Friday, August 9, 2013

Greenline Grill takes over next to Zodiac

Posted By on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 at 4:55 PM

When I first met Bobby Couch, a then-Paragon Culinary School student, he was undertaking a nearly 24-hour hell day of a final exam back in the summer of 2009. During dinner service, a serious kitchen accident occurred, leaving the military veteran with severe burns and an option to quit and retake the test later. 

"Fuck that, I'm finishing," he blurted to school dean Victor Matthews, who had responded to the screams from the kitchen and returned to our table with an amusingly bemused but somewhat proud look on his face. 

Obviously, Couch's name stuck with me, and I wasn't surprised to later run into the resilient culinarian during his later stints at Nosh, the Craftwood Inn and, most recently, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

I was however surprised to receive this email from him a couple of days ago:

Hey Matt,
I just soft opened my "onion" fried hamburger restaurant next to the zodiac venue. We are still working a couple kinks out with the fountain machine etc. but I remodeled the entire inside of the former "slice" pizzeria and I believe it looks pretty damn good. The menu is straight forward, small and good.

And, I was admittedly surprised by his trust in the location, which has seen quite a number of hopeful eateries come and go in recent years. 

"I'm confident," he later told us. "The product is fresh and good. ... I'm not just a jackass cooking hamburgers." Couch also notes that since he soft-opened on Aug. 2, he's had a handful of customers who've literally been by to eat every day since. 

So, last night, we stopped by after work to grab a quick bite, indeed finding Couch's self-assessment pretty accurate. First, click the photo below to read about the El Reno-style Fried Onion Burger, which enjoys its own annual festival back in Oklahoma, Couch's childhood stomping ground: 

click to enlarge The words "dust bowl" and "burger" have never paired so well together. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The words "dust bowl" and "burger" have never paired so well together.

Here's a look at the new signage:
click to enlarge The story of the Greenline name (sometimes seen as one word, other times as two) and "flying cock" logo involves both a Paragon Culinary School project and the referencing of 32 flavors of marijuana lollipops. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The story of the Greenline name (sometimes seen as one word, other times as two) and "flying cock" logo involves both a Paragon Culinary School project and the referencing of 32 flavors of marijuana lollipops.

And a look at the revamped interior:
click to enlarge Bright colors perfectly suited to a tiny burger joint. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Bright colors perfectly suited to a tiny burger joint.

And the menu:
click to enlarge A nod to paired down simplicity. A few things done well. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A nod to paired down simplicity. A few things done well.

Caramelized onions are the key to the famous onion-fried burger:

click to enlarge Note the modified masonry trowels repurposed as spatulas. It's blue collar beauty through and through. Patties are dusted with salt, pepper and garlic as they sear. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Note the modified masonry trowels repurposed as spatulas. It's blue collar beauty through and through. Patties are dusted with salt, pepper and garlic as they sear.

The finished burger, an 85-15 mix of sirloin/chuck to fat, picked up fresh from Andy's Meat Market:
click to enlarge This is far from the crazy-ass gourmet burgers currently stacking the kitchen sink between two slices of bun (or worse, donuts). This is as close to as simple as it gets, no major frills past the onions and a good sear. "Good, fresh and homey," in Couch's words. The burgers also get a melted cheddar cap with the lettuce and tomato. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • This is far from the crazy-ass gourmet burgers currently stacking the kitchen sink between two slices of bun (or worse, donuts). This is as close to as simple as it gets, no major frills past the onions and a good sear. "Good, fresh and homey," in Couch's words. The burgers also get a melted cheddar cap with the lettuce and tomato.

The Coney, sourced from Flint, Mich.-based Koegel Meats, which are quite popular in Detroit:
click to enlarge Couch's house mustard slaw takes a full week to prepare, with two days soaking the chopped cabbage in salt, then reducing it with vinegar and sugar, and lastly letting it marinade for three to four days in mustard and a few other ingredients. The chili, by contrast, takes a brief five minutes to infuse ground beef with smoked paprika. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Couch's house mustard slaw takes a full week to prepare, with two days soaking the chopped cabbage in salt, then reducing it with vinegar and sugar, and lastly letting it marinade for three to four days in mustard and a few other ingredients. The chili, by contrast, takes a brief five minutes to infuse ground beef with smoked paprika.

Lastly, really good, salty hand-cut fries:
click to enlarge You don't need any ketchup to enjoy these — they're great as is, heavily salted. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • You don't need any ketchup to enjoy these — they're great as is, heavily salted.

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