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Quest for the Best NH Burger: Woods Grille

My burger journey has brought me to many places, both bustling and slow-going. Today, it brought me to a quieter place, the Woods Grille in the small town of Northwoods. The name is not a lie, as nearly the entire place is made out of wood or has a wooden texture over it. The “log cabin” aesthetic is something that I find fitting for this place, considering its location in rural New Hampshire. The soft yellow lighting of the restaurant adds to this feeling of homeliness, complementing the light brown wood very well.


Regarding the burger itself, I ordered the “Feel’N Spicy” burger, which is one patty topped with pepper jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, and jalapenos. Importantly, there is also a “Chipotle raspberry” sauce on the burger. The buns are somewhat sweet, complementing the spice of the pepper jack and jalapenos. On its own, this is a very good burger. However, there is a major glaring flaw, and that is the sauce. Its flavor is dominating and its texture is pungent, overwhelming the tongue with a mixture of raspberry skin and juice. As someone who does not care for the flavor of raspberry, the sauce therefore tarnishes the burger’s strong fundamental aspects. 


To remedy this, I took the sauce off the burger, allowing me to properly consider the burger’s more positive aspects. This took the burger from okay to great, as the sweet buns, spicy cheese and jalapenos, and crunchy lettuce and onion combined into a very strong meal. On top of that, it is quite a hefty burger, boosting the size score. This does have the issue that the jalapenos fall out, but that’s a minor issue in my book. And, in a twist of deep irony, the raspberry sauce, although a detriment to flavor, increases the originality score, since even a failed risk is still a risk, and therefore original. So, even the sauce had some benefits.


How the scoring system works:


There are four categories I grade a good burger on: its size, its flavor, how original/unique it is, and the overall mood of the restaurant. Each of these is graded on a 10-point scale, then weighed individually to create an overall rating out of 100. Flavor has a weighting of 4, originality has a weighting of 3, size has a weighting of 2, and restaurant ambiance has a weighting of 1. For this review in particular, I thought it appropriate to allow for 2 flavor scores due to how heavily the sauce, a single ingredient that I simply do not like, weighs it down.


Size: 14/20


Flavor: 20/40 (with sauce), 32/40 (without sauce)


Originality: 21/30


Restaurant Ambiance: 8/10


Final Score: 63/100 (with sauce), 75/100 (without sauce)


In a word: “This place isn’t out of the woods yet.”