Monday, March 20, 2017


I'm sorry to have to let all of you know that my friend, and partner in this blogging effort, passed away this morning, 3/20/17.

Richard was a great friend. We met for a burger every Friday for 6+ years (when both of us were in town). Meeting with Richard for a burger was one of the highlights of my week!

After a couple of years of eating and 'opinionizing,' we both had the same thought: 'Hey, let's blog about our opinion of the burgers served at Columbia-area restaurants.'

It took the two of  us no time at all to decide on the blog's name:

Richard had a 'dry' sense of humor I very much enjoyed. It was sometimes hard to know if he was making a joke or if he was serious. If I was in doubt, I would just ask him. And sometimes he would let me know which of the two it was.

Richard was, truly, a giver. You could find him every Christmas season ringing the bell. He delivered Meals on Wheels on a regular basis for as long as I knew him, and that was years! He sold roses as a fundraiser for one of the many clubs of which he was a member. He regularly mowed the yard at his church. He was active in the Quarterback Club. And even this is not a complete list.

I already miss Richard. We had a burger a week ago Friday. The following Tuesday I visited him in his hospital room. We agreed to meet for a burger on Friday.

Love ya, Richard.


Thursday, February 9, 2017


Pasta Factory
3103 W Broadway Business Park, #109
Columbia, MO 65203

Date visited: 2/3/17


Pasta Factory Burger Menu

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

Richard orders the Bacon Cheeseburger (only burger on the menu; 7 oz, $8.95). "I really like this burger. Just enough cheese and bacon! I believe this is much larger than 7 ounces. My burger is flavored just about's juicy and cooked just as ordered, medium rare. I'm not crazy about pretzel buns, which I think this is, but this one is very's just the right size and is holding up really well to the burger. 45/50."

Pasta Factory burger, medium rare

I agree that this is a very, very good burger. It's huge, much bigger than the 7 ounces the menu promises. That works for me: too much is not enough. I like the seasoning. My burger is cooked to a very nice medium rare, as ordered...I will be back for another. 45/50.

"My fries are very good," Richard says. "This is a large order, they are nicely cooked-crispy outside and tender inside - and are very nicely seasoned. Natural cut. The seasoning is really good. I'll score these fries at 9/10.

Since the fries ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE I go with the house salad. It's good. 8/10.

"Our service was excellent," Richard says. "Our food got to our table quickly, our server followed up just enough to make sure we were happy and she responded to our requests right away. Nice job! 18/20."

I also score service at 18/20 for the same reasons Richard mentioned.

Regarding ambiance, Richard says, "I like the way it feels in here, and I really like the way it seems they tried to replicate the ambiance of the old location. It feels comfortable. 9/10."

The Pasta Factory, I think, would be a great place to bring the wife, or a date. It is comfortable, I like the lighting - not too dark, not too bright, it seems really, really clean. The booths are the right size and there are not a lot of TV's blaring in the background. 9/10.

"I'll score location at 8/10. It's pretty far west. I do like the free parking, though. I got a space right in front of the door. 8/10.

For me it is a bit of a drive, but, as Richard says, there is plentiful free parking. It is kind of a pain in the neck to get out of the parking lot; you have to go right, or go through the Walmart parking lot if you want to go left. 8/10.

This IS one of the better burgers in Columbia, just half-a- point under Murry's and Flat Branch. We WILL be back for another!

Have you had a burger at the Pasta Factory? If so, let us know what you think! We would very much enjoy hearing from you.

Thanks for reading our blog!

Monday, January 16, 2017


Flat Branch
115 S Fifth st
Columbia, MO 65201

Date visited: 1/6/17

We ended 2016 with a trip to one of our FAVORITE burger spots - Murry's; see last review) and thought we would start 2017 with a trip to another of our FAVORITE burger spots - Flat Branch.

Flat Branch Menu

Burger Menu

RH: Burger-46/50; Sides-9/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
MD: Burger-45/50; Sides-9/10; Service-19/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10

Richard orders the Patty Melt ($9.99, 1/2 lb). "This is cooked perfectly, exactly as I ordered it (MR)," he says. "I like the toast, but it is way too much bread. The fried onions are really good. This is still one of my choices as best burger in Columbia, but next time I may order a burger that comes with less bread. Very nicely seasoned, juicy...very good! 46/50!"

