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!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


16 S. 10th St
Columbia, MO 65201


Burger Menu Listing


Our Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-42/50; Side-9/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-6/10
Mark: Burger-42/50; Side-10/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10

"Well, my burger" (Sake Burger, $10) doesn't have a lot of flavor. It is cooked medium rare, as ordered, so that is excellent! I really like the Chipotle Sauce and I like the size of
the burger. The bun is holding up

well, too. This is a good burger, but it needs a bit more seasoning. 42/50," Richard says.

I like the burger, too (only one burger on the menu) and also score it 42/50. These scores take Sake OFF OUR TOP COLUMBIA BURGERS LIST, AT LEAST UNTIL OUR NEXT VISIT).  I agree with Richard that there is something missing: it needs seasoning of some kind. My burger is a teeny-tiny bit overcooked (medium vs medium rare). I like this burger.
NOTE: Sake uses a soy sauce that contains gluten in their burger recipe, so if you are Celiac, this burger is NOT gluten free!

"My fries are excellent," Richard says."Just spicy enough, really good flavor, cooked just right....I believe these are home-made fries, with the peel still on!. 9/10!"

Since the fries are cooked in the same oil as battered products they are NOT gluten free. As a result I decide to not go with a side, but the waiter is kind enough to bring me a side salad with my burger! NICE JOB (and I should take the Service score to 19/20 since our server double checked to make sure if the items I was thinking of ordering are gluten free or not. (They are not gf-see above). Because the salad was a surprise, and was quite good, I give it 10/10!

Richard scores service at 17/20. "Our server was very attentive, really on the ball, and we got our food pretty quickly," he says.

I score service, initially, at 18/20, but have revised it to 19/20 for the reasons Richard mentions, plus our server brought me a salad as a bonus and double-checked the gluten free options.

Ambiance gets an 8/10 from Richard. "To me, it feels a bit 'sparse' in here. It's very comfortable, though, and not at all loud." Shortly after he says this a table of wine drinkers gets a bit rowdy for a few minutes but they quiet down pretty quickly.

I score ambiance at 8/10 as well. It IS quiet, but I suspect that is because, besides us, there are only 6 other people (two tables) in the restaurant. I like the way the restaurant is set up and I, too, feel it to be 'comfortable.'

"6/10 for location," Richard says. "It's downtown. I had to park several blocks away AND I had to plug the meter!"

I agree with Richard but got lucky and found a parking spot a short block away. I DID have to plug the meter, though: I HATE that! 7/10!

With scores of 42 from each of us, the Sake Burger falls off our list of top Columbia burgers  (just barely). That being said, this IS a very good burger and we WILL be going back.

Have you had a Sake Burger? If so, we'd LOVE to hear from you. Let us know what you think: is this the best burger in Columbia?

Thursday, August 21, 2014


The Heidelberg
409 S 9th
Columbia, MO 65201

MENU (Burgers)

Overall scores:
RH: Burger-41/50; Side-7/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
MD: Burger-39/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-6/10

Richard orders the Cajun Burger with fries ($7.89) and says "It's overcooked. Medium instead of medium rare. And it isn't very spicy - not too much Cajun taste here...and it's not as juicy as I would prefer. I really like the bun! 41/50!"

I have the Heidelberg Burger ($8.49) with slaw and very much enjoy the bacon and cheese. My burger, too, is a bit overcooked and, because it is fairly thin patty, a bit dry. I brought my own gluten free bun. 39/50.

"My fries have been overcooked, so much so the insides are gone - my fries are hollow!" Richard says. "I really like the seasoning. 7/10 for the fries!"

I have the slaw and score it 8/10. The slaw here is not too sweet and not too vinegary, and overall is pretty good, but I don't feel the need to return because of the slaw.

Regarding service, Richard says "Our server followed up well and did a nice job. She brought whatever we asked for pretty quickly. We did wait a bit for our food, but that is not our servers fault - they're pretty busy with all the students returning. 17/20."

I agree our server did a fine job, was attentive and followed up nicely; 18/20.

"For a college-type bar, a sports bar, we can carry on a conversation in here without too much yelling," Richard says.  "I'll score ambiance 8/10."

I note they are quite busy and the place has kind of a fun atmosphere. I score ambiance at 8/10 also.

"We came a Friday to late - with all the students coming back parking was really hard to find. We got seated right away, though, so that's good! But I had to plug the parking meter, and that's not so good. 7/10."

I score location at 6/10. I had to park many blocks away, the streets were extremely busy (vehicles and pedestrians) and I had to put money in the meter. Since I had limited change I had limited time and felt the need to continuously check my watch to make sure I was not exceeding my parking time: the cost of a parking ticket in the city is getting crazy!

The Heidelberg serves a good burger, but it is NOT the best burger in Columbia.

Have you had a burger at The Heidelberg? If so, we'd LOVE to hear from you. Do you agree with our assessment, or has your experience been something different? Let us know!

Photo of menu:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chili's, Columbia, MO

41 Conley Rd
Columbia, MO 65201


Burger Menu

Richard: Burger-42/50; Sides-8.5/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-9/10                            Mark: Burger-40/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Classic Bacon Burger ($8.99, with fries) and says "This was cooked just a bit too much. The cheese and bacon are good additions and the bun is excellent - it's standing up to all the toppings. I like the burger and score it 42/40.

I also order the Classic Bacon Burger ($8.99) and since the fries are NOT gluten free (cross contamination) I go with the loaded mashed. I think my burger is quite good but agree with Richard: it was left on the grill a minute or so too long. I really like the bacon! 40/50. I brought my own GF bun,

"I have to say...these fries are almost great! A tiny, tiny bit more seasoning and they would have gotten at least another point. They're cooked perfectly - crispy outside and tender inside - just the right size...really, really good fries! 8.5/10!"

My loaded mashed potatoes (bacon - because one can never have enough bacon, cheese, etc.) are excellent and I got a really good-sized portion (too much is not enough for me!). 8/10.

Regarding Service, Richard says "Our server was very attentive. Our food got here quickly, she got us everything we need right away...very attentive! She did a very nice job; 18/20."

I, too, thought service was excellent and score it 18/20. The only negative I can report is that she did not ask us how we wanted our burgers cooked (medium rare).

"I think the ambiance is fine. They're very busy today, but it is still relatively quiet in here. I score ambiance at 8/10."

I also score ambiance at 8/10 and agree this is a comfortable restaurant, not too loud even when busy.

Location scores 9/10 from Richard. "Easy access from the highway, lots of parking and the parking is free...what's not too like? 9/10."

I agree with everything Richard has too say but there is a lot of road construction going on in the area, and the traffic is quite heavy, so I score location 8/10.

This is a good burger and we would go back for another! But, this is NOT the best burger in Columbia.

Have you had a burger at Chili's recently? If so, please share your opinion with us and our readers; we'd enjoy hearing from you.