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Dining Review: Go for the Story, stay for the applekraut

August 15, 2013|By Rebecca Bryant | By Rebecca Bryant
  • The Mac Attack, a $13.00 favorite at the Story Tavern, is a 100% half-pound juicy beef patty topped with classic macaroni & cheese, thick sliced applewood bacon with melted Swiss cheese served on a potato bun in Burbank on Friday, August 9, 2013. The beer is Hacker Pschorr Hefeweizen.
The Mac Attack, a $13.00 favorite at the Story Tavern,… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Story Tavern boosts Burbank and beer in equal measure. It's like walking into a history lesson where there's artisanal beer on tap. You're sipping your cider with Dr. David Burbank looking over your shoulder. The portrait of the eccentrically bearded dentist who in 1886 sold the land that would soon bear his name hangs at the head of the room just to the left of the stone fireplace. Black and white photos of Burbank in earlier decades cover the wall, including Story Hardware, where Burbank's first mayor sold hammers and nails — at the same address where Story Tavern now sells bangers and mash.

But you didn't come just for the history lecture, did you? You came to sit in a gorgeous, oaky dining room at a long, mission-style wood table on a chair that would fit in an Arts and Crafts bungalow. You came to watch the guy at the next table create a quick but detailed drawing by maneuvering a pen in both right and left hands while the black and white film "Pork Chop Hill" plays silently on the wall beside him. (Perhaps the ambidextrous artist's drawing will hang with the many others over a booth near the entry.) You came for the European-influenced menu that's still whimsical enough to use tater tots as an ingredient.

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With more than a dozen beers on tap (double chocolate stout, anyone?) and many, many more offered by the bottle, Story Tavern won't leave you dry. You wine drinkers can get your Syrah or your pinot gris as well. And if you just want to leave full and satisfied? There's shepherd's pie. That ought to do it.

The appetizers are a trip, geographically speaking: Belgian-style mussels, pulled pork sliders on Hawaiian rolls, a board of Italian meats and cheeses and Greek olives, quesadillas, and for a bit of Americana — tater tots.

We went the Irish route, with boxtys, potato pancakes that Story serves with green onions and a slightly spicy sour cream: crisp, salty disks with a tender, steaming interior. What's that sexist old Irish ditty? "Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan. If you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man."

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