I've been wanting to write about the Cuban Lamb Burger at Mint/820 since I went there for happy hour a few weeks ago and was blown away by a bite I took from a co-worker's plate. Considering I hadn't actually had a whole (or even half) portion, I didn't feel I was experienced enough with it to do it justice. Now that I've been back and devoured my own lamb burger, I'm ready to dive in.
But first, some background. Like I said, the first time I visited Mint was with some coworkers for happy hour (which was Brandi's going away "party"). The restaurant/bar is called Mint/820 and located on 816 N. Russell St. and Albina. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m. and goes til either 6:30 or 8:00 p.m. depending on the day of the week. When I went the first time, it seemed like only the patio (which is pretty comfortable albeit a little crowded) was open for the H hour crowd. Happy hour is TOTALLY the time to go. The Cuban Lamb Burger, otherwise $13.00 is only $8.00 during this glorious time frame.
But - on to the eats: The hand formed patties are made from lamb raised locally at Cattail Creek Farm in the Willamette Valley. The patty's perfect natural crust encloses a tender, mildly spiced ground meat that is succulent and juicy. The bottom bun features a buttery hunk of melted cheese (not sure what kind) while the top is slathered with a creamy cilantro "chimichurri." Strips of tomato piled on top of the patty offer the perfect fresh complement to this ensemble. The best part is, the burger comes with salad (seriously?) or fries (why even bother to ask). The fries are sweet potato fries - perfectly crispy and dusted with flaky sea salt. They're served with a side sauce that tastes like (and Brandi verified IS) a combination of Sriracha hot sauce and mayonnaise (among other things). To die for. Guaranteed.
As for the cocktails.....Denise forced me to try her favorite - the IVO, and I've been talking about it ever since. It's (to quote from their menu) "Cruzan vanilla rum, harlequin and lemon lime juice, served up in a sugared martini glass." This drink is desserty but light, so unique and just divine. There's another drink on their menu that caught my fancy - the Ad Lib: "Vodka muddled with cilantro and lemon lime juice, served up in a sugared martini glass." This drink sounds a lot simpler than it tastes, but when you ask them to make it spicy - it is (I would say "literally" if that was grammatically correct) to die for. It goes well with that lamb burger, which is what'll really have me coming back.