Thursday, March 19, 2015


Sports Zone, Holiday Inn
2200 I-70 Dr,SW
Columbia, MO 65203

Photo from parking lot in back of building.


NOTE: the menu presented online is NOT the current menu you will get at the restaurant; the prices are wrong (too low) and at least one burger now offered (Frisco Melt) is not shown on the in-store menu.

Photo of  burger menu being used in the restaurant

Overall Scores:
RH: Burger-41/50; Sides-9/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance; 9/10; Location - 8/10
MD: Burger-40/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location - 8/10

Richard orders the 5 oz Frisco Melt ($7.99, with fries) and says "My burger is a bit bland, even with the fried onions and the swiss cheese. It needs mustard...and more seasoning. 41/50."

I have the 5 oz Zone Burger ($6.99, with sweet potato: the fries are NOT gluten free due to crossover contamination - the same oil in which the fries cook is used to cook flour-battered products) and it's fine but it does need seasoning - salt and pepper...and at 5 oz it is, for me, pretty small (since too much of anything is not enough for me). 40/50. The sweet potato is huge.

"My fries are almost perfect," Richard says. "They're just the right size, natural cut (with skin), seasoned very nicely, and they are crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside. 9/10."

My sweet potato is huge - extra points! - and is cooked nicely. 8/10.

Regarding service: "Our server did a good job. She had good follow through without being too obvious and she got our food to us pretty quickly. She did a nice job," Richard says, scoring service at 17/20.

I agree. Our server did ask us how we wanted our burgers prepared (medium rare), followed up with water, ketchup, mayo and so forth, and wondered why I was taking photos of the menu and food. NOTE: she did NOT know if the fries were cooked in a dedicated oil or not (they are not, so they are NOT gluten free). 18/20

Medium Rare burger from Sports Zone.

Ambiance scores 9/10 from Richard. "This place feels comfortable. I think it's a fine sports bar and there are plenty of TV's. It's not too loud....very nice overall."

I score ambiance at 8/10. It's fine, but I am aware that I am eating in a restaurant in a hotel; it has that 'feel.'  It's fine as a sports bar I would enjoy eating at if I were staying the night at the hotel.

"Location gets an 8/10 from me," Richard says. "It's a bit of a drive for me, but not too bad, and I do like the easy access and free parking."

I also score location at 8/10 due to the plentiful free parking and the fact it is right across the street from the mall should a visit to the mall be on the schedule.

Overall, we think this is a good burger. While we do not feel compelled to return for another one next Friday, this is a burger we would enjoy eating again.

Have you had a burger at the Sports Zone Holiday Inn? If so, please let us know what you think. We'd love your opinion on the Sports Zone burger!

If there are any burger places in the Columbia area which we have NOT checked out, please let us know: we'll have a burger at any place you suggest as soon as possible. Thanks for reading our blog!

Thursday, March 12, 2015


3220 Vandiver Dr
Columbia, MO 65202





Overall Scores:

Richard: Burger-43/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10
Mark:Burger-42/50; Sides-8/10; Service-19/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-9/10

"My cheeseburger" ($9.49/side) "is very tasty. It's cooked exactly as I ordered it: medium rare! I don't know why I got all these 'shrooms...I didn't order them; almost too much," Richard says. "My burger has the house seasoning - I don't notice any particular flavor as a result. I really like the bun. 43/50!"

Lonestar burger, medium rare

I have the cheeseburger as well ($9.49) and score it 42/50. NOTE: the house seasoning is NOT gluten free! I, too, enjoyed the burger but for some reason I did NOT get the mushrooms. Maybe they aren't gluten free? My burger, too, was cooked medium rare, as ordered; I brought my own gluten free bun.

"These fries are pretty good," Richard says. "They could have been cooked maybe a bit longer - they are a tiny bit mushy on the inside...and not quite as crispy on the outside as they could be. It's just the right amount, though. 8/10.

