Thursday, October 16, 2014


Shiloh Bar and Grill
402 E Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201



Burger Menu


Richard: Burger-43/50; Side-6/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-8/10
Mark; Burger-40/50; Sides-5/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-7/10

Richard orders the Black & Bleu Burger ($8.99; + $1.00 for Chili as a side) and says "My burger is over-cooked, but it's pretty good. It's nice and thick and they were quite generous with the blue cheese. The bun is good, too. 43/50.

I have the Original Burger ($8.59 with cheese) and I think my burger is OK. As Richard says, it's fairly thick, but mine, too, is overcooked. The flavor is OK but I wish the burger had more punch - it's a bit under-flavored for my taste. 40/50.

"My chili has way, way too many beans," Richard says. "I don't care much for it. There's minimal flavor. Overall the chili is quite a disappointment, but I'll persevere: I won't let it ruin my day. I just won't be ordering it again. 6/10. And I think that's generous."

I can't eat my cole slaw side (the fries are NOT gluten free due to cross contamination since the fries are cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products). There is WAY too much horse radish in the slaw and horse radish is the only thing I can taste. To be fair, I don't like horse radish, so I have Richard (who does like it) take a taste. He agrees: way too much horse radish. I won't be ordering it again.

"Our server did not ask how we wanted our burgers done," Richard says. "She" (Avery-a relatively new employee) "was attentive overall, though, and I think she did a nice job. 18/20."

I also score Service at 18/20. Avery visits our table just enough, was friendly and outgoing and does a nice job. One complaint: our table rocks back and forth. I hate that! I put some sugar packets underneath one of the legs and that resolves the problem (at least while we're here).

"It gets pretty loud in here as it fills up, doesn't it? We got here at 11:30 and it was nice and quiet. Now, at noon, it feels pretty busy! They have ample TV's tuned to a variety of channels, though, so I can watch ESPN, the news, and so forth. That's good. The place does not seem all that comfortable to me, though. 7/10," Richard says.

I agree. It feels a bit like I'm in a cave: it's a bit dark inside for my taste. And it is noisy, even for a sports bar. 7/10.

Richard scores location at 8/10.  "I found parking with no problem. And the parking is FREE! It's downtown so getting to it is no problem."

I score location at 7/10. Being downtown on a Friday can be a hassle with all the traffic. I, too, found FREE parking in Shiloh's lot, BUT as I was pulling out the parking lot was being tented in preparation for the football game (against Georgia: we lost, 34-0; ouch!) so backing out of my space was a hassle since the tent was very close to the back of my car. We were told when we got there we needed to be out of the parking lot by 1:30, but being out by 12:30 would have been better advice.

The burger at Shiloh Bar and Grill is fine but this is NOT the best burger in Columbia in our opinion.

Have you had a burger at Shiloh recently? If so, tell us what you think: did you like the burger? How about the chili or the slaw (or the fries)? Would you go back?

We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Cheddar's Cafe
1010 I-70 SW
Columbia, MO 65203

Columbia Menu

Yelp (Columbia):

Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-43/50; Side-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10
Mark: Burger-43/50; Side-9+/10; Service-19/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Original Burger (with fries: $7.28; 1/2 pound) and says "This is a pretty tasty burger. I really like the price: this is the lowest price we've paid for a burger this size so it's a really excellent 'deal.' They overcooked it a tiny bit which took some of the flavor, but I'm not at all disappointed with this burger. At this price, this is a great value. 43/50."

I also order the Original Burger ($5.28 + .50 cents for cheese and $1.99 for fries) and agree with Richard that this is a tasty, nicely priced burger. It was tasty, but the sauce was a tiny bit overwhelming. 43/50.

"These fries are good, but they're not 'great,'" Richard says. I like the size, I think they are not frozen, but there's not a lot of flavor. 8/10."

I ask the server if the fries are cooked in a dedicated oil (in other words, NOT cooked in the same oil as any flour-battered products like wings, onion rings, etc.). I am assured, repeatedly, that a dedicated oil is used, meaning the fries ARE gluten free! So I order them; I had no reaction after eating the fries so I think my fries were cooked in a dedicated oil. I suggest, if you're gluten free, that you ask before ordering the fries as I am not convinced the folks at Cheddar's ALWAYS use a dedicated oil. I give the fries a 9+ because I can actually eat them! A real treat! Richard is right, though: there is not much flavor and my fries needed salt. They were nicely crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Richard scores service at 18/20. "Our server did a nice job. He was quick, attentive and answered all our questions."

