Some restaurants just don't live up to the hype. They coast on the wave of popularity, produced by those who are in the "food-industry-know," until real people start spending their real, hard-earned money to discover the reviews and hype just aren't, well, real. The Liberty isn't this type of place. Period. It's real, it's good, and it's a really good gastropub. Our first visit to The Liberty resulted from prolonged accolades I've heard of their burgers and Charlotte Restaurant Week, the perfect combination. Upon entering, we were welcomed by a high energy and wonderful interior design. The seating was spacious, not making you feel as if you're about to dine with four more people than you walked in with, and the service was prompt and friendly. Everything you need, or expect, before you place your order was there.
Because there wasn't a burger offered on the Restaurant Week menu, I went "off the grid" (sounds dangerous, I know) and I'm glad I did. My selection, the Magruder Ranch Pub Burger was accompanied by Benton's bacon, sweetgrass cheddar, griddled onions, hand cut Kennebec fries with herb aioli on the side. Cooked medium, the Magruder tasted the way a burger, in my mind, should taste: grilled, juicy, peppery, and the moderator for the screaming match I want going on between the salty, beautiful taste of bacon and the delicate, sweet flavor of onions on a freshly baked bun. This was, hands down, the best burger I've yet to have in the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina.
It's not just about "the burger" at The Liberty. Their fried pickles were crisp, not greasy and supported by ranch dressing and Buffalo sauce for dipping, and grilled chicken added to the iceberg wedge with crisp bacon, blue cheese, balsamic onion, and buttermilk dressing were wonderful choices, too. Overall, our first visit to The Liberty met and exceeded every expectation - again, a perfect combination.