Bottom line up front – Brakeman’s is so good, it is going in my regular rotation of restaurants.
I was surprised and delighted to see a train whiz by just moments after entering the renovated train station that is now Brakeman’s Burgers.
The service was cheery and quick, as well as thoughtful. Agreeing that we needed to do thorough research for this review, a friend and I ordered a burger, pizza, and wings. We agreed to have extra food in advance, any one of those items would have been enough for one person. That said, we were so glad we tried all of the staples.
The smokehouse burger had the best bacon I have ever had on a burger – the bacon was not stringy, it was a thick cut that was cut perfectly against the grain, with a strong hint of smoke and a touch of salty and sweet. The onion straws and barbecue sauce made the burger heavenly. In my opinion, hamburger buns are a crucial element of making a great burger. The bun was soft and fresh, while sturdy enough to contain the inner layers well.
We enjoyed the Korean barbecue wings, which came garnished with sesame seeds and scallions. The outsides were crispy, the chicken was moist, and the sticky sauce perfectly enrobed the wings.
Lastly, the Coal Train Pizza had pepperoni, mushrooms, and sausage. While the crust on its own didn’t have lots of flavor, the overall pizza was really good. We rectified the lack of flavor by dunking the crust into the house-made ranch and all was forgiven. You know when a restaurant has a really good ranch, you tend to forgive little things? Brakeman’s ranch is that good kind of ranch.
Worth noting were the fries (or were they thick chips)? No matter, they are really good. I have never had fries like those at Brakeman’s. They were like a thick-cut potato shaving. The outside was perfectly crisp, the inside had just the right amount of hot, creamy potato to balance the salty and crunchy exterior. Remember the ranch I just mentioned? The fries and ranch are what will bring me back.
My only regret was not bringing my children along for the adventure, as they would have rejoiced in seeing the trains!