I score service at 19/20 because our server did a nice job of making sure the fries were being cooked in a dedicated oil. I agree with Richard: he visited the enough without being a nuisance, responded quickly to any of our requests (they were very busy) and overall did good work. He did NOT ask us how we wanted our burgers done, though (medium rare) and they came to the table a bit overdone.

Ambiance gets an 8/10 from both of us.

Regarding ambiance, Richard says "For a place this big, they've done a nice job of splitting it up. They haven't gone overboard on the decorations and though they're busy it's no problem having a conversation."

I liked our booth, located in one of the 'out-of-the-way corners' meaning we could hear each other when we talked, the music wasn't too loud and we didn't have anyone bumping into us as they made their way to a table.

Location also got an 8/10 from the two of us.

"For me, Cheddar's is a bit 'out of the way,' but there is plenty of free parking. It took me twenty minutes to get here from my office, though," Richard says.

Cheddar's is not quite as 'out-of-the-way' for me as it is for Richard. And of course, I love the fact that there is plenty of FREE parking (no meters!) and I REALLY love the fact I could eat the fries! I'll be going back!

Have you been to Cheddar's in Columbia, recently? If so, let us know what you think. Was the service OK? How was the burger? Were the fries cooked in a dedicated oil? We'd love to hear from you!

We like this burger and, combined with the excellent price, it scores well, but we feel it is NOT the best burger in Columbia. What do YOU think? Let us know!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HOULIHAN'S, Columbia, MO

2541 Broadway Bluffs Dr
Columbia, MO 65201

Lunch Menu

Yelp Reviews

Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-44/50; Sides-9/10; Service-15/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-8/10
Mark: Burger-43/50; Sides-8/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders a relatively plain burger ($9.75) with lettuce and tomato (each item off the Build-Your-Own menu is an additional .50 cents) and says "It's cooked just right. It;s flavorful, I'm not a fan of pretzel buns; I think the bun detracts from the burger's flavor. 44/50."

I also order a plain burger from the Build-Your-Own menu, with BBQ sauce. It's a 1/2 lb Black Angus burger, and I think it's a tasty burger. 43/40.

Regarding his side of fries, Richard says "These fries are cooked just right! I think they're prepped right here on site; I don't think they're frozen. 9/10 for the fries!"

Since the fries are NOT gluten free (cross contamination from the oil in they are fried) I go with the brown rice with pineapple. My side is pretty darn good! I keep hoping, though, that more restaurants will use a 'clean' oil in which to prepare their fries (verses cooking the fries in the same oil as the flour-battered products). 8/10.

"I know it isn't our servers fault," Richard says, "but I think it is terrible to charge an extra fifty cents  for cheese, etc., especially when the burger is $9.75!  I'm feeling 'nickled and dimed.' It seems really petty to me! The service, overall, was fine. It seems they have gotten rid of the free lunch offer if we don't get our food in a timely manner, though. 15/17."

I agree with Richard: the fifty cent per item surcharge, on top of the $9.75 price tag, does take some of the bloom off this particular rose. Our server did ask how we wanted our burgers done, and overall did an OK job. 17/20.

Regarding ambiance, Richard says "You know, for a place as big as this it doesn't feel like I'm sitting in a gymnasium. It's quiet enough, and overall, it feels fine. 7/10."

I score ambiance 8/10 and agree with Richard: it's fine.

"There's plenty of free parking and it's not too far off 63, so the location is fine with me," Richard says. "I'll score location 8/10, even though it's a bit on the 'wrong' side of town."

I also score location 8/10. Houlihan's is relatively easy to get too (there was a bit of construction going on in the road the day we ate here, and traffic was heavy, making it a bit of a 'pain' to get through traffic and into the parking lot).

Have you been to Houlihan's for a burger lately? We'd love your opinion. Tell us what you think, and THANKS for reading our Burger Blog!

Friday, September 12, 2014


Fifth Down
912 Rainforest Parkway
Columbia, MO 65202

Menu not on line: bar food; burgers and fries, etc


Photos of menu:

Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-40/50; Sides-7/10; Service-15/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
Mark: 39/40; Sides-No side; Service-16/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

This means Fifth Down is dropped from our 'Top Burgers in Columbia' list.

