BGR: The Burger Joint
5865 Poplar Avenue
I'm pretty wary of going to new places just after they open because chances are they haven't quite figured everything out yet. The rule in journalism used to be that you'd give a restaurant three months before reviewing it. The Internet changed all that. However, I think in the case of a franchise, they should pretty much hit the ground running. So, with that, Warren and I took the monkeys (Satchel, 9, and Jiro, 7) to BGR: The Burger Joint that just opened by the "new" Target on Sunday.
BGR is in the new strip along with Yogurt Mountain, Chipotle, etc. On the outside it doesn't look like much. The inside is pretty cozy and cute.
I'm not sure what the connection to the 80s is, but it's a very strong connection. Bon Jovi, Men at Work, and other famous bands line the walls and 80s tunes fill the room. Billy Idol played as we perused the large menu board.
What's so great about this place you ask? According to the website there are 3 reasons: 1. They only use grain-fed cattle; all natural, no hormones, fillers or antibiotics, and most importantly they run free in the fields. 2. The buns are made for them locally and delivered fresh every day. (I saw the buns in the back and they looked freshly delivered but I don't know about local.) The tomatoes are the finest available. (Uh, vague much?) 3. Lastly, the burgers are grilled to temperature over an open flame -- not fried on a piece of stainless steel.
Jiro informed me that he wasn't hungry, but when I told him that he could have two small burgers, some fries, and a drink, he agreed to eat a kid's meal. (At $549, not a bad deal. Grilled cheese is the other option.) In front of the register were bottles of Cheerwine and Orange Crush, so he chose a Cheerwine as his drink. (The meal comes with a fountain drink, so I took note that I'd be drinking it.)
Satchel said he wanted a big burger, not a kid's meal, and Warren told me to let him have what he wanted. (Satchel is notorious for over ordering because he thinks he's starving all of the time.) I ordered him "The Burger," plain, for $6.99.
Warren, who I thought for sure would go for one of the fancy options like the Wellington (mushrooms, onion, truffles, etc.) went with the adult sliders. (Four for $7.99.)
After having attended Cochon 555 the night before and starting my day off with a brutal 15 mile run, I opted for the veggie burger ($7.99). This disgusted Warren so much that he had to go sit down. "Why did we come here if you aren't even going to eat a burger?" he asked, incredulous. Did I mention that he had driven to Atlanta and back the day before? To say that we were both a little grumpy is an understatement.
I sent Warren and the boys to get a table, did the ordering--I added an order of parmesan fries and asparagus--paid, got a drink, and then joined them at the table. Wait, let me back up. The drink machine was awesome.
I've heard of these fancy machines around town--maybe at Firehouse Subs?--but this is the first one I've seen. There are twenty choices and for each beverage you can get it in several flavors. (i.e. Vanilla Coke, Lime Diet Coke, Cherry Mellow Yellow.) It's pretty cool. I know that Jiro would have been all over the fountain drink rather than the Cheerwine had he known.
I've given up soda for the most part, so I was thrilled stupid just to have the option of regular Seagram's sparkling water. (I planned to let the kids get a more exciting refill later.)
Back at the table, the monkeys were busy drinking Cheerwine and playing Zelda on the DS. Warren was looking at his phone. I noted that Billy Idol was still playing. "I am not going to listen to a whole Billy Idol album," Warren said, obviously agitated by the 80s. Considering we hadn't gotten our food yet I didn't really think he was going to leave. Thankfully the next song was Billy Joel. (And by thankfully, I think you know that I just mean it wasn't Billy Idol.) After a couple of Billy Joel songs, it went on to Billy Ocean. Then Billy Squire. It was sort of hilarious. We could only assume the playlist is in alphabetical order by first name.
Ok so somewhere in the Billy Joel trifecta our buzzer went off and I was deployed to pick up our food. Everything comes out on a pizza pan, which is weird. It made it pretty hard to get everything back to the table. (Warren offered to help, but in my grumpy state I confused his helpfulness with a statement on my inability to carry everything at once.) I made two table deliveries and then had to wait a couple of extra minutes for Satchel's burger to finish cooking.
Everything looked great.
Jiro only made it through one of his sliders, but he polished off the fries no problem.
Satchel really liked his burger, which was quite large. He made it about 3/4 of the way through.
It was so juicy, he requested my phone so that he could take a close-up. (Juicy, greasy, you decide.)
Warren seemed pleased with his sliders, although I think he wanted more "stuff" on them.
He happily ate Jiro's leftover slider too.
We all loved the asparagus. And one order of fries was plenty for me, Warren, and Satchel to share.
Oh, and the veggie burger was pretty good. The molasses gave it a bit of a meat flavor and it was nice & big.
I actually couldn't finish it.
Our total bill came to $45, which isn't too bad at all. If everyone got a drink (Warren shared with me) and their own fries, it would have been much more as drinks and sides are in the $2-$5 range. It would also be quite easy to run up the tab with a milkshake, Ghost River beer, or a glass of Coppola wine.
Before we left, the kids checked out the drink machine, and Jiro & I made a bathroom run. Sorry mamas, no changing table.
So...will we be back? I'm not sure. It was good and we sure liked that fancy drink machine, but now that I know Slider Inn allows kids before 5pm, I think we'd probably go there first. However, should we find ourselves on the road and BGR is an option, then yes, I think we'd hit it.
Oh! One last thing. They have a 9 pound challenge burger, which seems to be a de facto part of burger joint menus these days. It can feed 10-15 people. Warren noted that we should get one for the kids' birthday. I can think of better ways to spend $79.99.