Sunday, December 12, 2010
Teddy's Burger Joint
Appointed with diamond plate and (nicely done) homemade tables, Teddy's decor seems like a cross between a garage & a finished basement. They've added a stage in the corner for live entertainment, a playroom in back for the kids and a fireplace in the middle of the open dining room. Several large flat-screens are positioned around the room ready for the sport du jour.
Being an order-at-the-counter type of place, we had to stop for a minute to take in the menu. Teddy's sports an impressive microbrew selection on tap, but we decided against it tonight. We were a little taken aback that the only size burger they offer is a 1/2 pound monster. Smaller size options would be nice, considering the price. Even for husky mom & dad, a 1/2 lb burger is a bit much. They come in Angus by default, but it can be substituted with a bison, turkey or veggie burger. As Teddy's is shooting for the gourmet burger angle, we stuck with the red meat, except for our resident carbitarian.
Libby opted for the Cajun burger on a wheat bun with a side of cheese fries and a draft root beer. Fred can never pass up a chance to order bison, this time on wheat with a fried egg and one of Teddy's 5 specialty mayos, horseradish! He also threw in a side of cheese fries for good measure. We were surprised that a specialty 'burger joint' didn't ask how we would like them prepared, but decided they must know what they're doing.
Fred's bison was a little over-done and dry. The egg fried within an inch of it's life. The whole sandwich would have been a complete disaster but was saved by the horseradish mayo. Now THAT'S the kind stuff that will put a place on the map. Crazy-good mixed with a little ketchup for the heavily seasoned fries too. Speaking of fries, the nacho cheese was surprisingly good -- nice and zesty.
Libby's Cajun burger arrived with the same, obvious burned circle on the bun (as seen above). It was nicely dressed with grilled onion, green pepper & cheese. The first bite revealed a pleasant seasoning, but she didn't find anything particularly Cajun about the burger. It was a little overcooked to her taste. The fries dipped in the nacho cheese sauce was surprisingly good for something that looked like it came out of a can. The root beer was root beer. It was sweet and hefty on the price @ $2.99 a glass. That's more than half way to a real beer.
Stella absolutely loved dipping the fries. She had no interest in bites of the cajun burger, but had a bit of the bison. Again, the nacho cheese was the star.
Given that condiments seemed to be a real strong point and can have such an effect on a meal, Teddy's staff need to actively promote it. The person behind the counter should have been putting their best foot forward by promoting their specialty mayos and nacho cheese. A format that requires standing in line and staring at a huge menu on the wall requires the staff to help lead the customer. When you charge as much as you do for a gourmet burger, your staff has got to steer people in the right direction. You need to ask "how would you like that cooked". Libby didn't even notice that the specialty mayos existed on the menu...
Price-$$,- Hefty for burgers and fries---were they actually gourmet burgers, this would not have been an issue.
Atmosphere**,- A good start. We liked the homemade tables, but nothing said "stop, watch the game and have a few beers." A pity, with this outstanding beer menu.
Service*,- Order at the counter than they bring the food to your table. No enthusiasm for their own food.
Fred- D, This is just bad execution. Overcooked meat and burnt buns. The mayo was good as were the cheese fries. But when you're supposed to be a gourmet burger place, that's not exactly high praise. When I compare it to other burger places around like Boogie Burger or Brickhouse burgers, it just doesn't compare. There was just a lack of caring in both burgers. They were both dry, uninspired and on burnt buns. An incredible disappointment.
Libby- C-, I can appreciate a good beer selection, especially in a homegrown establishment. But you still have to woo me with good service, reasonable prices and high quality preparation. I found the prices to be too high. It's ridiculous that the only option is half a pound of meat! There were some high notes with the nacho cheese sauce & Fred's mayo, but everything else was just "meh". I can get a huge sandwich prepared exquisitely with attention to detail and preparation, standing in line looking at a wall menu at Shapiro's and feel like I got a good deal paying $12 (with no sides). It's not the price, it's the price for what you get.
Ozzy- B+, Ozzy really liked the play room and certainly didn't have a problem with the food. He gobbled up his meal completely.
Stella- B+, She was content through the meal dipping her fries in nacho cheese sauce and then sucking it off!