medium-rare isn't what it used to be or maybe the server relayed my request to the chef, who threw caution in the wind, because my patty had a luscious pink interior. Its juices mingled with the sunny yolk, and together both contrasted the sweet dough of the bun wonderfully.

Sometimes, there is a certain diminishing utility with burger toppings, as vegetables, condiments and cheeses tend to turn into one huge mess of homogeneous tastes. Fortunately, that wasn't the case with The Byrd, whose layered additions remarkably retained their flavor integrity; halfway through my burger, a little pocket of mayo or mustard or a bit of tomato or avocado would emerge as the dominant flavor of the moment.

The only reason not to order The Byrd at Hearsay is if you prioritize continued conversation involving intense gesticulations during dinner. This burger demands two hands and golden silence for basking in its deliciousness.

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Joanna O'Leary