Reviewed by: Kevin & Kate
Kevin happened to be in Nashville last weekend for a wedding, so we decided we needed to embrace this rare opportunity for a double review! We wanted to try a place neither of us had tried before, so we decided to give Burger Republic a shot. Located in Lenox Village, it was a bit of a drive (about 20 mins south of Nashville), but we were hoping we would find it worth the drive.
From our quick five minute research online beforehand, we were really excited to try this place out. I mean craft beer, gourmet burgers, and spiked milkshakes? What’s not to love? From the other reviews I saw online, it looked like it was going to be a good choice.
This is a burger blog, and as such, you might guess that of the five senses, we pay the most attention to “taste”. How does the patty taste? How does the bun taste? How do the pickles taste? And you’d be right. If you’re a burger place and your pickles taste like a dumpster, we will judge you poorly (especially Kevin, who loves pickles). But burgers, as with anything, don’t happen in a vacuum. For this reason, if we deem something regarding the other four senses as offensive, (i.e. seating customers on waterbeds instead of chairs, illuminating your restaurant exclusively with strobe lights) we will also review you harshly. Burger Republic did not seat us on a waterbed. Their crime was much more heinous.
What few good Nickelback jokes there ever were have already been told and retold on the internet, so we’ll spare you the effort and leave it at this – we do not enjoy the music of Nickelback or, for that matter, any member of the Butt Rock genre. And we can safely say Nashville, as a city full of music snobs, shares this view. So what did Burger Republic force onto our party for the entirety of our visit? Butt Rock. So much Butt Rock. We could forgive them if it were just happenstance, an outlier in the midst of some bland “80’s, 90’s, Now”-style radio station. But this crime was premeditated. we heard four Nickelback songs in the span of an hour, peppered between classics such as Hinder and Daughtry. Strikes two and three.
What made it worse was that we had to wait a while for our food. Strike four.
Kevin’s thoughts on the food:
Once I recovered from the aural assault, I settled in to enjoy my food. I started with Tater Tot Fondue, an appetizer that the rest of my party enjoyed more than I did. After poking around the fondue, I ordered the Tennessee Burger, topped with Maple Glazed Benton’s Bacon, Jack Daniel’s Honey BBQ Glaze, American Cheese, Memphis Spice Dusted Tobacco Onions, and Smoked Tomato Ketchup. For those unfamiliar with Benton’s Bacon, it is a Tennessee based bacon that the restaurants of Nashville have fallen absolutely in love with, and for good reason – Benton’s has been recognized in Esquire as the world’s best bacon as recently as 2009. Obviously, Esquire isn’t necessarily the world’s foremost authority on bacon, but it doesn’t take a bacon scientist to know that Benton raises some truly delicious bacon. This bacon was one of the highlights of the burger. Another highlight of my meal was the chocolate-peanut butter milkshake, spiked with peanut butter cup infused vodka that I ordered. It was perfect.
Unfortunately, the burger itself wasn’t as good as the milkshake that accompanied it. The patty itself was small and overwhelmed by the bold flavors of the bacon and sweet, smoky BBQ sauce. In fact, it was even overpowered by the bun. And while the bun was nearly perfect, and the toppings sweet and enjoyable, I couldn’t help but feel like I missed out on the main course. The burger patty should be the star of the show, but it was lost in the foray. This was the Baz Luhrman of burgers, all style and little substance, with no Leonardo DiCaprio to save it from itself. (Great Gatsby, anyone?)
Kate’s thoughts on the food:
I ordered the Hawaiian Burger, topped with grilled pineapple, grilled onion, avocado, and dijonnaise. While the toppings were all delicious and fresh, I was disappointed in the flavor of the patty itself. I could tell the quality of the meat was good, but it was overall just kind of bland. As we pointed out earlier, “taste” is important to these burger enthusiasts! The quality of the bun was also really good. I enjoyed it for the first few minutes until it disintegrated into the burger from all the grease. Don’t get me wrong- I love juicy burgers, but a soggy bun is just gross.
I arrived a little later than the rest of the group, so I missed out on the Tater Tot Fondue. I DID order tots with my burger though, and I will say they were some pretty stinkin’ good tots! I’m not usually much of a tots fan, but these tots were nice and crispy.
I paired my burger with a Yazoo Dos Perros, which was delicious. In fact, their craft beer selection was great. They had over 20 beers on draft.
Overall, we felt these were amateur burgers paired with a great, if expensive, milkshake and a disastrous playlist. There are simply too many good burger places in Nashville to justify us ever going back to Burger Republic.
Kevin’s Star Rating:
Burger Flavor: 2/5
Burger Flavor: 2/5