The Dime / The Dime Burger – $11
Allentown, PA | thedimeallentown.com
Located at the swanky Renaissance Hotel in downtown Allentown (wait, downtown Allentown has a swanky hotel?) Dime – which gets its name from the urban definition of a “perfect 10” – is quite an exceptional space in an awesome location. The views of Hamilton Square from the expansive glass windows is downright impressive, especially on a nice night. Perfect 10 views, that’s for sure.
We visited Dime during late brunch service on a Sunday afternoon after a cocktail event at one of the floors above the restaurant. When we arrived, the restaurant was almost entirely empty, save for another couple dining in the bar area.
If you haven’t yet been to Dime, they don’t provide you with a paper menu, rather, each guest receives and iPad to flip through the food and drink offerings. It’s a cool and modern twist to the ordering process, and the interactivity is a nice way to experience the menu, especially when sample pictures pop up after tapping on a particular item.
When the burger arrives, the first thing I notice – other than the gorgeously rustic presentation – is a very pleasing smokey aroma. I hate to say it, but the amazing visual and olfactory sensation is where my potential love affair with this burger begins to slightly fade. The burger is on the dry side but decently seasoned and cooked. While there isn’t the amount of char I’d like, the grill marks are a nice touch. This is where I being to wish this burger came with a slathering of house sauce, but unfortunately there isn’t one.
The noticeable smokey scent comes from the smoked gouda, but unfortunately the cheese offers no quality other than smokiness and winds up getting mostly lost in the mix. The lettuce, tomato and onion are reasonably size portions, and add some welcomed freshness to contrast the smokiness of the cheese. The bacon is good as well (is it just me or does EVERYONE put bacon on a burger these days?), and adds a nice meaty bite on top of the burger, even though it’s slightly rubbery in some spots. The bun is light and fluffy, and while it doesn’t add a ton of flavor to the overall experience, the texture is perfect.
The fries taste even better than they look. Wonderfully golden brown, nicely cooked, and perfectly seasoned, they rival any french fry in the Lehigh Valley. I’d have to say they were the highlight of the meal.
Final thoughts: Dime’s location, decor and space certainly stand out from the downtown crowd. No other restaurant has the views they have. The cocktail menu is also ambitious, and I can’t wait to work my way through it. The burger is good, but not great. If the patty had been a bit juicier, and perhaps if there were an aioli or other sauce on the burger, it may have created a more complete flavor profile. For now, I’ll come back from the drinks and the view.