Happy Birthday, Burger Diaries!

Reviewed by: Kate

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Has it really been a year already? In honor of our birthday and Throwback Thursday, today’s post is going to be a bit different. I’ve eaten a lot of burgers in the last year. I don’t post about every burger experience on this blog- usually you just hear about our first impressions. But guess what? Sometimes first impressions are wrong. I wanted to take this opportunity to look back on the year, and reevaluate the burgers I’ve tried. So here are the Top 3 Nashville Reviews I felt needed some revisiting (pun intended).

3. Burger Republic

My feelings on Burger Republic really haven’t changed. I’m still not a fan of their burgers, or their playlist. The only thing I’ll say is that they DO have incredible milkshakes. We mentioned this in our joint-review, but really. They are delicious. Take my advice- skip the burger, just order a milkshake.

2. The Pharmacy

When I first wrote this review I had only tried 1 burger at The Pharmacy: The Pharmacy Burger. While it was a good burger, I wanted to try something more unique. I have since been back (MANY times), and have fallen in love with the Mission City Burger. This burger has guacamole, pico de gallo, slow-cooked black beans, and horchata crema fresca- all topped on their 100% TN beef. The first time I tried this burger I was a little hesitant about the horchata crema fresca sauce and almost asked for it to be taken off the burger, but the waitress insisted it remain on the burger. I’m really glad I left it on, because it makes the burger. It has a slight cinnamon taste and is inspired by the Mexican horchata drink. It sounds weird, but it adds a nice contrast to the flavors of the guacamole and pico. I have loved this burger so much that I haven’t tried anything else. Everyone tells me how much they love the Farm Burger, so I’m making it my goal to try it sometime in the next year.

Overall Assessment: The Pharmacy is the place I would take friends or family visiting from out of town. It simply has the best overall experience of burger joints in Nashville. It has a fun atmosphere, great burgers, and great service. It represents Nashville well. That being said, it is not my favorite burger in Nashville.

1. Burger Up

Recently, I have really been loving Burger Up. In fact…I might even dare say it’s my favorite BURGER in Nashville so far. I still order the Black and Blue burger, and find myself craving that particular burger more than any other burger in Nashville. I’ve tried several burgers in the last year with blue cheese on them, but none of them top Burger Up’s. I complained about the size of the burger, and the burger:bun ratio in my previous review. I take that all back. I find this to be the perfect size burger, and the ratio is perfect. I must have just hit an off night the first time I went to Burger Up, because now I leave perfectly content. I have also joined the bandwagon, and have recently fallen in love with their truffle fries. Yes. Those fries I didn’t talk very highly of when I first reviewed this burger? They’ve stolen my heart, and I’m sorry for ever bashing them. That being said, while the Black and Blue burger might be my favorite Nashville burger, that does NOT mean Burger Up is my favorite burger place in Nashville. There are still a lot of things about the overall experience that I don’t love. While the wait time at Burger Up has significantly dropped (and the wait time at The Pharmacy has significantly increased), there still isn’t a good place to stand if you do have to wait for a table. It’s still very claustrophobic, and it’s hard to even walk through the restaurant. I just don’t find it very relaxing or comfortable.

So that’s it! I would love to hear your thoughts, so let me know in the comment section!  Happy Birthday to Burger Diaries! We are excited for this next year, and the new burger adventures it will bring. Thanks for reading!

Hole in the Wall (Santa Monica, CA)

Reviewed by: Kevin

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“It is our goal at Hole in the Wall Burger Joint to provide the public with healthy alternatives to corporate fast food.”

When I read that sentence, I laughed so hard I nearly choked on the deep fried mac n’ cheese I was eating. Look, I work at a College. I love a good mission statement. But at least make it kind of accurate.

