Today I went to “The Mall” (also known as the “Mall of America” to the out-of-towners) for lunch today. On tap for burger tasting was one of the newest restaurants at the mall: Burger Burger. Burger Burger is owned by Kaskaid, the same restaurant group that runs the popular Crave restaurants, and the Italian restaurants, Avenida (one of which is conveniently located right next to Burger Burger, which itself is located just a short walk down from a Crave restaurant). This is the first Burger Burger location that they have opened, though I suspect it will not be the last.
For being a mall-based fast(ish) food restaurant, the location is surprisingly spacious. There are many tables that can be assembled to fit a large crowd, or separated to have a more intimate dinner. They also have a rather large bar off to the right of the entrance that has a decent selection of tap beers, signature cocktails, and “adult shakes”.
Burger Burger doesn’t have a huge menu – 8 different burgers, 3 different salads, and fries for a side – however at a place named as such, I wouldn’t expect to see anything more on it. It’s not like you’d go to a place called Burger Burger and expect to find a French Dip or spaghetti, right? When you go in, there is a counter where you place your order before finding a table.
John Wayne Burger (beef patty, Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar, dill pickle slices, bourbon bbq sauce, mayo, onion rings, brown sugar bacon) from Burger Burger with side of fries
I ordered the John Wayne Burger with a side of fries. Ok, confession time… this was actually my second visit to this location, and I had gotten this burger last time as well; it was so good that I decided to get it again. When ordering fries, you are given a selection of dipping sauces to try. They have 11 options, with flavors such as Bacon Ketchup, Guacamole Ranch, and Green Chile Mayo. I went with the Bourbon BBQ, since I liked it on my burger so much last time. (I would actually buy a bottle of it to keep at home, if they offered it) The food came out rather quickly today – in about half the time it took on my first visit.
The John Wayne Burger has sharp cheddar, pickle slices, brown sugar bacon, onion rings, the Bourbon BBQ sauce that I love so much, and mayo on it. The “ground fresh daily” meat that they use has an excellent flavor to it. My burger was cooked perfectly, and was nice and juicy. The pickles add a nice little crunch and tang it, and are a great touch. The buns that they use are baked at St. Agnus Bakery in St. Paul, and delivered daily. One of the most underrated aspects of a good burger is the bun, and this is one of the best that I have had. It is lightly grilled to get just the right crisp, while still being soft and light. Overall, this is an excellent mid-price range burger, and one that I would be happy to eat again. Based on the burger flavor, burger juiciness, and bun, I would rate this at 4.5 out of 5. The fries as a side item are good, and the sauce selection is a nice touch, but I didn’t think they were wonderful. On my first visit we must have gotten a bad batch of fries, because they were over-cooked (hard and crispy), cold, and under-seasoned. This time, they were much better, however the burger was the real star of the show. I would rate the fries at 3.5 out of 5 – better than average, but not the best fry I have ever had.
While my review of the restaurant is favorable, here are a few of the things that I have an issue with:
- There are freaking onion rings on my burger, but there isn’t an option to get them as a side item! This one boggles my mind: why do they only offer one side item, and why does it have to be fries or nothing? Throw 6 onion rings on the plate and charge $4 for it, and you are good to go! I would have loved to have onion rings and dipping sauces. How about some cheese curds?
- The drink cups that they give you when dining in are pretty tiny. When eating salty foods, like burgers and fries, you often need something to wet your whistle. While they do have free refills on the soda fountain, the cups are small, and by the time you add ice, you are left with little room for drink. This is fat, gluttonous America! We want “big ass” drink sizes with unlimited refills! And to top it off, the soda machine is on the far back corner of the restaurant – which means that I have to get my lazy butt out of my seat to walk all the way over to get a drink. I want sugar water, not exercise! (It isn’t really that far, but I refer to my comment about fat, gluttonous America) Here is a little tip for you: if you go here, sit at the bar. The bar has nice large mugs, and the kind bartender refills them for you.
- The price was a little on the steep side – for burger, fries, and soft drink, I paid $14.04 – however it probably isn’t unreasonable for the tourist location it is in. Not saying that it isn’t worth it, just that for the price paid I would rather have a waitstaff that takes my order and refills my drinks (it all goes back to the drinks).
If you would like to check Burger Burger out for yourself, they are located on the third floor of the Mall of America, in the dining area. You can visit their website at eatburgerburger.com. You can tell them that Glas sent you, though they will be confused as to who “Glas” is and why he sent you.