Last Saturday, James and I headed down to Tremont for dinner at the Lava Lounge.
He was craving their cheeseburger.
Let me step back a bit. My boyfriend has an affinity for burgers that goes beyond that of most, and the cheeseburger at Lava Lounge is hands-down his favorite burger in town.
So, because he loves this burger and I love the Lava Lounge, that is where we went. I was super happy at his suggestion to go to Tremont because he used to not be very big on the neighborhood, but I can totally tell it’s starting to grow on him.
Anyway… when we got to Lava it was pretty dead. Not always a great thing, but we were there pretty early and it was the day after an Art Walk, so I kind of expected a small crowd. We started with drinks, as usual. (Beer, as usual.)
Lava Lounge has a small but respectable selection of beer. Only about eight on tap at a given time with about 20 in bottles. However, on draft there is not a mass-market beer (Bud, Miller, etc.) in sight — instead the Lounge opts for a selection of seasonal and year-round craft and micro brews for every taste, currently from breweries ranging from Magic Hat to Brooklyn to Flying Dog to Ommegang.
James got the Flying Dog Dogtoberfest ($4.75) while I opted for the Hennepin ($5.50) because I hadn’t had a Belgian in some time. For dinner, he of course opted for the cheeseburger ($8.50) while my mouth immediately started watering for the Tuscan Bean Soup ($4.50).
The burger, which is topped with horseradish-dill havarti cheese and red onion jam on a ciabatta roll, was all that James was craving, though he does admit that it’s never as good as the first time he had it. (Though I have a felling this has something to do with the anticipation/expectations being so much higher after having tasted it the first time.) It’s served with frites that are tasty, and unique in that they are battered before being fried.
The bean soup was the perfect meal for one of the first truly chilly evenings of the fall. Piping hot, tomato-y, with soft beans and topped with fresh basil and really good quality hard Italian cheese (I’d guess Parmesan-Reggiano).
After round one, we were pretty stuffed so we decided to visit our friend Sarah, who lives down the street from Lava, for a bit before heading back to try the Espresso Creme Brulee that caught both of our eyes. About an hour later, we were back as promised with another friend, Kristy, in tow.
Ho. Ly. Cow. Was that creme brulee ($5.50) delicious. As our waitress pointed out, often creme brulee is overly sweet, but the espresso cut that so well, and the fresh strawberries on top provided just enough acidity and freshness to make this one of the most perfect desserts I’ve had in a long time. Oh, and to top it off we both paired it the Brooklyn Stout ($4.75) from the tap. (Honestly, not 100% sure which beer this was because I thought I heard “mocha,” which doesn’t exist from Brooklyn, but I am pretty sure it was the Black Chocolate Stout.)
(Kristy got an order of frites for $5, and the portion was so large that she ended up boxing half to take home. Good deal!)
All in all, we spent about $50, which for a Saturday night is really not so bad for two. However, if you want to check out the Lava Lounge without forking over quite so much of your hard-earned cash, check them out during happy hour, any weeknight from 4-8 PM. During this time, several dishes (including James’ cheeseburger) and drinks (including knock-your-socks-off martinis) are discounted.