Katie Brown photo
Over the past few years, restaurants across Richmond have been spinning the hamburger from tired, old standby to foodie delight. From Can Can Brasserie's upscale elegance to the greasy joy of Honeywhite's, there is a burger for every taste. So it was no real surprise that when the people who brought Richmond the Baja Bean Co. opened a new Shockoe Bottom eatery, Station 2, they focused the menu on burgers.
There are two ways to go at Station 2: the simple griddle-pressed burger, a steal at $3.50, or the char-grilled burgers, starting at $9. The burger itself is tasty Angus beef, and there are about a dozen for gourmet combinations. Some work well, like the George Orwell (pictured); topped by two fried eggs with bacon, it's served on mayo-grilled Texas toast (this would have been my dream burger during my college years to soak up a night of overindulgence). Others, not so much. The Spicy Wasabi Burger makes good use of the heat of wasabi, but the wasabi peas in the burger have an off-putting crunch.
The menu has a nice array of appetizers, some of which can be ordered as sides with your burger. Against my better judgment, my 7-year-old son, Finn, really wanted to try the fried pickles. I should listen to him more often. Accompanied by grainy mustard, the combination of spicy and sour was a pleasant surprise. Less successful were the potato "shingles," thinly sliced and fried. Underseasoned and undercooked, they were disappointing. The real winner? The sweet-potato tots. They were slightly crunchy outside and smooth and sweet inside.
Station 2 would be a contender for a real go-to burger place in Richmond except for one thing: the buns. Described as challah, they are locally made but so tasteless and bland, they tend to suck the life out of the burgers.
2016 E. Main St., 249-4702
Prices: Appetizers $4 to $6; burgers and entrées $3.50 to $10 (unless you order the massive "station ladder," three burgers stacked with buns and various toppings, plus a mound of fries, tots and straws for $25).
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.