Thursday, April 30, 2009

Solo Burger (28 of 50)

Restaurant: Solo Burger
Cuisine: Burgers
Price: What you would expect
Score: 28
Will I eat there again? Maybe

Solo Burger was opened within the last couple months. As a new restaurant, kinks are almost certainly still being worked out and readers should take this into account. Many eateries take a few months to really get their service and recipes down. The experience that I had may not be indicative of the quality of experience you will receive in the future.

Solo Burger joins the growing ranks of niche restaurants, establishments that try to make their fortune by focusing on a very specific theme. There are interesting restaurants that serve just mac 'n' cheese, for example, or only a certain style french fry. Solo Burger tries to do this with burgers; and at least the night we visited, came up lacking.

Aesthetically, the place is pretty sharp- if to a fault. Lots of shiny metal and hard edges. It could certainly use a bit of toning down, although the restrooms were very pretty (full-on dark tile and all automatic equipment). They clearly spent a fair amount of effort and money designing the place. It just needs to look a bit more comfortable.

They have a nice bar and several beers on tap at a great price (16oz glasses ranging in price from $2.75 (Shock Top) - $3.50 (Sam seasonal)). When we were there almost half the customers were at the bar- so perhaps that is how they are planning on making a go of it.

The menu is pretty short (as it should be with a name like Solo Burger), you can choose from a few standard apps (wings, fries, chips, etc...) and they have a few salads, but most of the menu is burgers. Unfortunately they were out of several of their burger options (tuna, salmon, sausage, veggie, and hot dog (not really a burger)) leaving falafel as the only vegetarian option, and crabcakes as the lonely choice from the sea.

Undaunted by the scarce menu, we soldiered on, supported by cheap brews and a coffee milkshake that was tasty, if on the watery side. Service was perfectly acceptable and waters were kept topped off.

The Solo Burger was perfectly ok. Bacon, cheese, mushrooms, and a nice toasted bun. A good portion size, and quite tasty. The meat unfortunately had a distinct gas grill taste which was even more pronounced in the Jamaican Jerk Chicken sandwich. This sandwich was the low point of the meal. Dried-out, barely seasoned, and tasting like the grill- it was pretty darn bad. Sweet potato fries were a bit soft and could have had more kick, but still a nice touch.

Conclusion: It's attractive in a cold way and has cheap beer. But with a name like Solo Burger, you better have damn good burgers. Unfortunately, they were not. Perhaps with time they will improve, but at this point I can't recommend Solo Burger, if you solely want a burger.

Solo Burgers on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

thank you for you comments, BUT my wife and I went on 5-20-2009 and had a great burger, so i would say GOOOOOOOOOO to SOLO.

Alex Payson said...

Glad to hear you had a good time.
Given the newness of the restaurant, some variability is to be expected; I certainly hope that my less than stellar experience was the exception, rather than the rule.
Thanks for the feedback!