Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BRU Burger Bar

Where can you get an amazing burger on the most fabulous side of town?! BRU burger bar, that's where!  Not to spoil the review, but we like.

BRU is part of the Mesh and Boulder Creek family, but felt more like a neighborhood place than a chain. We went on a Friday evening, kids in tow, ready to sink into some serious beef.  Our wait was short, only 20 minutes and luckily the establishment is next to a little patch of grass with that big brick head sculpture.  Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, not sure of the name, but it was the ideal place to let the kids cavort for a bit. 

We were seated in the glassed in addition. Beautiful, awesome people watching, and so much nicer than the usual -by the front door- seating we are used to receiving.  Another pleasant surprise--an actual kids menu!  Did not expect that.  And the beer selection?  Holy Moley!  If the burgers stood up to the beer, we knew we had a winner.

Our waitress was a doll.  Knew the menu, knew the taps, knew what to suggest(even as far as pairings)and spent just enough time flirting with the kids to make us feel welcome. 

The burgers seemed to answer to every palate you could imagine.  For tonight, Fred settled on the Bourbon Burger---lets the imagination go wild, doesn't it?  This one came with bacon, peppercorn-bourbon glaze and horseradish havarti. Hello!  Libby had to try the one egg burger on the menu--The End--horseradish havarti, fried egg, carmelized onion, lettuce, tomato and tuffle aioli.  Ozzy went with their mac and cheese with fries and Stella the fried shrimp and fries. 

While we waited, we enjoyed the incredible people watching and our luscious beers - Weihenstephaner Hefeweisen and a Two Brothers Domaine DuPage  .

Just look at those burgers!  Gorgeous, juicy, and topped with some fantastic ingredients.  Let's just say, we were one happy FLOE.  Fred's burger was cooked bloody and rare, just like he likes it! The bourbon glaze was quite tasty but made this burger a definite knife and fork experience only. Libby, on the other hand, indulged in the warm, gooey, sticky meat/cheese/sauce/egg mound eagerly with both hands.  Other than needing a stack of wet naps, she was in her happy place. Her side of onion rings were nicely seasoned, but were a bit heavy on the batter(a tasty Pabst Blue Ribbon batter)...not too shabby.  Ozzy was ooing and awing over his mac while Stella picked at her shrimp, but downed some fries and what appeared to be a homemade ketchup.  Stella was crazy.  Mommy and Daddy had to sample those shrimps and they were awesome!  Screaming to be put on a poeboy with some of that truffle aioli!
Although this is a pricey endeavor for burgers and beers, it's well worth it to dine with "our peeps" on Mass Ave...and of course, sneak over to Mass Ave Toys for play time!

Wrap Up
Price-$$$, Expensive for a burger, but damn, that's a burger that touches you in all the right places!
Atmosphere-****, Rediculously warm and inviting with dark woods, exposed brick, rich tones and a perfect amount of buzz in the air to off set the occasional screeches from the short people. A true family pub!
Service-****-Knowledgeable, fun, fast, and obviously enjoy their work.

Libby- A --mazing!  I will gladly go there anytime and spend too much for a burger, beer and awesome company..and what i wouldn't give to live upstairs! ;)
Fred- A -- Seriously could not have been happier with my meal.  I'm a sucker for homemade ketchup too, and this one did not disappoint. 
Ozzy- A+ -- Oz was oooing and ahhing over his homemade mac & cheese.
Stella- B+ -- While she didn't dig on the (perfectly wonderful!) shrimp, she loved the homemade ketchup, fries and undivided attention from the waitress.

BRU Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Wow.  Has it really been a year?  Oops.  Life happens then you neglect your blog!
Well, we're back and ready to hit the foodie scene once again!

