We tried to go to Burgatory Bar a couple weeks ago. The wait (on a Friday night) was close to two hours, so we passed. The hostess that evening suggested we try a weekend afternoon before 5pm, so on Saturday we stopped by after Avi’s soccer game. She was right: we walked right in (mostly) around 3:30pm, and by the time we left there was a line out the door.
I’m a fan of branding-as-design when it’s done the right way, and I think Burgatory has a lot of fun with that end of things. The message and tone is consistent on everything, and a snarky flow chart on the wall near the front made me laugh out loud. It’s obvious that the attitude/aesthetic was a major priority to the owners, so high marks for that.
Generally, high marks for everything, really. I have some thoughts about the one aspect of our visit that was less than positive, but I’m going to save those for the end so I don’t detract from the deliciousness.
I might as well start by saying that Burgatory reminds me of Fuel & Fuddle, and I truly mean that in a good way. It also has some obvious similarities to BRGR, but I haven’t been there yet so I can’t speak to them directly. For the sake of science, we ordered our standard benchmark, the nachos.
A solid showing, although probably not in the top five (where Fuel & Fuddle comfortable sits). Too much glop in the center so the toppings-to-chips ratio was off. Nice homemade quac, bonus points for the green onions. But we didn’t really come for the nachos, we came for the burgers.
Beef+Farmhouse cheddar+bacon+field greens+tomatoes=
With a small child for scale:
As you can see, the burgers come with a side of handmade russet & sweet potato chips that even this potato-hater found enjoyable. Mine was a bit overdone (I asked for a pink center, but it was definitely medium-well) but quite juicy and flavorful. The brioche was fresh and the cheddar was extra sharp. Less than half the sandwich was consumed on site, however. Consider this your warning that these burgers are huge.
The other reason to come to Burgatory are the shakes.
Yes, you read that right: the shakes on the left are for grownups only. I tried a Peppermint Pattie.
(Forgot to ask for no whipped cream.) Waaaay too big not to share, and here’s your second warning: you can’t take this puppy home because of the alcohol. Which is a shame, because it was delightful but I’d need about a week to finish it, even if I had gotten it when I ordered it.
And that brings me to my final thoughts on Burgatory Bar, prefaced with the reassurance that we will absolutely be going back.
Our service was terrible.
I know, I know. I hate to admit it, too. But it wasn’t just one person and it did actually impact my enjoyment of our meal. I won’t go into petty specifics here, but I hope it was just an off afternoon at a recently-opened restaurant and not par for the course. Both the host staff and the wait staff were seriously off their game, and in a place like Burgatory which so obviously places a premium on ambience and experience, it was a definite bummer.
So we’ll give them a couple weeks and head over again. I want to try that bison burger anyway.