Hotspot | The Capitol Restaurant: Great burgers and BBQ with a Capitol B
Details: The Capitol Restaurant: 55 Main St., North Adams. 413-662-2500
Recipe for success: I was a big fan of this restaurant's predecessor, The Hub, who, in my opinion, had the best burgers in town. So when I heard that The Hub was sold to new owners last summer who gave the space a makeover and an old/new name (there was a previous restaurant named the Capitol in this space decades ago), I was cautiously optimistic.
I ate here during their burger night, during which all burgers were on sale for $8 (they usually go for $10.95 to $11.95). My girlfriend ordered their generic Capitol Burger, and I ordered their BBQ burger, and we also ordered their butternut squash ravioli, which was a special that night. To my surprise, it was even better than its predecessor.
What we can't get enough of: The Capitol is not a complete redesign of The Hub — internal decor still mostly historical photos of North Adams and the seating and bar setup are largely the same — though it has gotten a new coat of paint. You'll find some basic menu items, such as a B.L.T., Capitol Burger, nachos and pasta that are reminiscent of what you would find at The Hub. But beyond this, you'll find unique menu items like avocado fries ($8.95), their smoked brisket reuben sandwich ($12.95), jambalaya (a Cajun dish made of rice, chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage that costs $16.95, but you can get a half order as an appetizer), and their St. Louis smoked ribs (a full rack is $17.95, but you can get a half rack for $10.95), just to name a few.
Their menu is as such that if you were a fan of The Hub, you'll be able to find the same sort of pub food they were known for, but you can also branch out and explore if you want. Their burgers are as good as The Hubs' — in fact, I'd argue the Capitol's burgers are better. The Capitol Burger is as good as its predecessor, the Hub Burger, and my BBQ burger was a delight. Both were served on soft ciabatta bread, and the BBQ pulled pork in my sandwich blended nicely with the burger meat, being powerfully tasty, but not heavy. We also had a brevity of options for sides, most notably its sweet potato tater tots and sweet potato waffle fries that are rare to find in the Berkshires. Our butternut squash Ravioli was a pleasant surprise, mixing butternut squash with marinara sauce in a way that worked naturally, and gave me confidence in trying menu items I'm not familiar with in future visits.
The Capitol does everything The Hub did well and them some, and is well worth a visit.
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