We had been eyeing a place south of us for a while now.  A "grill and bar" called Louie's off of Stone's Crossing and 135.  Louie's is a small regional chain originating in Oklahoma.  The menu is your typical American bar & grill with family-centered dining as the main focus & a separate adult-only area.  At first blush it appeared to us that the 21+ area was much larger than your typical chain -- but then again, we'll never really know. ;)

We arrived and were seated near the front as seems to be typical when you have young children.  Our server arrived promptly to explain the drink & food specials.  The kids just wanted water, but Libby chose the margarita special of the day and Fred the Triton brewery seasonal, the Sin Bin.  Both were exactly what the doctor ordered.

The menu is your typical burgers, wraps, sandwiches and salads with the addition of personal pizzas.  Their signature appetizer seemed to be the fried green beans with wasabi ranch for dipping.  That sounded perfectly fine to us.  We knew Stella would dive in, and MAYBE we'd get something green into Ozzy.

For dinner, Ozzy could not be denied his mac & cheese and Stella followed suit.  Libby was in the mood for shrimp and chose fries with au gratin veggies for her sides.  Fred went with the steak with blue cheese and black bean salsa & chips for the side.

The atmosphere was very busy with lots of families so there was no worry about our kids causing a ruckus.   While we waited, we noticed a lot of flat screens.  After checking the website, there are a total of 14 but we were more impressed with the placement.  From any seating angle, you could easily see two to three -- nice for sporting events. 

Our entrees came out relatively quickly, but we had to question the status of our appetizer, which had obviously been forgotten. The oversight was very quickly remedied and we ended up with quite a spread before us.  The kids dug in quietly to their very creamy-looking mac & cheese while mom & dad did the same with their entrees.  Libby found the blackened grilled shrimp solid, but nothing amazing.  The fries were Steak & Shake style shoestrings.  A good fry, but also nothing to write home about.  The au gratin vegetables on the other hand, were horrid.  There was easily two to three times the amount of salt necessary, and we like our salt!  It was simply inedible. 

Almost on queue, Ozzy looked up from his mac & cheese to declare that it was "not good.  Like at Monon Food Company".  Man, that kid has a heck of a memory...  We tried a bite and had
to agree.  It needed the salt from the au gratin.  With kids now both abandoning the mac & cheese, Fred tried in vein to move them to the green beans.  No dice, which was too bad because they were possibly the best thing on the table.

Fred's steak was well cooked, but very tough and stringy.  The flavor was fine and yes, it was just a $10 steak.  Even so, meh.  The chips and black bean salsa side was fine, but a little heavy on the onion for his taste. 

The green beans were a very basic batter & sauce, but it just worked.  Nice & crispy with the evilness that only comes from deep frying.  They may still have been green, but there was nothing vegetal left.  Tasty.  Would Ozzy touch even one?  Heck no.

As everyone at the table seemd to be left wanting, we decided on a slice of carrot cake to share.  No clue if it came out of a box or was home made, but it was definitely delish and demolished.


Wrap Up
Price-$, Very inexpensive for a sit-down lunch/dinner. 
Atmosphere-***, Clean, comfortable & "buzzy" enough to hide any loud kid noises that may or may not emanate from your table.
Service-***, Attentive & professional.

Fred - C, I walked away feeling like I'd ordered all the wrong things.  The food at other tables certainly looked tasty.  Too bad ours really wasn't. 
Libby -C+, For us, living on the south side, I will definitely go again and give it another shot.  No problem.  But would I suggest that somebody drive from another side of town?  Hell to the no.  You can probably find adequate fair at any local neighborhood "bar & grill".  This may end up being my local Applebee's/Chili's alternative.   
Ozzy-C+, While he didn't dig on the mac & cheese, he told us "next time, I have to try the grilled cheese."  Maybe his desire to return had more to do with Louies' game room, but it's a good sign none the less.
Estelle-C+, She had a few bites of mac & cheese and then gave up to come sit on daddy's lap and chow on his chips (with ketchup?) instead.

Louie's at Stone's Crossing on Urbanspoon