This is a return visit to State and Main. We really enjoyed our last visit so we thought it would be nice to try other dishes.
For restaurants of these types, I always like to test the menu by ordering a burger (eventually when I get around to). For me, the burger is the common thread among all these chains and dictates how they are ranked among each other accordingly. I am sure there are some dishes that one chain does better than another, but the burger is my go-to dish. As you may know, in Red Deer, Earl’s rank as my top choice for a burger from a chain restaurant.
I ordered The Main Burger as it is stated as their signature burger. A buttered and grilled brioche bun is topped with a beef patty slathered in their state sauce. Shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion and melted american cheese are added to dress the burger. You also get a choice of 2 sides: mixed greens, ginger cilantro slaw, honey slaw, caesar salad, french fries (gravy or dill dip), jalapeno cheddar corn bread, jalapeno cheddar mashed potato, or deviled egg potato salad. Talk about choices! I have never seen so many options available in a chain restaurant before. I picked french fries and jalapeno cheddar mashed potato. Upon inquiring about the dip, the waitress was so nice to offer both gravy and dill dips for me to try. It was a nice gesture.
My first bite confirmed a nice charred and grill flavor from the beef patty. I noticed that they shred their lettuce like McDonald’s which helped retain water and added moisture to the burger (not the case for McDonald’s though). The tomato slices, on the other hand, did not have much flavor so I end up adding hot sauce and ketchup to give the burger and overall tangy taste. I also did not discern any notable flavor from their state sauce, but perhaps it is because the state sauce was overwhelmed by my addition of hot sauce and ketchup.
I do love the choice of a bricohe bun to contain all the goodness. It held everything together all the way to the last bite. However, I would not know that it was grilled if I didn’t read the menu description.
The fries were oh-so-tasty! It’s not just salt they dusted them with. There is additional seasoning which really makes these fries pop! I consider these some of the best french fries that I have had in Red Deer.
Between the two dips, I gravitated to the dill dip. It is very refreshing which complimented the fried goodness of the french fries.
Alternatively, the jalapeno cheddar mash was a curve ball. First thing that I noticed was the combined hints of cheddar cheese and jalapeno. I also noticed the mash had a very nice creamy texture. Unfortunately, the fries just outshone the mash. C’mon, it was some of the best fries that I have ever had in Red Deer. It’s hard to compete with that and especially when you try with mash.
My wife also ordered the Chicken Club Wrap which contains oven roasted chicken, peppered bacon, cheddar cheese, avocado, tomato, shredded lettuce, and mayo. Again, you have your choice of any two sides. For this dish, she chose sweet potato fries and a mixed greens. She also chose the dill dip to go with her fries.
The wrap was sizable and packed tightly with plenty of chicken. I noticed that they used grape tomatoes. It’s a very nice touch as the usual wraps tend to share the same tomatoes as burgers (to minimize ingredient variety in the kitchen).
The addition of avocado gave the wrap, which can often be very dry, a moist and creamy texture while the lettuce and bacon maintained a crunch factor. The chicken club wrap is definitely a nice alternative to the traditional burgers.
The sweet potato fries were delicious. They came out thin and crispy while maintaining a soft center. They are a little harder to execute than regular potato french fries as I have received sweet potato fries that were either over fried with a hardy crunch completely through the center or the polar opposite where they were all limpy and soggy (the latter being the worst of the two). Thus, I was very happy to see that State and Main fried these sweet potato fries just right.
There’s not much to talk about in terms of the mixed greens. It’s a small portion, but it does add to the lightness of the meal. I cannot see myself pairing the salad with a burger. It goes better with the wraps and lighter mains on the menu.
I consider State and Main another wonderful alternative to my usual favorite chain, Earl’s. Although I still favor the burger at Earl’s, I appreciate the side choices available at State and Main, particularly the option of choosing 2 sides.