Since the fries are NOT gluten free I go with the baked potato. It's good (butter and sour cream). 8/10

Richard scores service at 18/20. "Our server did a good job. He responded when we asked for something," (ketchup, etc.) "got our food here pretty quickly and visited the table just enough as we ate to make sure all is well, but he didn't disturb us at all."

I score service at 19/20 for all the reasons Richard mentioned, plus the server was savvy enough regarding celiac disease that he knew to tell me the house seasoning is not gluten free and the fries are cooked in a (flour) contaminated oil. Nice job!

"This place has a comfortable feel to it," Richard says. "It's a quasi-sports bar, restaurant, but it's not too loud, the TV's aren't in your's nice. 8/10."

I agree. The place is not busy, it's quiet and relaxing. 8/10.

"Lonestar is easy to get too, there's plenty of free parking and it's fairly convenient to where I live, so 8/10 for location," Richard says.

I score location at 9/10 for the same reasons, BUT it is fairly close to my house, extra point!

We enjoyed our burgers at Lonestar. Have you been there? If so, we'd love to hear what you think. Is the burger as good as we suggest?

While we don't think this is the best burger in Columbia, both of us will return for another burger.



Thursday, March 5, 2015


3107 Green Meadow Way
Columbia, MO 65203




Overall scores
RH: Burger-46/50; Sides-10/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-9/10
MD: Burger-44/50; Sides-8/10; Service 18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Show Me Farms burger ($5.75) and says "My burger is cooked a perfect medium rare. Tasty! Good burger! And I really like the bun, too; it's just the right size. The seasoning is excellent, too. Very good...46/50!"

I order the same thing and agree: the burger is very, very good, and at only $5.75 for half pound, I think it is the may be the best burger in the city at that low a price point...and is certainly one of the best burgers in Columbia overall. Mine, too, is cooked a perfect medium rare, is juicy, flavorful and nicely seasoned. I give it a 44/50. I brought my own gluten free bun.

Medium rare burger from Murry's

"These fries are excellent," Richard says. "And at $2.00 for this huge a portion, it's fantastic! My fries are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, just the right size" (not shoestring, or curly fries, or steak fries) and they're seasoned perfectly. What can I say? 10/10!"

I wish I could eat the fries - they look fantastic. But alas, the fries are cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products, so they are NOT gluten free (cross contamination). I order the New Potatoes instead, and they are fine. But they aren't french fries (it's always a disappointment to me when the fries aren't gf). 8/10

"I think our server was prompt, got our food out to us quickly and did a really nice job. 18/20 for service," Richard says.

I agree: our server did a fine job. 18/20.

Regarding ambiance, Richard says "I think this place is quite comfortable. I like the music too" (light jazz); "it's not too loud. They're really busy," (we had a 10 minute wait for a table) "but it's till easy to carry on a conversation in here. 8/10.

I also score ambiance at 8/10 and the only thing I would add too what Richard has to say is that, sitting as close to the front door as we did, it got a bit chilly each time the door opened (which was fairly often - it's a busy place!).

"This is pretty close to my house, so that's good! I did have to drive around a bit to find a parking place" (there is a fairly large parking lot, but as I said, the place is busy) "but the parking is free, so it's all good. 9/10."

For me Murry's is on the opposite side of town, so it is a bit of a drive. I had no trouble finding a parking space (I got there about 5 minutes before Richard) and parking is free, so 8/10 from me.

This IS one of the best burgers in Columbia. If one is judging based on the price, this would be the BEST burger in Columbia. 

Have you had a burger at Murry's? If so, we'd LOVE to hear from you! Do you agree with us, or are we crazy? Please let us know...and THANKS for reading our burger blog!

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Longhorn Steakhouse
31 Conley Rd.
Columbia, MO 65201



Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-45/50; Side-7/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-8/10
Mark: Burger-40/50; Side-9/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Steakhouse Burger ($8.99 with fries;Swiss Cheese) and says "This burger is cooked just right - medium rare - and it's flavored very, very nicely: a perfect medium rare! It's very flavorful and I think the price is really fair, too. I score this 45/50!"

