In the aftermath of The 2018 Battle of the Burgers, I was left curious about one of the winners of that epic struggle. Jack Brown’s took top honors, and Burger Republic was the recipient for the bronze. It’s the middle child of that competition that drew my attention this past weekend however. Burgerim took second place and is the only one of the top three I hadn’t sampled for myself and it was high time the micro-bus pulled into their parking lot. Let’s see what’s happening with the mix-n-match burger champ.
Nestled in the midst of the restaurant boom town of Medical Center Parkway, Burgerim occupies the same strip mall area as its peers Mission BBQ, Core Life, and Zoe’s Kitchen. Thus parking isn’t really a concern except possibly for handicap availability on busy nights. The signage does an ample job of leading you to the location once you are in the lot, and visibility from the road is adequate. Walking in the front door, the menu is dead ahead as is the register to order. There’s not a lot of room for a line when its busy and later in my visit I saw the line go out the door and beyond.
First things first. Walking in the door, it was hot. Not just hot, but very humid. As the place began to fill up later it just got hotter to the point where it was a detraction. The décor was non-existent except for a few blobs of buzz words and a giant tv that would play a collage of Instagram posts of people who had tagged the location. I found that to be a distraction and an attempt to pull me into their marketing. Maybe I’m just an old grumplewolf, but I found it annoying. The patio area seemed an afterthought and unappealing.
The menu board dominates your vision as you come in, and the register is right under it. On this occasion, I found a few disappointments. First, we wanted to order a family box with a bunch of different burgers so we could sample a lot of the options and combinations. That’s the selling point here, right? Ultimate customization? Well, we were told we could only order two different kinds of burger out of the 8 in the box because “it would confuse the cooks if we ordered more than two kinds”. Instead we ordered two “trios” for a total of 6 DIFFERENT BURGERS. Can you smell what the hippie’s cooking? Next, as we were customizing our choices, there was a point of confusion ordering our proteins off the menu. We were then told that the menu had a typo. This place has been open for months. Continuing, when it came time to choose our bun that part of the process was skipped over for both me and The Missus. Lastly, when our burgers were brought out on the trays, the inside and outsides of the boxes our food was served in had food, grease, and cheese smeared on the outsides. You can check out what I’m talking about in the pics.
The burgers and chicken we got were tasty enough, but nothing to write home about. I tried the wagyu beef with classic toppings first. It’s a $.79 upcharge for the wagyu, and I have to say for such a small burger the flavor and texture that meat is known for didn’t really come thru. The patty was dense and chewy, and I suspect its not 100% wagyu. Next up, the Spanish beef with the “caliente” toppings was easily my favorite. The smoky paprika flavor played nice with the toppings and the texture was tender. Last, I went a different route and got the chicken with the “Cali” toppings. I opted for grilled chicken and the breast was not bad, but nothing special. One bite, and the avocado went shooting out of the bun. It could stand to be sliced thinner and placed on the bottom of the bun to help keep it in place.
If there’s one thing I judge on heavily, its cleanliness. Burgerim scores points on this easily. The floors were free of food or rubbish, the bar wiped down well, and a pet peeve of mine…the drink station area…looked great. No view into the kitchen was available that I noticed, but hopefully the standards out front matched the ones in the back.
Burgerim was an ok experience. I don’t think its anything to go out of my way for, but if I’m in the area I don’t mind dropping in on occasion. It’s a bit expensive. Not outrageously so, but you do pay for all those options in the end and 3 or 4 $.79 upgrades will easily add 20% to your bill. Beer is served, and a friend at our table drank a couple, expressing frustration that everytime he wanted another beer he would have to go stand in the then long line and pay individually for them. A service bar that patrons could go to just for beer would go a long way if they want to encourage beer sales, and I think they do since the major seating opportunity is a large horseshoe shaped bar in the middle of the room. Oddly enough every seat in the place was packed at one point, except for the large bar that was empty. Might be a lesson in that somewhere.
3 out of 5 peace signs! Dig it!
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