Flat Branch Burger MR


I order the Bacon Cheese Pub Burger ($9.99. 1/2 lb) and like Richard I think my burger is excellent! It's big, it's juicy, it's seasoned very nicely, it's cooked as ordered (MR) and it is TAY-STEE! Very good; I agree with Richard - this continues to be one of my favorite burgers in Columbia. I recommend it! 45/50!

"My fries are cooked perfectly. I really like the fries here! There is some kind of seasoning on the fries...excellent! There is a huge amount, too. I think these are still my favorite fries in Columbia! 9/10" Richard says.

Sides menu

The fries ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE for TWO REASONS: 1: they are cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products and 2: the seasoning with which they are coated contains gluten!

I order the saffron rice and it is very, very good. This is an equal swap for the fries (no upcharge). The rice is not dry, is seasoned nicely, and the amount is a good-sized helping. I would order this again. 9/10.

"Our server is doing a very nice job," Richard says. "He got to our table in a timely fashion, got our food to us quickly, answered all our questions, responded to our requests...a very nice job! 18/20!"

I agree with Richard. Our server did a very nice job. He happened to be gluten free and really understood the problem with making sure I ordered nothing that contained gluten. He volunteered to toast the GF bun I brought along (toasting it truly does make it 100% better and actually edible). 19/20, and that is a bit stingy on my part...

Regarding ambiance Richard says "Flat Branch is comfortable. It's crowded but it doesn't feel crowded. It is a bit noisy....there are TV's in the bar but none where we are sitting, so overall, I really like the atmosphere. 8/10."

Flat Branch is a local brewery and I very much enjoy eating here. It's busy, people seem to be really happy to be eating here, the service is good...very nice ambiance, 8/19.

"Well, it's downtown, and that most often means paying for parking. We got here early enough so I found a place in the lot and saved a buck...gotta like that. This place is easy to find. Location gets 7/10 from me.

I also give location 7/10. I don't care for the parking lot - it feels crowded to me - so I parked out front and plugged the meter. I hate that.

We believe this IS one of the two best burgers in Columbia; it gets a slightly higher score than Murry's (but a burger at Murry's costs less than $6 (the fries are an additional $2), so if one were to choose which place to visit with budget as a primary concern, we would choose Murry's. On the other hand, the Flat Branch burger is very, very good, so....hmmmm.

What do YOU think? Is Columbia's BEST BURGER at Flat Branch?

We would LOVE to hear from you. THANK YOU for reading our blog!

Friday, January 6, 2017


3107 Green Meadow Way
Columbia, MO 65203

Visited 12/30/16

Murry's Sandwich Menu

Murry's Burger Menu

Overall Scores:
RH: Burger-45/50; Sides-9/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-9/10
MD: Burger-45/50; Sides-7/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Show Me Farms Burger ($5.75; 1/2 pound) with fries ($2.00). This is cooked perfectly-medium, just as ordered; it's exactly as I ordered it. This has to be the best priced burger in the city at $5.75. If there is anything to complain about, it may be that I think the burger could use a tiny bit more seasoning. Wonderful! 45/50!

                           Murry's Burger cooked exactly as ordered: medium:

I also order the Show Me Farms Burger. As always, it was cooked medium rare, exactly as I ordered it.It's a very, very good burger, juicy, thick, big...and what a GREAT price! $5.75! Awesome! I agree with could have used a tiny bit more seasoning.

"My fries are almost perfect," Richard says."The seasoning is just right and they are crispy while remaining tender. Another 30 seconds in the oil would have been fine with me. This is a huge portion, too. 9/10---I could almost go 10/10! $2.00...very fair!"

Since the fries ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE I go with the Butter New Potatoes ($3.50).They are fine but seem a bit bland. It is a large serving. 7/10.

"The service here is always very good," Richard says. "Our server followed up nicely, we got our food quickly, she asked how we wanted our burgers done...very nice job! 18/20."

