The Pharmacy (Nashville, TN)

Reviewed by: Kate

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I heard about The Pharmacy after returning to Nashville in August, and decided I better give this Burger Parlor and Beer Garden a try. This relatively new establishment is located in East Nashville behind The Holland House. It’s a fairly small restaurant with limited inside seating, but they do have a good sized outdoor patio if it’s a nice night.

The Pharmacy serves 100% TN beef, or turkey if you prefer. I’ve been to The Pharmacy twice now, and both times I stuck with the traditional Pharmacy Burger: yellow cheddar, iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, pickle, ketchup, and mustard. While it was a good, solid burger, I will probably try one of their more unique burgers next time. The Pharmacy Burger just wasn’t that memorable. I’ve heard great things about their more unique burgers, such as the Mission City Burger, which features guacamole, pico de gallo, and black beans.

One of my pet peeves is a bun that falls apart as you are trying to bite into your mouth-watering burger. This bun held up great! The bun (made specifically for The Pharmacy by local bakery Provence) was lightly toasted, and tasted so fresh and wonderful. It held everything together, and was the perfect meat:bread ratio.

Each burger comes with your choice of side. I coupled my burger with the sweet potato fries, and while they were good, I’ve had better. They just tasted like maybe they had been sitting around a little too long.

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In addition to unique, hand crafted burgers, The Pharmacy also offers a wide variety of craft beers, and homemade sodas called phosphates. They actually have an old fashioned soda rail, and make their own orange, ginger, lemon and mint sodas with all natural ingredients. I ordered a Yazoo Pale Ale, but my friend ordered a lemon phosphate and it was delicious!

What I really liked about this place was the atmosphere. It’s just a fun place to hang out and enjoy a reasonably priced, gourmet burger with friends. Although you usually have to wait a little bit before getting a table, the service is really fast and attentive once you are seated.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed both of my visits to the Pharmacy, and will definitely be back. It’s a solid burger at a reasonable price.


Burger Flavor:  3.5/5

bunBun Goodness: 4.5/5

valueBurger Value: 4/5

toppingsToppings: 3/5

xfactorX Factor: 5/5


Umami Burger (Pasadena, CA)

Reviewed by: Kevin

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The closest International Burger-makers have come to a controversy, besides over the use of horsemeat, is the debate surrounding “Umami”.  Some consider it an essential component of a burger’s flavor profile; others just think it’s pretentious.  And if you’re a normal person, you likely have no idea what it is.

It’s actually quite simple.  Umami, like Salty, Bitter, Sweet, and Sour, is one of the five basic tastes.  It was discovered about 100 years ago, first by a French Chef (who no one believed), then by a Japanese Chemist.  The term Umami can be used interchangeably with “savory”, but the literal translation from Japanese is “delicious flavor”.  And if Umami Burger in Pasadena, CA gets anything right, it’s delicious flavor.

I ordered Umami’s namesake, the Umami Burger, topped with shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, a parmesan crisp, and special Umami Ketchup.  It was obvious that, as a restaurant named after flavor, great attention was paid to the interplay between the flavors of the burger itself and the toppings that graced it.  It was delicious.  Period.

That isn’t to say that this was a perfect burger. The staff insist that burgers be cooked to Medium-Rare, which is a tad underdone for my taste.  Also as a side, I ordered the truffle fries.  They were both expensive and underwhelming.  The “truffle” component comes from their topping of the fries with their homemade truffle cheese.  Because of this, I alternated between bites of way too much truffle cheese and bites of un-truffled, Steak n’ Shake-like fries.  Considering the care paid to the burger, I was disappointed.

Overall, Umami Burger offers a delicious, flavorful burger at a high price.  If you ever find yourself in Pasadena, hankering for a burger, don’t hesitate to stop in.


Burger Flavor:  4/5

bunBun Goodness: 3.5/5

valueBurger Value: 3.5/5

toppingsToppings: 5/5

xfactorX Factor: 4/5


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