Monday, April 14, 2014


Country Kitchen
1712 Providence Rd
Columbia, MO 65202

Burger Menu


Overall scores:
Richard: Burger-40/50; Sides-6/10; Service 16/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10
Mark: Burger-41/50; Sides-6/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Bacon Cheeseburger ($8.99). "It's overcooked...beyond medium well. They cooked most of the juice out of it. I really like the cheese mix and bacon. I very much like the bun! 40/50."

I order the Big Bad Bacon Burger ($10.99; two patties, 4 bacon strips, 4 cheese blend and BBQ sauce). I note there is not much seasoning on the burger and that mine, too, is a overcooked. I don't notice the BBQ sauce so add ketchup. I like this burger (41/50) and would order it again if I could get it medium-rare; I can add my own salt.

"This slaw is like eating library paste. It's 'gummy.' The fries are good! They're crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. I score the slaw 4/10 and give the fries 8/10. 6 average," Richard says.

Richard is right: the slaw is not good (it comes with the meal and one side). It's not sweet, it's doesn't taste of vinegar, it does not have much taste at all but it does taste 'gummy.' It's not good. For my side I go with the fruit since the fries are cooked in the same oil as the battered products, meaning they are NOT gluten free. I give the fruit a 6/10 (the slaw gets a 0).

"The service was just fine," Richard says. "Our server responded in a timely manner to our requests and, overall, did a nice job. 16/20"

I score service at 18/20. There was good 'follow-up' by our server and overall she did a nice job. Though the menu states they will cook the burger to order our server does NOT ask us how we want our burgers done.

"It feels comfortable to me in here," Richard says about the ambiance. I like this booth. It's roomy. I'll score ambiance at 8/10."

I, too, score ambiance at 8/10, noting it appears the folks at Country Kitchen have a new menu: more burger choices, and some nice entrees I don't recall seeing on the menu the last time I was here. Our booth was fine. One note: someone decided they needed to bring the vacuum out and vacuum the rug under the table just to our left, and that was not as appetizing a moment as one might hope for.

"There's plenty of free parking and this  place is easy to get too, so I'll score location at 8/10," Richard says.

I agree and also score location at 8/10, for the same reasons.

We enjoyed the burger and will return at some point in the future (and will ask for our burgers to be cooked medium rare), but this is not the best burger in Columbia.

Have you had a burger at the Country Kitchen in Columbia? Let us know what you think!

Monday, April 7, 2014


Room 38
38 N 8th St
Columbia, MO 65201


Photo of burger menu (the letters in the circle are GF-meaning gluten free).

Overall scores

RH:: Burger 43/50; Side 8/10; Service 16/20; Ambiance 7/10; Location 8/10
MD: Burger 43/50; Side 8/10; Service 18/20; Ambiance 7/10; Location 8/10

Richard orders the Biscayne Burger, the only burger on the menu ($12; avocado, cheese, egg, etc). "My burger is overcooked a bit. I really like the avocado. the meat is good! 43/50!"

My burger after the first bite: it's cooked medium (medium rare preferred).

I too enjoy the meat but feel the burger (1/2 pound) gets 'lost' a bit amongst all the 'stuff' included with it.  I brought my own gluten free bun and our server was kind enough to have the chef toast it for me. I also give the burger a 43/50.

"These fries are seasoned very nicely. Some of them are cooked perfectly, but some were in the oil too long: as a result the ones that have been overcooked are hard as a rock. The ones that are not overcooked are really, really good, though some are a bit too 'small,' Richard says.

The fries are (usually?) cooked in a 'dedicated oil,' our server tells us, so I'm excited to order the fries. BUT:, to be safe, have your server check with the kitchen. In this case the restaurant was busy the night before so the 'dedicated' oil was used to fry battered products, meaning they are NOT gluten free (at least today since the chef had not had time to drain the oil and clean the fryer)..

NOTE TO THOSE OF YOU THAT NEED TO EAT GF: Room 38 has a nice offering of gf items on their menu (including deep-fried chicken wings), BUT CALL AHEAD TO MAKE SURE THE OIL IS 'CLEAN' or at least MAKE SURE YOUR SERVER CHECKS WITH THE KITCHEN BEFORE YOU ORDER!