I know that reads as a criticism, but I don’t mean for it to. Well, I do mean it to, but it didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the restaurant. If anything, the ready availability of deep fried mac n’ cheese actually made me enjoy Hole in the Wall even more. Three sizeable lumps of macaroni and cheese, deep fried, and covered in a creamy house made cheese sauce. In fact, this emphasis on making things in-house – the cheese sauce, the ketchup, almost everything – contributes to Hole in the Wall’s mission to provide their patrons with healthy alternatives. According to Hole in the Wall it isn’t deep fryers and cheese sauce that is keeping us down. It’s corporate America.

But was Hole in the Wall’s burger as revolutionary as their ideology? No, but that doesn’t prevent it from still being really good. I ordered a standard burger on a pretzel bun, with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and bacon. If you’ve read the blog before, you’d know that pretzel buns are trending upward in popularity, and for good reason. The bun was soft and doughy, and brought a healthy dose of, I don’t know, pretzel-ey-ness, to the burger. The patty was juicy, and the toppings fresh. Overall this was a really good burger. To top it all off, and Hole in the Wall gets major points for this, I washed it all down with a Cheerwine.

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Hole in the Wall offers a pretty great burger, with incredible deep fried macaroni and cheese and a healthy variety of rare bottled soda. Well, not healthy as in good for you, healthy as in… never mind.

flavor

Burger Flavor:  4/5

bunBun Goodness: 4/5

valueBurger Value: 3/5

toppingsToppings: 3/5

xfactorX Factor: 4/5

4star

Stella’s Lounge (Grand Rapids, MI)

Reviewed by: Kate

This past weekend I ventured to Michigan to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in almost 2 years. Joey was actually with me when I discovered my love for burgers in Colorado. We spent the weekend traveling around West Michigan touring breweries and enjoying the company of friends. Joey has been telling me for a while now that I have to go to Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids. GQ Magazine named Stella’s Lounge the “Best Burger in America” in 2012. With a proclamation like that, I had to try it for myself.

Stella’s is located in downtown Grand Rapids and is easy to miss. It’s located in an alleyway, and honestly looks a little sketch-tacular from the outside. This place definitely has a bar ambiance. It’s not huge, dark interior, and even has a small arcade at the front of the bar. Stella’s is known for their whiskey selection- they have over 200 to choose from on their menu. We were greeted shortly after being seated by our waiter who I could instantly tell was from the North. Being a yankee myself, I dont mean this as an insult. He was just direct and spoke what was on his mind. He was quick to take our drink orders, but after that disappeared for a while before returning to take our order.

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When we finally did get to order, I ordered their top selling burger- The Stella Blue. All of their burgers are made from 100% black Angus Beef from farms in Indiana and Ohio, and are stuffed with delicious goodness. The Stella Blue is stuffed with bleu cheese and bacon, and then topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced pickles, and an onion ring- all on a brioche bun.

This burger was not only huge, but delicious! I have decided that I am a fan of stuffed burgers. It allows for the patty to have so much more flavor.  I was worried the bacon and bleu cheese might be overwhelming when mixed together and stuffed in the burger, but it wasn’t. In fact, I felt like it was a perfect balance and the flavors mixed together well. To me, the bacon added a subtle and unique BBQ taste to the patty. My only complaint is that the burger:bun ratio was off. There was just too much patty and not enough bun.
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I have to mention the “Chronic Fries” that were served as a side. They were perfectly crisped fries, topped with a “secret spicy seasoning” that tasted like jalapenos. They were amazing! The spice was subtle and hit you up front. I would go back just for those fries!

I can’t give Stella’s the title of “Best Burger in America”, but it does make my top 5 favorite burger list. If you are ever in Grand Rapids I recommend giving Stella’s a try!

flavor

Burger Flavor:  5/5

bunBun Goodness: 3/5

valueBurger Value: 4/5

toppingsToppings: 4/5

xfactorX Factor: 5/5

4star

Shout out to these guys for joining me on my burger adventure!

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417 Union (Nashville, TN)

Reviewed by: Kevin & Kate

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Not many people would walk 4 blocks in -10 degree weather just to try a new burger, but we love burgers that much.

