Thursday, April 01, 2010


Leo and I decided to give the new BRGR Kitchen* in PV a try this past week. We were going to go during the week, but wound up with too many perishables in the fridge that we needed to cook. So we attempted it on Friday night, but I knew it was a stupid idea...which it was. It was an hour and a half wait.

(*Seriously, why do websites feel a need to have a soundtrack that accompanies them? It's fucking obnoxious. FYI - in case you haven't figured it out - there's sound on their website. You can turn it off in the upper right hand corner of the page if you click that link.)

So we planned it into this week's dinner schedule, and headed over there last night. No wait this time! Woo!

This place is a magnet for families, just to warn. (Although the one lady who had a screachy kid was, to her credit, very on top of the issue. And eventually left when she realized it wasn't controllable. ::applause:: She really made me happy, dammit.) We weren't the only ones there without kids, but we were in the minority for sure.

The menu is diverse, and I'd like to try a bunch of different stuff off of it in the future, to be honest. But the name of the place is BRGR. So we started there, and we'll work our way around.

Leo thought it was necessary to begin his BRGR experience with the Jucy Lucy. I chose the Knob Hill myself, because I'm a sucker for a burger on parmesan sourdough, yo. One of my favorite restaurants on the planet (Ruby's Diner) has a burger they call the Super Burger, and it's served on parm sourdough. It is the fucking BOMB, and I love seeing another restaurant pulling out the specialty "bun" like that, taking me back to some very fond memories. Oh, and also? YUM.

We decided a side of the "truffle" fries, and a side of the onion straws to accompany our dinners.

The burgers were perfect. Cooked well, seasoned well, dressed well (although Leo did add some mustard and BRGR's homemade ketchup to his)...they were really very much worth the $7.50 we were charged for them. I couldn't finish mine...not because I didn't want to, because I did! But in my attempts to be less of a fat ass, I try to keep my splurges under control, just like I do my dinners at home. So I ate one half last night, and had the other half for breakfast this morning. It was just as good today, surprisingly.

I don't think we'll have those sides again, though. The onion straws were too thin to really get a good bunch together. I'd grab some, and they'd all break, which made it hard to dip them into the yummy BBQ sauce that was served with them. I tried whipping out a fork to eat them with, but that was unsuccessful, too. We made it through about a 1/4 of the basket. Seemed like a big waste, and I even mentioned to Leo that I wonder how many baskets go back to the trash area in the kitchen with a bunch of onion pieces still in them. What I was able to put in my mouth was pretty good. Maybe a little overcooked, but still tasty.

The "truffle" fries were NOT truffley in the least. We paid an extra buck for those things, and they weren't worth it. Shoulda just ordered the regular fries or the sweet potato ones. I mentioned it to our server (I said they "weren't very trufflerific", if I recall correctly), and he said they've had issues with them not being truffley enough for folks. He told me that next time we get them (um, we won't, thanks!), we should ask for them to make them trufflerific, and that should do the trick. But the problem is? We shouldn't have to ask. If you're going to offer truffle fries, make the truffle bit more obvious. It's not a tough equation. I said that they have a tough act to follow, thanks to Blanc, and their truffle fries? Are TRUFFLE fries. And if they want to be judged against local competition like that - which, let's be honest, is gonna happen! - then they should make the "truffle" fries more distinctive. Or just take them off the menu. (I didn't say that to the server, but still...I'm thinking it now, so I figured I should add it. However, they were still reasonably priced, IMO. I just wish they'd do some side-by-side taste tests to see what truffle fries should taste like, and use Blanc as their comparison. Blanc may charge a lot for their version, tastes like it's worth it, you know?)

This whole exchange seems like it took a while, but it was really just a minute or two of feedback we were giving. I also mentioned it on the comment card we were given with our check. Hopefully, they find the info constructive. Because the food really was very good overall!

It was a hot night, though, and I'm not big on sitting in a people-filled room that is flanked on one side by a big, hot, busy kitchen, and only being ventilated by a couple of open windows on the other. One end of the place (over by their bar) has a garage door wall that they had open, and that might've been a better spot to be sitting in. But on the side we were on, I was sweltering. There was a huge ceiling fan above us that was in the "off" position. ::sad face:: I only started to get really hot after we'd finished eating, and had been sitting in the still air for almost an hour, or else I would have said something about it. The season changed over quickly this week to Fuck Spring, Here's Summer Instead!, so maybe it was a problem with building management not being ready, and the A/C not being available. Who knows? I felt bad for the folks in the kitchen, though! (I mentioned the heat on the comment card, too. So hopefully they found that info helpful. I dunno...)

We liked the place. We had our 2 burgers, 2 sides, and 2 beers all for under $31. We will be back, for sure. Maybe we'll try their "brunch" menu this weekend when the Twin is here...


Hobo Hiker said...

Sounds like your experience was on par w/ ours. Stopped in on a Sunday evening a couple weeks ago, impromptu plan thanks to visiting some friends for too long. BRGR is definitely still finding their legs. We were told 30 to 45 min. wait. Ok, but there are open tables and tables waiting to be bussed. Next party through the door asks if they can sit at a high top open in the bar area. Oh sure. Well, hell, I would have sat there had I known this was "pick your own table night". NOTE to Host: You are the face of the operation, sprout a pair and run the damn operation. This isn't a montessori. I took charge and carefully explained that I would take whatever table they had, including the long communal high top that was empty(12 seats!) I was hungry and committed to eating at this place. Grilled cheese and smoked tomato soup for the Mrs. and Grilled Portobello for me. Shared a 3 fry sampler w/ Sweets, Thick Fries, and Reg. Onion Rings. Sweets are pretty good w/ a brown sugar laced bbq-style rub sprinkled on them. Reg. fries are of the home cut variety, nothing exceptional, but they weren't flaccid either. The rings were a tribute to the Jackstack BBQ rings. Thick cut, cripsy crumb breading, opposed to beer batter. Grilled cheese was a worthy specimen, 3 cheeses and nice bread w/ a good crust. Portobello had some nice features w/ a marinated cucumber topping and good charbroiled flavor, but needed salt or perhaps a little longer in the tub w/ some marinade. Bread wasn't sufficiently browned(pet peeve), probably rushed out of kitchen too fast. Soup was great with a nice thick consistency aided by the croutons and boosted by a hint of smoke and cilantro, but the salt shaker was a little loose w/ the soup. They aren't Blanc, but the potential to shine is there. I really like the warm wood tones, opposed to Blanc's institutional white decor. Lots of families versus hipsters hopefully translates to food for the people rather than boozed up, bar and grill vibe. I like the trust they place in me w/ bottles of condiments on the table versus Blanc's guarded thimble sized condiment approach. Thanks for the space to offer up my review. PV needs this place and I hope they make it.

Faith said...

I do, too Hobo. I am so glad that PV finally got something new, instead of hearing about something else opening in midtown or downtown or freaking Mission Farms.

That portabello "burger" sounded good to me, too. I'm hoping to give that a go in the near future!