Instead of the fries I go with the asparagus. It's fine (but asparagus is not french fries!). 8/10

Richard says "The service is 'pretty decent.'  16/20."

I score service at 18/20. Our server was kind enough to offer to have my gf bun toasted (toasted gf bread is infinitely better than gf bread that has not been toasted). He returned to the table just often enough and overall, did a nice job. It did take considerable time to get our food (20 minutes+) from the kitchen. And our server did NOT ask us how we wanted our burgers cooked.

"It's comfortable but feels a bit ... sterile," Richard says. "I'll score ambiance at 7/10.

The ambiance at Room 38 is interesting. We sat at one of the tall tables near the front door, and that worked out fine. Trying to eat at the shorter tables further back is a chore - they are too short! And the further back you go, the darker the place gets. As we ate two workers just outside the front door were doing some kind of work on the sidewalk, including drilling, and at times the noise was a  bit distracting. I also score ambiance at 7/10.

Richard scores location at 8/10. "I found parking pretty easily this time, but still had to plug the meter! 8/10.

For the same reason (downtown; potential trouble trying to find parking; having to put quarters into the meter to avoid a ticket) I also score location at 8/10.

This is a good burger, though it is a bit overloaded with 'stuff.' I suspect this is what justifies the $12 price tag. While I will go back to eat this burger again - and to try the fries and chicken wings IF the oil is clean - this is not, we believe, the best burger in Columbia.

Have you been to Room 38? If so, let us know what you think! We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Eleven Eleven (in the Broadway Hotel), Columbia, MO

Eleven Eleven
1111 E Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201

The restaurant is in the Broadway Hotel.

Burger Menu


Overall scores
Richard: Burger-44/50; Sides-9/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-7/10
Mark: Burger-43/50; Sides 8/10; Service-19/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Black & Bleu burger ($11.00) and says "It's blackened and has a bit of a 'Cajun' taste.  I think this meat is really good sirloin. This is a good burger; I really like it. It's nicely done, too - a nice medium rare! 45/50!"

I order the Prime Steak burger ($10.00 w/cheese) and agree with Richard: this is a good burger! Mine is done just right, too (medium rare). 43/50.

"These fries are good," Richard says of his side. "They're cut right here in-house! I like the size of the fries, they are lightly seasoned and tasty. Good fries! 9/10!"

I score my salad  8/10 (the fries are cooked in the same oil as battered products so they are not gluten free). The Italian Vinaigrette is good, the lettuce is crisp, there's some nice color, it's a good sized salad and I enjoy it very much!

"All-in-all I think the service has been quite good," Richard says. "Our food was a bit slow coming out of the kitchen, but that could be because they are just getting started" (the hotel and restaurant opened a day or two before we ate there). Our wait-person was responsive, followed up nicely...17/20".

I score service 19/20, primarily because our wait-person offered to take my bun (I bring my own GF bun).to the kitchen to get it toasted. Excellent! Richard is right: it did take quite a bit of time for our burgers to come out of the kitchen. We had to ask for ketchup, mayo, etc.but that was delivered fairly promptly once we asked (in little bowls). Our server was prompt with our drink refills and visited our table to make sure all was well just enough.

"Ambiance gets 9/10 from me," Richard says. "It's quiet in here, and it's...'airy.' It's nice" Richard says.

I agree: there is only one TV on, it's not 'in your face' in that you have to look for it, and the volume is set on low. Everything in the restaurant - booths, tables, etc., is new, and the feel is one of quiet and comfort.

"I found a parking spot on the street pretty quickly, but, of course, had to pay for parking. Finding a parking space can be a problem with all of the traffic downtown. I'll score location at 7/10," Richard says.

I score location 8/10. I parked on the street, about a block down from  the hotel (we got there at 11:30) with no problem but I DID have to plug the meter (I HATE that!). There is a parking garage but only the top floor is open to the public and one has to pay to park there, as well.

This did not score as the 'best' burger in Columbia, but it is VERY good. We recommend the burger at Eleven Eleven.

Have you eaten at the Eleven Eleven yet? If so, let us know  what you think. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, March 24, 2014


TGI Fridays

3030 I-70 Dr. SE
Columbia, MO 65201

Overall scores;
RH: Burger-38/50; Sides-9/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10
MD: Burger-38/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Jack Daniels burger ($9.99; bacon, smoked provolone and Jack Daniels glaze). "Well, this burger has no taste. If it weren't for the bacon, glaze and cheese it would be really boring. It needs seasoning. I give it a 38/50."

