You’re downtown. It’s late. And you need to eat.
This isn’t the time for artfully plated hors d’oeuvres or delicate entrees. This is the time for good, old fashioned red meat and fried potatoes. This is the time, as many Ashevillians know, for The Vault Burger.
This meaty creation took home the title at the first ever WNC Battle of the Burger (which garnered the burger a spot in the World Food Championship in Las Vegas), as well as the People’s Choice Award every year since. It’s the Americana classic elevated, but also approachable for a late night chow down. And it’s the inspired creation of Chef Scott Wallace.
Wallace got his start in the dish pit of a Columbia, South Carolina casual fine dining restaurant. “I was fascinated watching the line cooks work from my very first day,” he says, and it was that fascination that drove him up through the ranks of the city’s staples to Executive Chef of the beloved Mr. Friendly’s. “It was this [position’s] freedom that allowed me to teach myself how to make everything from Oysters Rockefeller, to Pad Thai, to the perfect risotto, to the perfect sushi rice, to the perfect steak and everything in between,” he remembers.
When Wallace was ready for a change, he headed north to Asheville to work in the then-new Admiral, followed by a shift into the position of Chef and Manager at The Vault.
“My focus shifted towards making the best bar food anyone could ever hope to encounter,” Wallace says of his position at the late night hangout. “This was a fun change of pace for me, and the Vault Burger was born as a result. Burgers can be simple comfort food, but it just so happened that at the same time there was a new reverence emerging in the culinary world for burgers in general.”
Wallace combined juicy, Hickory Nut Gap grass-fed beef, crispy Heritage Farm bacon, melty white cheddar cheese, fresh arugula and red onion tossed with his simple vinaigrette, topped it all with Sriracha mayo, and a star was born.
Craving this masterpiece at home? Wallace shared the recipe so you can make your own.