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Burger Shoppe - Gourmet Mediocrity

ascendance | Apr 9, 200805:22 PM

Recently, I wrote a thread which featured the worst burger I've ever eaten. In an effort to erase that memory and atone, I began looking for a much better burger. I was all ready to go down to Allen's, which I haven't been to since I saw Enter the Haggis play there in 1998.

Unfortunately, a friend of mine said, "Hey, I heard about this place called the Burger Shoppe! Try it and tell me how it is." He also read me a review, which talked about their awesome, seemingly panko-encrusted, home-made onion rings.

When I got there, I ordered the incredibly expensive (in hindsight) organic burger, at $6.95, with a side of onion rings, and a canned drink for another $3.95. Cheap this place ain't. I was advised that the burgers are cooked to order, which would take 10-15 minutes. I was fine with that. However, as I sat down, I got the general impression that their kitchen layout was just terrible, with one guy having to turn back and forth between grill, fryer, and prep area. Folks, if you're only going to have 3 tables, you might as well not have any tables at all (or maybe 2), and design an efficient cooking space, so one guy can watch the grill, and one guy can do the assembly. Also, having one guy turn back and forth between grill and counter is eventually going to result in a dropped patty. Which means another 10 minute wait while you grill up another, and the loss of the most valuable item you're working with. Of course, this a common restaurant n00b mistake, not putting cooking and assembly in some kind of linear arrangement.

Fundamentally, though, having one guy do both grilling, frying and prep meant that not quite enough attention was paid to the grill, and since I came right after 6 kids and 2 adults, meant that my burger was more than a little dry and overdone. Tasty, good quality meat, but And those people who said that they were skimpy with the toppings were dead right. If Harvey's can afford to give me more than one slice of tomato, the Burger Shoppe certainly can. Especially when they're charging twice as much.

Finally, and I hate to disappoint all of those who praised the onion rings to the stars, but I had quite a nice view of the kitchen. Those onion rings? McCain's extra crumb. That's right, they were straight out of a box. I'll be telling my friend who works at McCain's that at least one discerning foodie on Chowhound got totally suckered.

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