BGR The Burger Joint: No Thanks!

June 12, 2010 14:17 – 14:17

Karen & I decided to give BGR The Burger Joint a try for lunch today. When I saw the flames caressing the ground beef patties, I thought I’d found a winner for sure. That thought persisted right up until the first bite.

Bottom line: well below average. For my tastes, their burgers were too dry and effete–BGR apparently is under the mistaken impression that burgers need to be low fat. Maybe that’s the difference between ground beef and hamburger. Hamburger starts to become too much like health food when the fat content drops below 15%. Even 20% is pushing it, in my book. But, it seemed like they were going for 98% fat free.

Their method is basically sound–flames & ground beef–but they need to use higher fat beef to get the right mouth feel and taste. Also, they need a processed American cheese option–I sometimes like real cheese, but seldom on a burger, and especially not on one that’s already too dry. They offered a choice of provolone, Swiss, cheddar, and one other. Fine options, but sorely lacking for the perfect cheeseburger to this beefeater.

There were other flaws, too. Their onions were undercooked and the pieces were way too big. They dominated rather than complemented. They also got my order wrong (a BGR standard feature, apparently). I asked for lettuce & cooked onions. But, the bottom bun was saturated with dill pickle juice–I hate dill pickles–and I was explicit about only lettuce & cooked onions–so discovering several dill pickles drowning in a swamp of pickle juice was not a happy surprise.

Their fries were also a disappointment. They apparently missed the “you don’t need to peel potatoes” memo. Their fries, in short, seemed over-processed. About a quarter of them had been overcooked, as well—to the point of being potato sticks, rather than fries.

Five Guys is still the contemporary burger winner in my book, although the best burger I ever had anywhere was at Marty’s on the Potomac at Georgetown University in 1970. Nutritious it wasn’t, but delicious it was. BGR, alas, comes in well behind Five Guys, Wendy’s, Burger King, and even McDonald’s (I haven’t had one of their burgers in over a decade).

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