I also order the Steakhouse Burger ($8.99 with baked; Cheddar) and I too, think it is tasty. Eight ounces, cooked just right, with good flavor. I brought my own gluten free bun. While I like the burger, I don't like it quite as much as Richard, and score it 40/50.

"My fries are pretty basic," Richard says, "not much flavoring, and I think they were frozen. The fries are OK...7/10".

My baked potato is perfect: the skin is crispy, the inside is tender and moist and there is plenty of butter, sour cream and's good! The fries are NOT gluten free (cooked in same oil as flour-battered products) 9/10!

Regarding service, Richard says "Our server did a nice job. He came back to the table just enough, wasn't intrusive, refilled our water without being asked, got our food to us quickly...nice job: 17/20."

I agree and score service at 18/20.

"Very comfortable. They're not very busy for a noon on Friday...but the place is quiet and...nice. I'm going to score ambiance at 9/10."

I also score ambiance at 9/10. This place does seem roomy, comfortable and quiet.

"8/10 for location," Richard says. "It's easy to get too, and there is plenty of free parking."

I also score location at 8/10. Richard is right: there is free parking. It's also right in front of a Hy Vee, which worked out perfectly for me since I needed to do some grocery shopping.

Both Richard and I enjoyed this burger (Richard a bit more than me), but we don't think is the best burger in Columbia. We are looking forward to our next burger at Longhorn Steakhouse.

How about you? Have you been to the Longhorn Steakhouse in Columbia, MO? If so, let us know what you think of their burgers. We'd LOVE to hear from you!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


G & D Steakhouse    (Facebook)
G & D Steakhouse    (Website)
2001 W Worley (Stadium Plaza)
Columbia, MO 65203


Urban Spoon


Overall Scores
Richard: Burger-40/50; Sides 8.5/10; Service-15/20; Ambiance-6/10; Location-8/10
Mark: Burger-40/50; Sides-7/10; Service-16/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-7/10

Richard orders the Cheeseburger (with fries; $5.69). "This is a good burger, especially if you're in a hurry. I think this is a nice piece of meat. My burger is a bit light on flavor - I think it could use more seasoning. And it would be great if it was cooked a bit less, but that might be tough since the patties are pretty thin...40/50. I like the burger!"

I have the Double Cheeseburger ($6.69 with a garden salad $1.25) and I also score the burger at 40/50. I enjoy it as well, but agree with Richard: it needs a bit more seasoning, and though I would like it medium rare (versus well done) I suspect the thin patties make that impossible (I brought my own gluten free bun).

"My fries look great," Richard says, "but they could be...spicier. There's not much flavor here...I think they need more seasoning. Overall, I like them. 8.5/10."

Since the fries are not cooked in a dedicated oil (they are cooked with flour-battered products) I go with the salad, which is primarily lettuce with a few shards of carrots. It's fine: 7/10.

"It's difficult to rate service since we order at the counter," Richard says, "but our food got to the table pretty quickly. This place is very efficient! 15/20."

I score service at 16/20; our server got our food to us quickly and followed up just enough to make sure we are both happy.

Ambiance gets a 6/10 from Richard. "It's a diner. One gets what one expects! This place is really busy but it doesn't sound all that noisy in here. It's a bit chilly where we're Sitting - this close to the front time I'll pick a place to sit further back in the restaurant if it is this cold outside."

I score ambiance at 7/10 because G & D is a diner, and I like diners! Richard is right: it is cold when the door opens, which happens a lot because there is a steady stream of people coming and going.

"I like the free parking, and this place is easy to get too, so location gets a 8/10 from me," Richard says.

I score location at 7/10 and I, too, appreciate the plentiful and free parking!

This is a good burger and we look forward to having it again, but, in our opinion, this is not the best burger in Columbia. The price and speed of service makes G & D Steakhouse a good place to visit if you want a good burger at a very fair price, served quickly.

Have you been to G & D Steakhouse for a burger? If so, let us know what you think. We'd LOVE to hear from you!