Burger Study Makes The Grade
After establishing itself at the head of the class for more than 100 years, the St. Elmo family of restaurants concentrates on mastering burgers.
On Monday, the St. Elmo family matriculates Burger Study with plenty of pomp and circumstance.
The intimate downtown nook tucks in next door to Harry & Izzy’s on Georgia Street in a corner of the former Circle Centre Nordstrom space, allowing entrance from both the mall and the street. Decor skews manly, evoking an Ivy League library vibe defined by studded leather banquettes, dark wood tables, and retro black-and-white photos (a nod to the eatery’s St. Elmo’s parentage, perhaps?). Floating wood shelves above the bar hold stacks of books and curios, while retro library lamps offer unobtrusive light to read the menu by.
The operators here have done their homework to assemble a mouthwatering collection of sandwiches, salads, starters, and sides. The college-themed burgers steal the show, as you’d expect, with the decadent “Doctorate” ($30) rising to the head of the class with foie gras, brie, and arugula. The signature “Prime Degree” ($19) shows off BellaVitano cheese and a black pepper aioli, while root beer–glazed bacon and smoked Gouda lend a sweet note to the “Homecoming” ($13). With a generous slather of pimento cheese, bacon, crispy onion straws, and bread-and-butter pickles, the Southern Classic ($13) would make any belle proud.
From the starters list, the beer cheese tots ($8) are a must, studded with bits of crushed pretzels and diced Smoking Goose bacon, then bathed in an ethereal mix of Tulip Tree Creamery’s double crème cheese and Yuengling. Blistered shishito peppers with sesame ponzu offer a verdant counterpoint, and the cheesy chilaquiles are soulful and tasty (I topped my leftovers with a fried egg and a drizzle of Sriracha for breakfast the next morning.) An “Ivy League” plant-based burger and several meat-free salads and sides are available to placate vegetarians in the crowd.
You’ll want to save room for the bourbon salted-caramel milkshake ($12) that includes a tableside pour of St. Elmo’s private selection, Eagle Rare. The drinks list details a nice range of wine, beer, and cocktails, but the bar prides itself on being bourbon-forward. Extra credit: Water arrives at each table in a label-stripped Maker’s Mark bottle.
Final report card? No-brainer. Burger Study earns an easy A.