Richard orders the 1/3 lb burger with fries $5.00). "This is an average burger. It's cooked medium instead of the medium rare I asked for. It really needs seasoning. It's thick, but not very big around-doesn't fit the bun. 40/50. And that may be a bit high."

I score the burger at 39/50. I had the 1/2 1b burger with Pepperjack cheese. Mine also needed seasoning and was overcooked (ordered medium rare). This is, at best, an average burger. No where near as good as our last visit. And my cola was flat.

"The fires are OK, but they really need seasoning,"Richard says. They should have been cooked just a bit longer; they're not crispy. 7/10."

I decided against ordering a side as the gluten free options are severely limited. The fries are NOT gluten free (cross contamination) and a side salad is a buck extra. No score.

"Well, I don't think our server is having a good day,"Richard says. "Pretty chilly reception. I have to say,  don't feel very welcome. I score service at 15/20."

I score service at 16/20 and feel much the same as Richard. Our server did not ask how we wanted our burgers done, did not offer me any cola refills (she offered Richard more water 3 times) and she just seemed to be 'out of sorts.'

Regarding ambiance, Richard says "It's a bar with bar food and TV's, a sports bar in a strip mall. It is what it is, right? 8/10,"

I think the ambiance is... OK... and score it 8/10 as well.

Location gets a 7/10 from Richard. "For me this is a bit of a drive," (Fifth Down is north on 763) "but there is ample parking and no charge to park, so that's good."

I score  location of 8/10 because of the free parking. I live on the north side so this location works for me.

As a result of this visit, we no longer feel that the Fifth Down offers one of Columbia's best burgers.

Have you eaten at the Fifth Down recently? We'd love to hear YOUR opinion of their burger.

Thanks for reading our burger blog!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Truman's Bar and Grill
3304 W Broadway
Columbia, MO  65201


Photo of Menu


Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-38/50; Sides-6/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
Mark: Burger-38/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

This means Truman's Bar and Grill falls off our top burger places in Columbia! Consistency matters, right? There has been a change of ownership since the last time we visited Truman's.

Richard orders the 1/4 lb cheeseburger ($7.40) and says "I like the size of the burger, but it is not at all juicy and the bun is falling apart. I would say this burger is...average. It's adequate. There's not much flavor here, though. 38/50."

I order the 1/2 lb burger ($9.25) and think my burger is a bit greasy (not 'juicy' - a good thing, but 'greasy,' a not so good a thing). I agree with Richard: my burger, too, has minimum flavor. I was thinking the burger, at half a pound, would be somewhat thick, but instead it is the thickness of Richard's quarter-pounder, and so dwarfs the bun. 38/50.

Richard doesn't like waffle fries, so orders the slaw as his side. "My slaw is too finely chopped. It's not all that good. It really lacks flavor. There is not much of a 'vinegar' taste, nor much of a sweet taste...not much taste at all: it's as if they threw some cabbage in a blender, then put it in the bowl. 6/10."

Since the fries ARE NOT gluten free I go with the mashed potatoes (no gravy if you are gf!) and think they are OK. Again, there is a lack of flavor and not much taste to distinguish these mashed 'taters from any other mashed potatoes. They are not lumpy, though, so 8/10.

Service gets a 17/20 from Richard. "Our server did a nice job. She followed up quickly, checked on us just enough and responded to our requests. Nice job."

I score service at 18/20 and don't have much to add to Richard's comments.

"This is a good sports bar, TV-wise," Richard says. "There are lot's of TV's tuned to various sports events, not too much noise...8/10."

I, too, like all the TV's. The one that is most easy for us to see is tuned to a repeat of the Texas A & M vs. South Carolina game, which I watched just last night. I also score ambiance at 8/10.

Location gets a 7/10 from Richard. "Finding a space in the parking lot was a bit of a challenge today, but parking is free, so that's good!  For me, this place is just a bit out of the way," Richard says.

I score location at 8/10. Parking is free and I had no trouble finding a parking spot. This place is not too far from my home and I often shop at the Hy Vee next door, so this location is fine with me.

This is the second restaurant in two weeks that has fallen off our Top Burgers in Columbia list. What do you think? Have you been to Truman's since the ownership change? Do you agree with our burger rating or do you think Truman's is one of the BEST BURGER IN COLUMBIA? We'd enjoy hearing from you!