Lewiston, NY

The Blossoming Summer Burgers of Cask and Cow

J.M. Lesinski

A shot of the front entrance of Cask and Cow in Lewiston, New York.Photo by J.M. Lesinski

With summer in the air at last, the sweet, char-grilled scent of burgers are not too far behind. In Western New York, there is no place with more innovative flavor combinations to experience the revered summer meat classic than the Cask and Cow in Lewiston, New York.

The burgers at Cask and Cow have a lot to live up to being the namesake of the restaurant and wow do they deliver to that. The burgers are certified black angus, superbly tender, and they start out at around thirteen bucks a pop for the classic. The bun of choice with each burger is the bianco roll, while the side of choice, house-made chips.

The Hair of the Cow tops off the featured burger menu, as it should being a breakfast burger, but also for the sheer amazing creation it is. The Hair of the Cow features one of the best cheeses put out by Yancy’s Fancy, the maple cheddar, a light white cheddar with an earthy touch of maple that just makes anything breakfast-related that much better.

Combining that sweet, gooey taste of the maple cheddar with the fried egg and bacon alone makes the Hair of the Cow a knockout, but then the orange Jameson aioli adds a tangy orange element to it that just makes this burger downright out of this world. With that much sweet, one would worry about the balance, but the sweet and salty really evens out between the maple cheddar’s white cheddar base and the bacon.

The Hot Tempered Elvis is another of the sweet and salty burgers that delivers on every point. The cheese of choice on the Cask and Cow’s spin of the peanut butter/Elvis burger is white cheddar, while the salty components are the crispy bacon and sauteed jalapenos. The sweet components, the peanut butter and caramelized bananas, are the perfect complements to the salty.

The softness of the sauteed jalapenos and caramelized bananas, mixed within the smooth texture of the peanut butter, makes the bite in soft until one hits the bacon. The less one chews, the more one savors each flavor individually and notices the real balance achieved between the buns. Bananas on a burger is not done easily too, caramelizing them is the best way to go to get a nice blend of the flavor while masking the less than desirable texture of the fruit.

The Maverick is another interesting creation at Cask and Cow. The subtleness of the provolone cheese and the crunch of onions really make the saltiness of the fried capicola pop, but the house-made Hungarian pepper spread is really where the flavor explodes. The mix of pepper and capicola is almost too much, but the provolone and onions even things out to a smooth level nicely.

The Holy Nandi brings in all the fancy ingredients. The burger is black truffle infused with crimini mushrooms, caramelized balsamic onions, and a brie garlic spread to top it off. The word umami does not even do this burger justice the richness of the taste is so divine.

Another must-try is the Bullish Market, which features a ribeye cut patty. When one thinks of tender beef, this burger should be the image that pops into their head. The caramelized mushrooms, onions, provolone, and truffle A1 aioli accompany that juicy portion of meat stunningly.

The El Toro brings the color and vivaciousness of the fresh ingredients therein together in beautiful harmony. With queso fresco, battered avocado, roasted corn pico de gallo, a lime chipotle crème fraiche, and tri-colored torilla chips on top, the El Toro may not bring the heat, but the flavor certainly charges right out of the buns.

The Big Ox is Cask and Cow’s barbecue burger, featuring house brisket, apple coleslaw, onions, cheddar, and tangy BBQ sauce for a crispy, tangy, all around well-balanced meal. The Si Racha Rodeo is similarly the house sriracha burger with bacon, sriracha aioli, pepper jack cheese, and whiskey-fried onion rings.

The healthy burger options are present too with the veggie-based Afternoon Graze, a black bean patty burger with grilled cucumber, arugula, grilled asparagus, and sundried tomato aioli. The Bovine Dream is a full meat patty, but featuring the relatively healthier toppings of roasted eggplant, grilled asparagus, goat cheese, and the house pepper spread.

While burgers are certainly Cask and Cow’s bread and butter, the healthy options are a close second with a number of creative salads on the menu. The Happy Cow is a simple, but flavorful red wine vinaigrette salad with red onions, mixed greens, shaved carrots, cherry tomatoes, and grilled cucumber to round it out.

The Kale Plus Apple features a nice mix of baby kale and spring mix with bacon, walnuts, gorgonzola, granny smith apples, charred cherry tomatoes, and balsamic on top. The Hail Caesar does a nice spin on the Caesar salad, while the Wedge offers up a heartier option with bacon, baby iceberg, garlic croutons, cherry tomatoes, crumbled bleu cheese, and cracked pepper parmesan dressing.

In addition to the burgers, there are chicken and deli meat sandwiches to check out at Cask and Cow. The Buffalo Chicken features Yancy’s Fancy Buffalo Wing Cheese, another of the amazing signature flavors from the local cheese maker, alongside a fried chicken cutlet, lettuce, tomato, crumbled bleu cheese, and house wing sauce.

The Grilled Pittsburger comes on Texas toast, bridging a nice gap between the garlic of the bread and the tanginess of the capicola, provolone, vinegar coleslaw, and French fries on top. The turkey club and roast beef both come on ciabatta, with the turkey club coming out of little hotter with a chipotle mayo sauce and the roast beef slow roasted and richer with accompanying au jus.

With the appetizers at Cask and Cow, there is just about a little bit of everything. The pub pretzels come with Dijon aioli, the meatballs come with roasted garlic oil and parmesan, and everything loaded is loaded in every sense of the word. Chances are if you have a favorite appetizer, the Cask and Cow has it down to a science.

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I have worked as a professional journalist for over five years now, covering the arts, music, food, politics, and culture up and down both coasts of the United States. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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