Wednesday, January 21, 2015


The Pasta Factory
3103 W Broadway, #109
Columbia, MO 65203

The Pasta Factory Menu


Urban Spoon

Overall Scores:
RH: Burger-45/50; Side-9/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10
MD: Burger-45/50; Side-9/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Burger Menu

Richard orders the Bacon Cheeseburger ($8.95 with side; the only burger on the menu) and says "My burger is cooked perfectly," (medium rare) "it's very generous in size," (menu says 7 ounces but our burgers seem to be larger) " and it's very tasty! It's seasoned just right and I really like the 'special sauce' they provide. The bun is good and holds up very well. 45/50. I put it up there with some of the better burgers in Columbia."

I, too, enjoy the burger. Swiss and Mozzarella, bacon, big in size, tasty 'special sauce,' done just right and seasoned very nicely - what's not to like? 45/50. On my list of favorites now, too.

Special Sauce

"My fries are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This is a huge portion of fries! They're seasoned just right and are just the right size," (not 'shoestring' and not 'Steak' fries). 9/10 from me," Richard says.

Since the fries are NOT gluten free (cooked in same oil as battered products) I order the Factory House side salad. The home made Italian dressing is very, very good. 9/10.

"David," (our server) "did a real nice job. 17/20 for service," Richard says.

I score service 18/20. David got to the table quickly, asked how we wanted our burgers done (our burgers actually got to the table the way we ordered them -medium rare!) and visited the table just the right amount of times while we were there.

"This is nice," Richard says regarding the ambiance. "I still prefer the downtown location - the buildig was older, it seemed more...Italian?...but this is nice, and they've done a nice job of trying to make this place similar to downtown. 8/10."

I also score ambiance at 8/10. The place was fairly busy during lunch, there are no TV's in the restaurant area, it appears to be very clean and well appointed. It does remind me, just a little bit, of the downtown location.

"Free parking, good access to the front door from the parking lot, and on my side of town! Very nice! Location gets an 8/10 from me.

I also score location at 8/10, for the same reasons as Richard, but I live on the (far) north side, so it is not quite as convenient for me as it is for Richard. Worth the trip, though!.

At 45 average, The Pasta Factory makes our list as one of the better burgers in Columbia.

Have you been to The Pasta Factory and had the Bacon Cheeseburger? Do you agree with our assessment? Let us know, either way. We'd enjoy hearing from you!

Monday, January 12, 2015


Trey Bistro
219 N 9th St
Columbia, MO 65201



Burger on Menu

Richard orders the only burger (with meat) on the menu: the Bistro Burger ($10; with roast potatoes). "My burger is a bit bland, which is surprising because they use pork along with the beef, and the pork usually spices a burger up a bit. It's fine. It's thoroughly cooked, but it isn't overcooked...maybe some of the flavor was cooked out of my burger. And I don't like this bun at all. 40/50."

I also order the Bistro Burger with roast potatoes ($10; brought my own gluten free bun). I think the burger is fine, but there is nothing 'extra-ordinary' about it. I also score it 40/50.

"My potatoes are very nicely flavored," Richard says. "They've left the skin on and they are cooked just right. 9/10."

I also score the potatoes at 9/10. As Richard says, they are seasoned just right and cooked to just about the perfect amount: not too crispy but not too soft, either.

"Our server is very attentive," Richard says. "His trips to our table are almost too much. Right on the borderline. I told him I needed a spoon ... he's been to the table several times since then...I still don't have a spoon. Overall, though, I think our server did an OK job. 15/20"

I score service at 17/20. Our server did a nice job making sure my food was gluten free but as Richard suggests, there may have been a trip or two too many to the table to check on us. Our server did not ask how we wanted our burgers done.

"There is no one here," Richard says. "That's interesting for Friday, noon. We're sitting up front, fairly closes to the front door, and it gets a bit chilly in here whenever anyone comes in...but there is not much traffic in or out, so it's not too cold. 7/10 for ambiance from me."

I, too, score ambiance at 7/10. Richard is right: there are very few people eating here. The food is fine, maybe a bit pricey, so I'm surprised Trey is not a bit busier. Perhaps the cold weather is keeping people in their offices, or at home. I think the atmosphere is fine, but to me it doesn't feel particularly cozy; it feels a bit...sterile.

Since we're downtown we both have to pay for parking. We hate parking meters: why are we being punished (or double-taxed) for doing business downtown?

"I had to park three blocks away," Richard says, "and I had to plug the meter. 6/10."

I score location at 8/10 because it's right on 9th street and I happened to get a parking space about 50 feet from the door of Trey Bistro. It did, as always, irritate me that I had to plug the meter.

We enjoyed the burger at Trey Bistro, but we don't feel this is the best burger in Columbia.

Have you had a burger at Trey? If so, we'd LOVE to hear from you. Let us know what you thought.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Here's an article with photos of the 101 BEST BURGERS IN 2014


And here is why the Shake Shack is one of America's favorite burger places:


Enjoy, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Mark and Richard

Monday, December 29, 2014


811 E. Walnut
Columbia, MO 65201



Overall Scores
RH: Burger-44/50; Side-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10
MD: Burger-43/50; Side-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10

Bleu Burger description

Burgers ordered medium rare:

Richard orders the Bleu Burger ($10; Richard orders the burger with no bun), the only burger on the menu. "There's not much I can find wrong with this burger," Richard says. "It might be a tiny bit dry...otherwise, I really like it. 44/50!"

