I finally got a chance to try BGR over in Columbia near Target this weekend. I’m a big burger fan, so I was excited to see a restaurant arrive dedicated to the art of making a good burger. The lady who took our order was very friendly and helpful. Since this was a bit of test run, I went for the plain burger, american cheese, lettuce, and tomato. I went simple on the fries as well. I was definitely surprised by the prices: even with a plain-jane burger and fries, the cost rivaled most nicer, sit-down restaurants in the area.
Before I go into the meal itself, it’s worth knowing a bit about how BGR is set up. It’s a mid-speed restaurant – not fast food, but not sit-down either. You walk in, stand in line to place your order, then they give you a pager and you find a table and wait on your food. They serve soda, milk shakes, many types of burgers and fries, and onion rings, but they do not serve alcohol. I will say the onion rings looked really good, but we didn’t have any. One advantage of this setup is that you don’t have to tip – which helps (marginally) offset the higher prices.
Once we placed the order, they gave us a pager and we found a seat, and waited… and waited… and waited. I was pretty surprised that what seemed to be a mid-speed food joint would take that long to make a (plain) burger. Now, I understand that it’s probably because they made if from scratch with TLC and all, but it still seemed to take too long.
When it finally did come up, the presentation was nice and the portions were quite reasonable. The meat had a nice chargrilled flavor, the bun was light and fairly unremarkable, and there was a healthy helping of cheese melted onto the burger (which I liked). All-in-all it was a pretty good burger. However, my favorite part of the meal was the ginormous chocolate-chunk cookie we had for dessert – they used just enough dough to keep all the chocolate together.
Given the cost of the meal, the glacial food preparation speed, and the fact that I couldn’t get a beer with the burger, I have to second Mr. HowChow’s sentiment that I would prefer to just go on over to Victoria Gastro Pub for my next burger. I think it would just as fast (or probably faster), I can get excellent beer, and it probably wouldn’t cost any more (except for the beer).
It wasn’t a total bust, but I don’t think I’ll be going back to BGR anytime soon.