Kevin was in Nashville for New Year’s which meant we obviously had to take this opportunity to do the rare, joint burger review. We chose 417 Union because we had heard good things, and neither of us had been there before. If you are wondering where it is- the name is a good hint. It’s at 417 Union St. in downtown Nashville. There was only street parking, which is why we ended up walking 4 blocks during the Polar Vortex to get to 417 Union. Side note: if you are ever in downtown Nashville and need a cheap parking option, the library garage is a great choice! Just get your ticket validated in the library (which you stamp yourself), and you get an hour and a half of free parking! But hey, you didn’t hear that from us…

Continuing on…

There’s a distinct oldness about 417 Union.  And by old, we don’t mean nostalgic.  We mean old.  Because nostalgia has a charm – a warmth – that, when you’re faced with it, finds its way into your heart.  Perhaps I’m lending too much credibility to the Polar Vortex, but there was little warmth to the familiarity.

We were seated at a table, but to our left was a bar.  And at this bar sat two men, separated by solitude and a handful of barstools.  It wouldn’t surprise me to find that these men spend every lunch at this bar, alone, in routine.  In fact, it seemed most 417 Union patrons had made this establishment part of their routine.  Because while our waitress was notably friendly and kind, she was, more than anything, surprised to see us.  We weren’t regulars, and to her that was weird. In fact, if we had to describe the burger in one word, it might be “regular”.

Kevin’s thoughts on the food:

Don’t get me wrong; this was actually a pretty good burger.  But there was something about it that seemed fixed.  Static.  Like the men at the bar, this burger had passively accepted its fate.  But despite this, seriously, strangely, it was actually a good burger.  I was, and am, conflicted.

I ordered the Smokehouse Burger, topped with “house-made” barbeque sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and onion straws.  There was a distinct saltiness to the burger that I really liked.  And while the “cheddar” cheese seemed more “Kraft Single”, and the house-made-ness of the barbeque sauce did little to distinguish the flavor from its store-bought counterparts, I didn’t mind.  It came together in an old-timey way.  Not old-timey in a great way, as I’ve written before, but old-timey in a pretty-good-despite-its-flaws way.  I’ll take it.  Especially because the fries, like the burger, were well salted and quite delicious.

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Kate’s thoughts on the food:

While Kevin chose a more adventurous burger with southern flare, I decided to stick with a more traditional burger. I ordered the Great American Cheeseburger, and while it was a good burger, nothing about it made it stand out as “Great”. It was a decent sized burger, topped with all the standard toppings- lettuce, tomato and american cheese. I really enjoyed the bun, which I later learned was from Provence – a local Nashville bakery. I’ve mentioned before that The Pharmacy also uses their buns. Overall, I would have to agree with Kevin- the fries were delicious, but the burger was just “regular”. If I wanted a “regular” burger I would go to Steak ‘n Shake where I would pay $4 as opposed to $10.

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One friend described 417 Union as “the best place to eat in the inner loop of downtown Nashville” (whatever the inner-loop is…), and another expressed his approval, placing 417 Union in the top 30% of burgers in Nashville.  While we think both claims are a bit too strong, 417 Union offers a decent burger for the lonely old man in all of us.

Kevin’s Star Rating:

flavor

Burger Flavor:  4/5

bunBun Goodness: 3/5

 

valueBurger Value: 3/5

 

toppingsToppings: 3/5

 

xfactorX Factor: 2/5

3star
 
 
Kate’s Star Rating:
 

flavor

Burger Flavor:  3/5

bunBun Goodness: 4/5

 

valueBurger Value: 2/5

 

toppingsToppings: 2/5

 

xfactorX Factor: 2/5

3star

Blvd Nashville (Nashville, TN)

Reviewed by: Kate

Have you ever had your heart set on something, and then things just don’t go your way, and you are left sad and disappointed? This happened to me and my friend, Jessie, a few weeks ago. It was right before Christmas, and Jessie was visiting Nashville from out of town. Jessie is a friend from college, and we have spent MANY late nights hanging out and working in one of Nashville’s local coffee shops- usually Fido. We both had work to do on this particular night, and were CRAVING Fido’s burger. We decided to meet at Fido, eat a delicious burger, and hang out and work afterwards. Perfect. We were SO looking forward to this plan.

