Lexington: A Beef WELL-ington at Smithtown Seafood For Lexington Burger Week
If you go to Lexington’s Smithtown Seafood of course you should get a burger, right? Well, as it turns out despite the counterintuitivity of getting beef at this seafood restaurant it’s not a bad choice at all. And for my trip to Smithtown for Lexington Burger Week it was an absolute necessity.
Lexington Burger Week ran July 6-12, and restaurants across Lexington participated by offering their own special burger for only $5 each. To go with the special price, Burger Week powers-that-be issued a list of five Burger Week Commandments:
My wife and I looked over the Burger Week options. They were vast. We only had one chance to get out for lunch that week, so we had to make it count. After some deliberation and narrowing of the list, we both agreed Smithtown’s Beef WELL-ington Burger was the burger for us. This was also part of my ongoing effort to visit all the Ouita World restaurants we’re blessed to have in the Bluegrass.
Smithtown Seafood is on the north side of town on the corner of Jefferson Street and West Sixth, which pretty much makes it the corner of cool as far as the Lexington food scene goes. Smithtown shares a building with the celebrated West Sixth Brewing. We discovered Smithtown has no seating of its own. After you order you take your number and head over to West Sixth Brewing’s seating.
Once we arrived the line seemed unusually long, and then we noticed the bus outside and the name tags on all the people in front of us. After that moment of panic, we were relieved to discover they were actually paying and leaving, rather than ordering. But then we discovered that the WELL-ington Burgers were sold out until they could make more, up to an hour later.
You may remember the First Burger Week Commandment (handed down on two tablets of ground beef): They Will Run Out
Just as we were about to leave, seemingly defeated by a busload of voracious gardeners, word came that there were, indeed, WELL-ington burgers available for immediate order. Good job, kitchen staff!
What makes the WELL-ington, well, “WELL” is the mixing in of mushroom duxelles with the beef. This makes the burger both healthier for you and also more environmentally friendly.
As it turns out, Chef Ouita is pretty sneaky and was cheating a little by having the burger do double duty. Not only was the Beef WELL-ington burger part of Lexington Burger Week but it’s also part of the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project, which promotes burgers with admixed mushrooms. It’s like handing the same paper in to two different teachers!
The good news: the calories only count once.
I also found that the mushrooms make a burger pretty tasty, too. The mushrooms gave the burger a richer savory taste, dare I say, umami. The burger was loaded with all sorts of tastiness, from crumbled bleu cheese to crispy buttermilk onions all on a great tasting croissant bun. Oh, and the fries were excellent, too.
Were other Lexington Burger Week Burgers better? If so, they were mighty fine, indeed, but we had no regrets with our WELL-ington burger. And the good news for you is that Smithtown has added it as a permanent menu item, although it’s no longer at the special Burger Week price.
From all accounts I’ve seen, Lexington Burger Week was a rousing success. It’s a great concept, and I hope even more places participate in future years. I plan to do a better job of pre-Burger Week fasting next year and have a clearer calendar so I can sample more of the goodies.
And I’ll certainly be back at Smithtown Seafood soon, and maybe I’ll even try the seafood, but it will be hard to pass up the burgers.