I also order the Bleu Burger ($10; I brought my own gluten free bun) and think it is very good. I enjoyed the 'shrooms, special sauce, and so forth. I score the burger 43/50.

"This Ceaser salad is pretty good," Richard says about his side. I very much like the dressing. 8/10."

I score my salad at 8/10 as well. The Balsamic Vinaigrette is good. 8/10. The fries, at one time, were cooked in 'dedicated' oil (no flour-battered products) so they were gluten free. Now they use the same oil in which flour-battered products are served, so the fries are NOT gluten free.

"18/20 for Service," Richard says. "Our server did a really nice job, He was cordial, outgoing, visited the table just enough and seemed genuinely interested that our food was prepared the way we ordered it. Well done."

I also score service at 18/20 for the same reasons as Richard. Our server did a nice job of making sure my food is gluten free.

"They're not very busy for a Friday at noon, are they?" Richard asks. "It's quiet, though, and the temperature in here is just right. I think this place is comfortable. 8/10."

I also score ambiance at 8/10. There was plenty of room, lots of tables open so we had a choice, it's quite and there is no rush to order (our food gets to our table in a very timely fashion).

Location gets an 8/10 from Richard. "I had to pay for parking, but only had to park two blocks away. It's downtown, so it's not too far from my office."

I score location at 7/10. I had to drive around awhile to find a place to park, and eventually found a place two blocks away. As usual, I was punished and over-taxed for deciding to visit and do business with a downtown business, but that's the way it is. Downtown is very busy so I was expecting Bleu to be busy, which was not the case.

We both enjoyed our Bleu Burgers and will return for another. This IS a good burger, but we feel it is not the 'best' burger in Columbia.

Have you been to Bleu recently? What did you think of their Bleu Burger? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


1301 Grindstone Pkwy, D
Columbia, MO 65203



Overall Scores:
Richard: burger-35/50; sides-8/10; Service-NA; Ambiance 8/10; Location-8/10
Mark: burger-32/50; Sides-NA; Service-NA; Ambiance-7/10; Location-7/10

Richard orders a 1/3 lb burger ($5.24 plus cheese at $.75; fries are $2.20 extra). "My burger was cool from the moment it got to the table. There's not much flavor. I can't figure out why they asked how I wanted it done - or why they have photos of what a medium rare burger looks like - it got my hopes up - but my burger is way overcooked. I gave them a couple of points more than they deserve because I can select my own condiments. 35/50. And that's being generous!"

My burger sucks. It's awful! They offer a gluten free bun - a buck extra - and that, too, is awful: it's dry, tastes like you're chewing paper, it's doughy and crumbly, so the bun sucks, too. I ordered my burger medium rare and it was seriously overcooked. My burger also had virtually no flavor, and the gf bun made it worse. I ordered the 1/2 lb burger ($7.12 with bacon and cheddar, plus $1 for the gf bun; it's another $3.50 for fries and a drink. I go with just the burger-the fries are NOT gf) and have water. 32/50. I, too, feel this is generous,

Fuddruckers idea of a medium rare burger

"My fries are way, way, way to salty!" Richard says. "If it wasn't for that these would be pretty good: crispy on the outside, tender inside, there is some peel on the potatoes - I like that - so...8/10.

I was thinking of ordering an apple as my side but that, too, costs more - $$2.20, I think - so I pass. I can't find anything else on the menu that is gf, so I go with no side. There may be a gf salad, but that, too, is terribly overpriced.

We decide to score service as NA (Not Applicable) since a person orders at the counter and is then given a vibrating pager so s/he will know when the food is ready.

We are here at noon on a Friday and other than us there is only one other table of two. As we eat a few more people show up, but the place is virtually empty from 11:45 'til 1. I wonder why. Oh, that's right: the burgers suck! And are waaaaaaay overpriced.

Even though the place is nearly empty it still took much to long for our burgers to be ready.

"I like the '50's and '60's theme," Richard says. "Elvis, Ms Monroe, the;s kind of fun. So 8/10 for ambiance."

I agree: the ambiance is interesting and enjoyable to peruse, I score it 7/10.

Regarding location Richard says "Free parking right outside the door and it's on my side of town. 8/10."

I score location at 7/10 and that, too, I feel is generous. It's on the far side of town for me and one has to drive through the Walmart parking lot to get to the place: cars backing out in front of you without looking, cars going the wrong way in the various lanes in order to save two my opinion, getting to Fuddruckers is a real pain in the a** and the food is just not worth the effort.

Richard and I are in agreement (as are, it appears, most of the folks that post to Yelp): this is far, far far away from being the best burger in Columbia. Standing in the parking lot the two of us reach an agreement: we will NOT be going to Fuddruckers again, Ever.

My bet? The place will be gone in a year.

Have you been to Fuddruckers in Columbia? If so we'd love to hear from you. Do you agree with our scores or are we being to hard on the place? Have you eaten at a Fuddruckers in other towns, and if so, how does this one (in Columbia) compare?

Thanks for reading and have a GREAT day!