Our plans were ruined when we showed up at Fido, and discovered all of Bongo World was shut down for the night so the staff could have their Christmas Party. What ever were we going to do?! We got pretty dramatic. We sat in the car for a good 30 minutes trying to decide what to do. One would have thought Fido was the only place to eat in Nashville with the way we were reacting, but nothing else sounded good. Finally, we decided to try Blvd. Nashville. It’s a newer restaurant on Belmont Blvd, and it looked like it could be good! They had a burger and there wasn’t much of a wait. It would do.

Blvd describes themselves as a french bistro, bar, and market. They have a lot of unique things on their menu, but I was already set on getting the burger. Their burger was topped with house made bacon (whatever that means), caramelized onion, swiss, arugula, aioli, and tomato confit, and placed on a pretzel bun. I chose to substitute the swiss cheese for cheddar cheese since I’m not a huge swiss cheese fan. The burger was…decent. Will I crave this burger again? Meh, probably not. It was not a bad burger, but it just wasn’t all that memorable. In fact, I’m kicking myself for not writing this post earlier because I’m having trouble remembering what it was I liked and disliked about this burger. What I do remember is that although the atmosphere was nice, we had a really strange waiter who liked to linger. I remember thinking that my bill seemed really high for what I got. It was almost $15, and I only got water to drink! I remember having to wait quite a while for our food, and they weren’t very busy (must have been that house made bacon they were making in the back…). But the burger? Nothing about it really stuck out to me.

Will I go back to Blvd. Nashville? Probably not, unless a group of friends really wanted to go there. I just wouldn’t be inclined to order the burger again.

What do you think? Do you agree with me about Blvd. Nashville? Is there burger actually great, and I am just being overly critical because my heart was set on Fido? Let me know in the comment section!

flavor

Burger Flavor:  2/5

bunBun Goodness: 4/5

valueBurger Value: 2/5

toppingsToppings: 3/5

xfactorX Factor: 2/5

3star

Grill ‘Em All (Alhambra, CA)

Reviewed by: Kevin

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Grill ‘Em All is advertised as the hardest rocking burger joint in the Greater Los Angeles area.  You could say I know a thing or two about the hard rock lifestyle – I got the Grill ‘Em All gift card I used on my trip while cat-sitting for my boss (Rock And Roll!).  And, I must say, it delivers on its claim.

Stepping into Grill ‘Em All is a step into the past, where jean jackets abounded and people actually respected The Eagles.  80’s Rock paraphernalia is slung across the walls, along with the bold proclamation, “Death To False Burgers” in a jagged, bold black-on-red mural.  A hair metal documentary (rockumentary?) showed on the screens.  But the comparison was too fitting, as Grill ‘Em All, like most hair metal, was all flash and no substance.

I ordered the “Jump In the Fryer”, a burger topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, fried chicken, and a maple-and-hot-sauce drizzle, situated between two waffles.  While this burger contained a great deal of unique items, each had one thing in common – salt.  Fried Chicken is salty, bacon is salty, hot sauce is salty, even burger patties are typically seasoned with a dash of Morton’s.  All this sodium made the burger a bit one note, and the waffles, which were soaked to translucency with oil, didn’t help.  Perhaps I need to mind my preference for simplicity over complication when ordering my next burger.

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Despite my below-average burger, I have hope for Grill ‘Em All because they are responsible for introducing me to their anvil fries.  Anvil fries are a play on poutine, which is strange, because there’s nothing less rock-and-roll than the French part of Canada.  Grill ‘Em All’s anvil fries are topped with duck confit, cheese curds, duck gravy, and a sprinkling or crushed cracklin, or pork rinds, and they are truly special.  Should you rush to Grill ‘Em All for a burger?  Probably not, but it’s worth a stop for the anvil fries alone.