I agree: my Jack Daniels Burger is sans seasoning. And it's way overcooked: well done versus medium rare. The burger patty tastes a bit 'grainy;' there was a small, hard chunk in mine that was impossible to bite through. I, too, score it at 38/50.

"These fries are good," Richard says. "I like them! They are seasoned nicely, are the right size, crispy, and they left the peel on. 9/10!"

I score my cole slaw (the fries are NOT gluten free due to cross-contamination). It's  fine; some may find it a tiny bit 'sweet.' 8/10.

Richard scores service at 17/20. "It was fine."

I score service 18/20. Our server was prompt, visited the table often enough but not too much and was quick to get drink refills.

Ambiance gets an 8/10 from Richard. ""This is a pleasant atmosphere. Some TV's tuned to basketball, all in all, it's fine."

I, too, score ambiance 8/10.. It's not quite a 'sports bar'  but does have a comfortable feel.

Location gets an 8/10 from Richard. "There's plenty of free parking."

I score location at 8/10. I also appreciate the free parking. The restaurant is on the frontage road.

We did not think much of this burger. We've been here several times now and the burger score continues to be sub-40 (which we would call 'average'). The other menu items might be fine, but we will not be rushing back specifically for the burger.

This is NOT the best burger in Columbia.

Have you been to TGI Fridays in Columbia, MO? If so, let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, March 10, 2014


BBC II   (originally the Break Basket Cafe)
220 S. 8th St
Columbia, MO


Burger menu

Overall scores:
RH: Burger-42/50; Sides-6/10; Service-15/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
MD: Burger-40/50; Sides-7/10; Service-16/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Cheddar, Bacon, Onion burger (with Swiss instead of Cheddar; $8.99). "A larger bun would be better," he says. "I really like the condiments. The burger itself has very little seasoning. I like the meat, though. 42/50."

I order the fried egg and bacon with cheddar burger ($8.99). It's at least 1/2 pound, but flattened, so it's a bit overcooked (I prefer medium rare to medium-well). The burger is good but there is virtually no seasoning that I can detect. The bacon is excellent! And there's lots of it, too. I score it 40/50 and would have gone a point or two higher if it had been seasoned and cooked a tiny bit less. The meat is good. I brought my own gluten-free bun.

For his side Richard has fries. "Well. 6 of 10. They should have been kept in the oil a bit longer. They're not at all crispy. I don't think there is any seasoning on these fries what-so-ever."

Since the oil used to cook the fries  is also used to cook flour-battered products I can't order the fries (celiac disease) but go with the bag-o-chips instead. Ruffles. 7/10 (I much prefer kettle chips).

"Our server didn't ask how we wanted our burgers done," Richard says. "And she came back 10 minutes after we ordered to ask what cheese I wanted. I was thinking she would be bringing our burgers to the table by now. And look at this: no one took the seal off the mustard bottle! 15/20"

I score service 16/20. It was OK.

Ambiance gets an 8/10 from Richard. "I like the street view! It's nice and quiet in here and the tables aren't too close together. There's a TV for those interested, and the patio is  going to be a nice place to relax and enjoy a burger when it gets a bit warmer."

I also score ambiance at 8/10 and agree with what Richard had to say.

Downtown and right across from the Univ of MO campus, Richard scores location at 7/10. "I somehow got a parking space right out front. Downtown is pretty busy today, too." Richard had to leave the table to plug his meter as an hour was not quite enough time.

I score location at 8/10. I ended up parking a few blocks away and had to keep an eye on my watch since the parking meter was ticking down. A quarter for 15 minutes? Crazy! Worrying if one is going to get a ticket or not takes some of the enjoyment from my lunch. The walk was too far to plug the meter while eating and I get back to my car one minute late; I'm relieved: no ticket!

This is a pretty good burger. Adding some seasoning would improve the points. We'd be happy to go back and eat burgers at the BBC II  again, but we don't feel this is the best burger in town.

Have you eaten at the BBC II? If so, let us know what you think. We'd love to share your opinion of the BBC II burger!