We tried the new Hangry Bison (https://thehangrybison.com/) in Winter Park Village for lunch this past Wednesday. Directly across from my favorite movie theater in town, parking is usually at a premium there, so it seemed like a great off-time to go. That space has been a few different restaurants, and I can’t imagine how high the rent is there. The Hangry Bison has been open for less than a month at this point. The location is great, the space is nice (lots of mason jar lights, which I guess are a thing now), and I wish them the best there. Love their name, too!
We ordered the pretzels and beer cheese as an app, and the pretzels were awesome. Very rich, buttery, and soft, with the slightest crispness from their shiny exterior, they reminded me of my mall guilty pleasure, Auntie Anne’s pretzels. The beer cheese had the slightest tangy bite. Very good stuff.
They have several different burger options on the menu, including bison, short rib, spicy Italian sausage, and vegan Impossible burger patties to choose from. My wife chose the short rib burger on a pretzel bun. I couldn’t decide between the bison, short rib, and sausage, so I went with the Haymaker for $25, a monstrosity with one of each patty. The best of all possible worlds! It is meant as a challenge meal, so huge that you win a T-shirt if you can conquer it in one sitting. But I’m too old for that shit, to quote Roger Murtaugh. I knew I could get three meals out of it, and I’m already at four meals!
Yes, the Haymaker comes with two grilled cheese sandwiches on thick Texas toast in place of a standard bun, with lettuce and tomato, jalapenos, onion straws, bacon, pepper jack cheese, “bourbon sauce,” and a vast field of fries. Ridiculous. At the restaurant, we focused on sharing the fries, and I deconstructed it and took a couple of bites out of each patty.
The menu says you can get them cooked medium, medium-well, or well done, so we opted for medium, but we both wished we had asked for ours medium-rare. They were all on the dry side, with a strong char-grilled taste to the meat. Medium-rare would have been a lot juicier and better. I gotta be honest: I didn’t notice the bourbon sauce or the pepper jack cheese, although it did come with a lot more of the beer cheese on it. Not complaining, just giving my assessment. Also, the cheese in the grilled cheese sandwiches was cheddar, and it didn’t melt very well, as you can see. There’s no shame in using American cheese, folks — especially on a burger or in a grilled cheese sandwich. Few cheeses melt better.
Since hauling our leftovers home, I’ve had the rest of the bison patty on one of the grilled cheeses, the rest of the short rib patty on the other grilled cheese, reheated the enviable amount of bacon in the toaster oven and served it to my wife with a homemade blueberry pancake the next morning, and chopped up the sausage patty and cooked it with some onions and roasted red peppers to serve over pasta last night. So I definitely got my money’s worth!
Remember: get the pretzels, and ask for medium-rare!