I agree with Richard; the service is very good. This place is always busy - I suggest getting there by 11:30 to have no wait or a minimized wait - but we always get really good service here. 18/20.

Regarding ambiance Richard says "For a place this busy it seems very comfortable. We can talk without shouting, everyone seems to be really happy with their food...very nice and relaxing place to eat. 9/10.

The ambiance at Murry's, as Richard says, is always nice. It IS comfortable; I enjoy it very much.9/10.

"The location is really good for me," Richard says. "It's on my side of town. There is plenty of free parking (especially if one gets here before the noon rush) and it is just off Providence, so it is easy in and out. 9/10."

While Murry's is on the opposite side of town from me it is a relatively easy and quick trip down Providence to Green Meadows. 8/10.

We continue to agree that this IS one of the best burgers - and is certainly the BEST PRICED burger - in Columbia. We WILL return for another burger....excellent!

Have YOU been to Murry's for a burger? What do you think? Is this the best, or one of the best, burgers in Columbia? We would LOVE to hear from you.

THANK YOU for reading our blog!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Conley Hy Vee Marketplace Grille Express (Store #3)
25 Conley Rd
Columbia, MO 65202

Date visited: 12/9/16

Menu Board

Overall Scores:
RH: Burger-42/50; Sides 08/10; Service-14/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
MD: Burger-40/50; Sides-8/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders a burger (8 oz, no cheese, $8.00). "I would order this burger again. It's big. My burger is cooked medium rare, exactly as I ordered it. I like the seasoning. I don't care for the bun, though. It's way too big, way to detracts from the burger. I think the buns are made in their bakery here. 42/50." Richard ate the burger sans bun.

Medium Rare

I also order the hamburger (8 oz, $8.00, with a gluten free bun). The burger is big. It's good, but I'm not crazy about the seasoning. It's cooked very nicely, as ordered, medium rare. This is a pretty good burger overall and I can understand people liking it. While I won't race back to have another, I have no objection to having another burger here.

"My fries are very good," Richard says. "I think they were frozen...but they seem to be natural cut...the fries could use a bit of seasoning. Some are a bit overdone, but overall, I like the fries. It's a big serving, too. 8/10"

I order the baked potato since the fries are NOT gluten free (cooked in same oil as flour-battered products). It's fine. 8/10.

"Service is hard to give a score too since we order at the counter just outside the restaurant entrance and have to get our own silverware, etc. It took a bit of time to get our food. It's odd our server didn't realize the gluten free buns are in the freezer...." (see my service discussion) "I wonder if they are going to switch to a server taking the order at the table. I prefer that. 14/20.

The manager visited our table and informed us this is a Marketplace Grille Express so there are no plans to change the way the food is ordered or delivered to the table.

I score service at 17/20. I ordered my burger with a gf bun and our server came to our table to inform me that the onsite bakery does not bake gluten free buns. I walked her to the gluten free section of the store and pointed out the frozen gf buns. Our server DID ask us how we wanted our burgers done and they WERE served medium rare, as ordered. The manager followed up by coming to the table, asked us how we liked the food and answered our questions.

"I like the booths," Richard says. "There are TVs but they are not intrusive or too loud. I like the way the restaurant is set up; it's bigger than I was thinking it was going to be. I like the layout and score ambiance at 8/10."

I also score ambiance at 8/10. It is bigger than I thought it would be, seems to be much more open and brighter than some of the Marketplace Grilles at which I've eaten, and seems to be very clean! I also like the way the restaurant is presented.

Regarding location Richard says "It's pretty easy to find FREE parking, but since we are at a high-volume grocery store there is a great deal of traffic. This store is a bit of a drive for me, but overall it's fine. 7/10."

I score location at 8/10. Easy in and out, lots of free parking, and only a bit of a drive from my place.

We enjoyed our burgers at the Conley Hy Vee Marketplace Grille Express. We will come back fo another, but we do NOT think these are the best burgers in Columbia.

Have you had a burger at the Conley Hy Vee Marketplace Grille? We would like to hear what YOU think. Let us know, and as always, THANK YOU for reading our blog.