What do you think?  Am I wrong about Grill ‘Em All?  Do you think I’m crazy because I don’t like music from the 1980’s?  As always, let us know in the comments section.

flavor

Burger Flavor:  2/5

bunBun Goodness: 1/5

valueBurger Value: 2/5

toppingsToppings: 2/5

xfactorX Factor: 5/5

2star(but the fries are a solid 5/5)

GrindHouse Killer Burgers (Atlanta, GA)

Reviewed by: Kate

So I’ve been doing some traveling again, and recently spent another weekend in Atlanta. Since starting this blog back in March, whenever I travel somewhere new my first thought is usually “hmm where should I get a burger?”.  It’s fun to research burger joints across the country, and so far all of my friends have been supportive. Atlanta has a lot of great burger options! I have several friends from Atlanta, so I asked them for their input. Names that came up pretty consistently were The Vortex (which you can read my thoughts on here), Yeah! Burger, The Ghetto Burger at Ann’s Snack Bar, Flip Burger Boutique, and of course The Varsity. Hopefully I will get to experience all of these burgers someday. Upon arriving in Atlanta I was pretty set on going to Yeah! Burger. After talking to some locals though, they convinced me to try a place called GrindHouse Killer Burgers. This was a name that hadn’t come up before (but like I said- Atlanta has a lot of options). Me and my friend, Alana, decided to give GrindHouse a try.

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There are actually 4 different GrindHouse locations in Atlanta. We opted to go to the one in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. It was basically like a little farmer’s market.  It was a little hard to find when you don’t know Atlanta very well, but then again I am just a terrible navigator to begin with…ask anyone who knows me. There is a parking lot behind the market where you have to get a ticket and pay to park, HOWEVER, GrindHouse gladly validated our ticket so we could park free for an hour. I really hate finding parking in Atlanta, so the GrindHouse and I were already off to a great start.

Because this burger joint is located in a market, it was pretty small. Basically there was just a counter to sit at. I really enjoyed the simplicity, and the service was great! Ok, so speaking of service…slightly embarrassing side story: I like to take pictures of the places I visit for the blog (duh!).  As I was waiting in line to order, I took a picture of the counter, but forgot to turn the flash on my camera off (*face palm*) . The guy working the cashier definitely thought I was taking a picture of him, and gave me a really funny look. When it was my turn to order he goes “So..did you take a picture of me earlier?”. It turned out ok though because it then gave me the opportunity to explain this blog to him. Some people at the counter heard me talking too and were asking me lots of questions. They were pretty intrigued.

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SO anyway, I ordered what the GrindHouse called “The Yankee Style”. Being a yankee myself, it was a no brainer. The only problem is…I don’t know why it was called The Yankee. It was a burger topped with shredded lettuce, grilled onion, thick cut bacon, and bleu cheese spread. I probably should have asked my cashier friend. Alana’s theory was “well it has bleu cheese on it, and bleu cheese can be a little off-putting…just like northerners”. OUCH! Another friend told me she thinks it might be because it’s red, white and blue (red-bacon, white-onions, blue-bleu cheese). That explanation seemed to make more sense. If you have another theory, I would love to hear it!
 photo photo6_zps701a2ebe.jpgGuys. This burger was fantastic! GrindHouse was respectful of the beef flavor itself and had no need to add anything fancy. They were not skimpy on the bacon like some burger joints are. It was the perfect size- I left completely satisfied. The price was really reasonable- about $7 with a drink. Oh, and the fries! The fries were perfect. I’m not usually a huge fan of crinkly flies, but these fries had some special seasoning on it which reminded me of Old Bay. I don’t know what was in the seasoning, but they shouldn’t change it. My only complaint was there were a few too many caramelized onions. I just picked them off though- problem solved.
photo (1)Alana just got a classic burger with cheddar and mustard. She agreed that it was a great burger. “I might not drive all the way to Atlanta every time I want a burger, but I will admit I like it better than any of the burgers I’ve tried in Nashville and people rave about, such as Pharmacy“. That’s a big statement, Alana!

