Was driving by the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove tonight and noticed that the long-under-construction Bobby's Burger Palace looked like it actually might be open. Went back with my wife and daughter and found out that it had, in fact, opened just this evening. There were about eight other customers at 6 p.m. as it definitely seemed to be a "soft" opening - no "grand opening" signs or anything similar. The line grew as we ate.
Bobby himself was behind the s-shaped counter that stretches the length of the restaurant, doing quality control and chatting with customers. The setup is that you order and pay at the stand up front, get your drinks and head to one of the four-tops, six-tops, or the long, curving counter, and they deliver your food when it's ready. Decor was modern and pleasing. Menu was reasonably creative, 10 different burger topping combinations that you can get with an Angus beef patty, ground turkey burger, or chicken breast. You can also get a "griddled cheese" regular or deluxe (deluxe has brie, goat cheese, tomato and bacon), and a "crunch" salad with tortilla chips. Of course, you can also get fries, onion rings, shakes and malteds, as well as a menu item called "hot potato chips with blue cheese sauce."
The burgers (cooked medium only) looked like 1/3 pounders, and were all $7.50, with the exception of the basic cheeseburger, which was $6.50. I had the "Santa Fe Burger," which was supposed to have queso sauce, roasted green chilies, and crumbled tortilla chips, but came out with jalapenos instead of chilies. My wife had the "Bobby Blue Burger," topped with blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Other choices include the "Buffalo" (redhot sauce and blue cheese) and the "Miami" (pressed with ham, swiss, pickles, mustard and mayo).
Both burgers were hot, tasty, and juicy, well seasoned and pink in the middle, served on a soft potato roll. There was a rack of condiments that included squeeze bottles of chipotle and regular ketchup, yellow mustard, a "burger sauce" that looked like steak sauce, and jalapeno hot sauce. I liked the chipotle ketchup and jalapeno sauce. Our fries came with a dipping sauce that seemed to be mayo and chipotle or chili powder. Onion rings were huge and beer-battered, but you only get four for $3. Fries were $2.50 for a big cone full of crinkle-cuts, and the shakes were $5.
Overall, we really liked the burgers, although they seemed a bit small for the price (they were bigger than a Shake Shack burger, but not much). The fries and rings were also enjoyable. Total for two burgers, fries, rings, one Boylan's Orange soda, one coke, and one Dundee Honey Brown Ale was $30. The staff was very friendly, and it was cool to see Bobby there and seeming to be very interested in the quality of the food going out. I contemplated going up to him and challenging him to a burger throwdown, but thought better of it.
On the way out, I noticed they also have frozen margaritas for $4.50. Next time, as we'll definitely go back.
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