Sherman's Food Adventures: Upstairs @ Campagnolo

Upstairs @ Campagnolo

"Have you heard of the Dirty Burger?", queried Sean.  "No", I replied.  "Okay, have you been to Upstairs @ Campagnolo???", asked Sean.  "Uh...  No...", as I gave a perplexed look.  Yes, I was more confused than a Corolla in a traffic circle.  I guess I've been a little out-of-touch lately, but to be fair, I'm busy with other things...  Like watching the Canucks.  Wait, they're not in the playoffs.  Okay, then I have lots of time to catch up then!  Anyways, I ended up meeting up with Sean to check out this mysterious place atop Campagnolo.

Arriving at opening, we got the pick of the limited amount of tables.  Of course we snagged one of the only window seats as the rest of the place was pretty dark.  In addition to the full Campagnolo menu, a few exclusive items were available.  Being a bar, we started with some beers and an order of the 18-Month Dry Aged Ham served with bread. The fatty ham had a soft prosciutto quality to it while being much less salty.  For some of the thicker slices, there was a bit of effort to chew while the thinner ones were buttery and went well with our beverages.

Next up was one of their daily features being the Fried Chicken Skin drizzled with honey, house-made hot sauce and garnished with blue cheese.  Rather than some of the other versions that only feature a very light dusting of flour, these were full-on battered with a crunchy coating.  Hence, there was more body, seasoning and texture.  The hot sauce had a real kick that amped up in stages while the honey and blue cheese helped bring it back down.  We shared a side of their Kennebec Fries which were in an attractive shade of deep fried.  I particularly liked how they were still very much potatoey inside while the outside was easy on the greasy and crispy.

Onto the Dirty Burger, it looked actually quite clean and simple.  Consisting of a house-made 45-day dry-aged beef patty fried with onions topped by lettuce, tomato, pickle, American cheese and secret sauce (looks like mayo, ketchup, mustard and paprika and seasonings), it is the reincarnation of the one served at Refuel.  All of this was served on a butter-fried bun.  You know how most burgers are a study in how moist and soft everything is?  Well, this one was an exercise in crispy and crunchy, including the patty.  The sinfully butter-soaked bun (known as a Scotch Bap) was super crunchy and nutty tasting.  That gave way to crisp lettuce, crunchy pickles and a patty that had a noticeably charred exterior.  The one thing that really came through was the purposeful amount of onions.  Definitely an interesting and different burger.  Other than a few small bar snack items, this was essentially the whole menu which is a reflection of the place - simple and to the point.

The Good:
- Simple with no useless frills
- If Campagnolo is busy, you can get the full menu here

The Bad:
- Health food this is not, far from it
- Limited seating which means it will get pretty full like downstairs

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