Overall- great burger, great experience, great company. Kevin has given several west coast burgers 5 stars. I’m excited to finally give a burger east of the Mississippi the honor of 5 stars.

 

flavor

Burger Flavor:  5/5

bunBun Goodness: 4/5

valueBurger Value: 5/5

toppingsToppings: 5/5

xfactorX Factor: 5/5

5star

Dog Haus (Pasadena, CA)

Reviewed by: Kevin

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I know what you’re thinking.  Dog Haus?  I thought this was a burger blog, not a hot dog blog.  And you’re right.  Aside from the obvious rhyme scheme bonus, I have no interest in a hot dog blog.  I haven’t been six years old in seventeen years, and I’m not too in touch with my German heritage.  Unless I’m at a baseball game, which is actually pretty frequent because baseball is awesome, hot dogs just aren’t my thing.  And so, just like you perhaps, I was skeptical.  But I’m not known to turn down a dinner invite, so I gave the burgers at Dog Haus a try.

I ordered The Hangover, a burger topped with haus chili, white american cheese, fried egg, and smoked bacon.  But before I get into the figurative (and literal) meat of the burger, I need to touch on this burger’s most important feature.  The bun.

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Some burger places opt to use artisan buns and flatbreads to give an edge to their burger.  But Dog Haus knows what I like.  Rather than bothering with fancy-shmancy buns, Dog Haus situates their burger between Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.  Just let that sink in for a second.  The sweet rolls that you shamelessly devour twelve at a time now are grouped in fours, sliced through the middle, and burger’d.  Kings sweet rolls are soft, they’re delicious, and they make an even better bun than you’re imagining.

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But did the burger match the bun?  Yes.  One million times yes.  The patty was meaty and juicy, the chili, robust, and the bacon, smoky and salty.  And the fried egg!  Some places get their fried eggs wrong and it ruins the burger.  (cough, The Standing Room, cough)  Dog Haus, however, nailed it.  With apologies to The Pharmacy, it was the best on-burger egg I’ve ever eaten.  The saltiness of the bacon and the chili played well with the sweetness of the bun, making for a dynamic eating experience, but the distinct, fresh egginess connected the burger to the bun, creating a smooth, cohesive bite.  It truly was a great burger.

I’ve learned my lesson.  Don’t judge a book by its cover, but more importantly, don’t judge a burger joint by its hot dog-themed name.  What other surprising burger places do you love, readers?  As always, let us know in the comments.

flavor

Burger Flavor:  4/5

bunBun Goodness: 5/5

valueBurger Value: 4/5

toppingsToppings: 5/5

xfactorX Factor: 5/5

5star

360 Burger (Nashville, TN)

Reviewed by: Kate

I would like to start off this blog post with an apology. I have not written a Nashville burger review in a while. Life has just been really busy, and I haven’t had the time to sit down and actually write a review. Excuses, excuses. I know. Do not fear though! I have some burger adventures planned in the near future, so stay tuned!

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With that being said, I actually visited 360 Burger for the first time a few months ago. A former professor of mine, and friend, told me I had to try their burgers, and so I met up with him and some other design chums to give it a try. My first experience was a good one, but I felt I waited too long to write this review so I needed to go back again (a good sign that I wanted to go back). I returned last night, and was not disappointed.

