Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Visit to BGR and Updated HoCo Burger Standings

Anyone who knows me knows that I crave a good hamburger all the time.  I'm like Wimpy from the Popeye cartoon.  I could eat one every day and if I were an el cheapo, "I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." 

Well to my excitement, there has been some buzz in HoCo blogosphere about a new burger joint coming to Howard County (see HowChow, Sarah Says and Kitchen Scribble).  The name of this place is BGR The Burger Joint.  Reviews on other BGRs locations on Yelp.com weren't too bad, but weren't too great.  I had to try it out myself though before passing judgment.  

With new restaurants, my rule of thumb is to not visit them on their first week of being open.  The reason being the staff rarely has a clue as to what they are doing, the food is usually under/over cooked, and the restaurants are usually really crowded.  So I give it a week or so before going.  In this case, I think BGR opened officially on May 17th and I had my chance to visit it on the first time on May 27th.  

We (a crowd of 6 of us) arrived at 6:00pm and found plenty of open seats in there.  We all went up to place our order and the girl working the register was really well trained and had no problem taking the complex orders.  I ordered a Southwestern Burger (description from website:  A 9oz burger infused with southwestern influences, like chipotles, poblanos, onion and chilis. Topped with pepper jack and served atop our black bean salsa. Served on a fresh, buttery-toasted brioche bun with our mojo sauce.), done medium, with a side of Rosemary Parmesan Yukon gold fries.  My wife ordered the Veggie Burger (description from website:  Our fresh house-made recipe including brown rice, black beans, oats and molasses. Served on a fresh, buttery-toasted brioche bun.) and shared my fries.  Being that she's a chowing lightweight, I got to sample both of them.

Service time was just ok.  It was a little slow for a burger joint and the crowd wasn't large, but the burgers are fresh and cooked to order, so waiting 12 or so minutes wasn't too bad.  

The Southwest burger was a little more well done than I typically think of a burger that is done medium.  It was not dry though and tasted pretty good.  It was an absolute mess to eat though with pieces of the toppings and hamburger falling all over my plate.  
The Veggie Burger that I had was pretty damn good when it comes to veggie burgers.  It was thick, moist, and filling.  I am not a veggie burger fan, but I really enjoyed this.  My wife was happy too.

The fries were about average.  I thought a rosemary Parmesan fry would be something special.  It was just a pile of fries with rosemary and parmesan sprinkled on top.  Had the fries been fresh out of the fryer, they might have been moist enough for the rosemary and parmesan to stick to, but it wasn't.  Total bummer.  
A friend got the onion rings and they were enormous.  I was able to snag one of these bad boys and thought it was pretty good.  It was super greasy, but still really good.  

Another friend got the parmesan asparagus spears.  Although I didn't taste them, they were a total rip off.  Almost $4 and she only got like 6 spears.  What about a decent serving size folks?!?!?

New Coke Machines
The soda machine there is a total trip.  You can get one of like 15-20 different types of Coca-Cola products.  To each soda you can add a syrup.  My first time through I got a Grape Fanta (yeah I'm a dork) and the second time through I got a Cherry Lemonade.  The combinations are endless.  The only problem is that it is slow for people to navigate around the touch screen menu to find what they want. 

Interface on new Coke machine.
As were were leaving there was almost a brawl over the table we were sitting at.  I said we had no problem getting a seat when we arrived and that was true, but as time went on, the place began to fill up.  Tables along the right hand wall of BGR are 6 seaters and packed in pretty tight.  So seating is at a premium there.  As we were leaving two female vultures both jumped at our table claiming it was rightfully theirs.  I wasn't in to the drama so we just left as they started yelling at each other.

So bottom line, this place is pretty good, but it still doesn't beat my favorite burger joints in HoCo.  
  1. King Burger at Fat Burger with Skinny Fries
  2. Black Angus Burger at Victoria Gastro Pub with Poutine Duck Fat Fries
  3. Burnin Love Burger at Red Robin with Onion Ring Tower
  4. Southwestern Burger with onion rings at BGR
  5. 1/2 lb burger at Fuddruckers with a basket of fries (thick ones)
  6. Serious burger at Cheeburger Cheeburger with a Frings basket
Before everyone jumps up saying "Where's Five Guys?" let me explain.  I think the fries there are nasty and the presentation of the burger just makes the burgers look unappetizing and cheap.  

Oh and by the way, nothing beats my homemade "Madison Burger."  What's a Madison burger you ask?  ‎"The Madison" consists of a 3/4 lb burger, served on a bagel, with a slice of onion, a fried egg doused with Franks Hot Sauce, a heaping slab of macaroni salad, and topped with ketchup and mayo.

Eating the inaugural Madison Burger
So what do you think?  What are your favorite burger joints in Howard County?  I'd love to know.  Am I missing something?  Any local joints I have to try?



  1. I think you mentioned to me that you would go to Fatburger to talk with Orlando before Raven games

  2. @Duane...yeah from what I saw, he was a class act and nice guy. He seemed to be in there a lot on Sundays and was always chatty. I remember one day he was talking to a group of kids (7 or 8 year olds) who played football. I keep seeing quotes where people say he was a "gentle giant." Well from what I saw, this is very true. We lost a good guy.