All of their burgers are made from grass-fed, local beef, and served on a pretzel bun. I ordered the Cilantro Avocado Burger. It’s a burger stuffed with smoked gouda and jalapenos and then topped with fresh avocado, lettuce, and onion.  The flavor was perfect. Since the jalapenos are cooked in the burger, there is enough spice without it being too overwhelming. The sliced avocado complimented the kick from the jalapenos nicely, giving it a well-balanced flavor. The only thing I have to complain about is the fact that they put mayonnaise on their buns. I have to agree with Kevin that mayo has no place being on a burger. Luckily, it was very light and I could scrape most of it off. Next time I’ll just have to remember to tell them no mayo.
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This was my first experience with a pretzel bun, and I must say, I am a fan! I liked the subtle flavor it gave to the burger, and it was sturdy enough to hold everything together. In fact, if this burger was on a regular bun it probably would have been really messy and the bun may have disintegrated, as was the case at Burger Republic. Gross. But no, this bun help up nicely, and was the perfect holder for this messy burger.

Another plus to this burger joint is the price! You can get a standard burger with fries and a drink for only $7.99! That’s a steal! My specialty burger didn’t come with a drink, but was still reasonably priced. And guess what?! They are currently on ScoutMob so you can save some money. I went with a friend last night and we each got a burger and Coke. We used the 50% off ScoutMob, and our check was under $10. Total. You really can’t beat that!

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Ok, so what’s the downside? While I already mentioned the mayo, I have a few other concerns. First of all, the location. 360 Burger is located in Antioch. It’s only about a 10 minute drive from the city which isn’t bad, but there is really nothing else around this place. It’s in an abandoned parking lot. While that is good for parking, it isn’t all that welcoming. You can see that they have plenty of things going for them, but location isn’t one of them, and can really be a downfall for any great business. Unless you live in Antioch, I don’t know why you would make the trip just to go to 360 Burger when there is nothing else to do out there. Both times I have been to 360 Burger the place has been pretty empty. The overall atmosphere is just, meh. It just makes me sad because I would really like to see them succeed.

So ending on a more positive note, I recommend you give this burger joint a try. The service was great, staff was friendly, and I really enjoyed my burger. With it being 50% off on Scoutmob, what do you have to lose?

flavor

Burger Flavor:  4/5

bunBun Goodness: 5/5

valueBurger Value: 5/5

toppingsToppings: 4/5

xfactorX Factor: 2/5

4star

Betty Burgers (Santa Cruz, CA)

Reviewed by: Kevin

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“Betty’s lubes are all mayonnaise based.”

Gross.  Look, I’m all for a great double entendre or a That’s What She Said joke, but you want me to eat your food, right?  I mean, maybe it’s because mayonnaise is already disgusting enough without me thinking of it as “lube”, but this was just too much.  Needless to say, with this statement being the first thing I read upon entering Betty Burgers, Betty and I didn’t get off to a great start.  We did, however, get off to a great finish.  (Now I’m the one making double entendres)

I ordered The Duke, a half-pound burger topped with lettuce tomatoes, red onions, pickles, grilled pineapple, and cheddar cheese.  I asked for mine without lube, on principle, and ordered a side on sweet potato fries.  The fries themselves were excellent.  Truly, they were among the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.  Crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside.  They were a delight, and they paired extremely well with the sweetness from the pineapple on my burger.

The quality of the burger matched that of the fries.  If I had to describe Betty’s in one word, the word would be “fresh”.  The pineapple was thick and juicy, the vegetables refreshing in contrast with the heaviness of the bacon.  I was expecting the raw red onions to overpower the burger, but they were a perfect compliment.  And the pickles.  The wonderful, long, pickles.  I was afraid the tartness would clash with the pineapple, but it didn’t.  In short, the toppings were simple in nature, but placed expertly.  The bun was soft, but sturdy, and the patty itself was hearty and satisfying.  As I said, Betty finished strong.
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After a string of disappointing burgers, I am pleased to present you with an excellent burger on National Cheeseburger Day.  What are you doing to celebrate this important holiday?  And, as always, tell us where we should be celebrating it in the comment section!

flavor

Burger Flavor:  4/5

bunBun Goodness: 3/5

valueBurger Value: 4/5

toppingsToppings: 5/5

xfactorX Factor: 3/5

4star