Thursday, November 20, 2014


Applebee's (East)

2601 E Broadway Hwy 63 & Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201

Menu (burgers)

Reviews: We cannot locate a Yelp, etc on-line review of this specific Applebee's

Overall scores:
Richard: Burger-43/50; Sides-8/10; Service-12/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-8/10
Mark-Burger-43/50; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance, 8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the American Standard ($9.79) with fries and says "This is a pretty good burger. I'm thinking the bacon, cheese, onion, pickle and sauce might have something to do with that, but still, a pretty good burger! 43/50!"

Ordered medium rare; our server asked us if we wanted our burgers " or without pink?" We both replied: PINK!

I order the Triple Bacon Burger (too much is not enough for me!) at $10.89 with a baked potato for my side and I have to agree with Richard: this IS actually a pretty good burger. There are two slices of bacon on top, with cheese and a BBQ sauce, and crumbled bacon has been mixed in with the burger meat. I think very highly of that (I regularly make burgers at home stuffed with bacon, cheese, brisket, or whatever else I have on hand that might go good with a burger). My burger seems to be nicely seasoned - the bacon impact, I think - but it is slightly overcooked. 43/50!

Richard scores his fries at 8/10. "These are pretty good. The peel has been left on, they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside." Even though the fries are 'bottomless' (the customer can get unlimited refills) Richard does not order extra.

NOTE: the menu says the fries are gluten free. There is a disclaimer that says some food may be cross contaminated, so allergens may be included with your order. The fries are cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products, so they are NOT gf. The GM (Nathan) told me the fries are gf (they are not) because they are listed as gluten free on the menu and clarified that since there is a disclaimer, all is well. Except, not so much: read the small print!

I sub a baked potato for fries (8/10) and it is fine (I added butter and sour cream).

Service gets a 12/20 from Richard. Ouch! "We had to wait 30 minutes for our burgers! Table of people that arrived after us were served long before we were! Our server screwed up when our order was turned in, or else the kitchen was not paying attention!"

OK, here's the scoop on our burgers taking 30 minutes. Since I am gluten free I have to order my burger without a bun (I bring my own gf bun). I make a point of this with our server (which leads into a protracted discussion with our server and, eventually, management) and show him my gf bun. He writes 'No Bun' on the ticket he gives to the kitchen (I think) but the kitchen misses it (at first) and then catches the error just before the burgers are to leave the kitchen. Thankfully, instead of simply removing the bun (crumbs from the bun were sticking to the cheese, etc., and this WILL cause an unpleasant reaction if I were to eat that crumb-crusted burger) and serving the burger, the kitchen decides to start anew, and re-cooks our burgers. I do wish we would have gotten served more quickly, but, on the other hand, I am very thankful the folks in the kitchen made the choice they did. Hence, the 18/20 Service score from me.

Ambiance gets a 7/10 from Richard. "This place is comfortable. It's crowded, but it's not noisy. There aren't any TV's, but then, this is not a sports bar."

I score ambiance 8/10. It feels like every other Applebee's in which I've eaten (very, very few; I'm not crazy about the food. They have a new menu, though, so, to be fair, I need to give some other items on the menu a try. The last burger I had here - two years ago - was awful, but this one was pretty good, so I'm thinking this bodes well for other items on the new menu).

Location gets an 8/10 from both Richard and myself because, as Richard says "it's easy to get too and there's no cost to park."

Have you had a burger at this Applebee's? If so, we'd LOVE to hear from you! Let us know what you think. Is our review fair? Did you love the burger? Or hate it? We want your opinion!

This is a good burger, but we feel it is NOT the best burger in Columbia.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


21 Juicy Burgers That Will Ruin You For All Other Burgers

This article was provided to me by a friend: Thanks, John!

Thursday, November 13, 2014


29 S 10th St
Columbia, MO 65291


Yelp Reviews

Overall Scores:

Richard: Burger-38/50; Sides-9/10; Service 18/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-7/10
Mark: Burger-39/40; Sides-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10

Richard orders the Bacon Cheeseburger and fries ($10! The price is halved on Thursdays!) and says "My burger is dry. And substantially lacking in flavor. This could be good meat, but it is so overcooked the flavor has been cooked out. And it costs $10! I'm thinking 38/50."

I also order the Bacon Cheeseburger (with a bag of chips; the fries, cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products, are NOT gluten free).  My burger has very little seasoning, is seriously overcooked, is dry, and is, for me, quite a disappointment. 39/40 (and I think that's being very generous).

"These are pretty tasty fries," Richard says, "they're surprisingly good. Cooked just right, nicely seasoned, just the right size and a generous portion. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside...9/10!"

My bag of chips are Metro Del Kettle Cooked w/sea salt. They're fine (but they're not fries, right?). 8/10.

Regarding service, Richard says "Our server did a fine job, She didn't ask us how we wanted our burgers done, but I suspect it would not have made a difference: I think all the burgers are cooked well done. She was very attentive, got our food to us quickly - of course, they are not very busy - so overall I think she did a good job. 18/20"

I also score service at 18/20 as our server was quick to respond to our requests, visited the table just the right amount of times as we ate, and was very pleasant.

Ambiance scores 7/10 from Richard. "I remember when this place used to be jammed. It's sports bar. The $10 price tag seems steep to me, and the music is to loud...the music is irritating!"

I score ambiance at 8/10 and that score, too, I think is very generous, though I suspect the place does not feel as cave-like when it is full of sports fans. The $10 price tag for the burgers is a turn off, and I'm not at all excited about the plastic silverware. I'm even less enthused about paying $10 once I take a bite of my burger.

"I had a hard time finding a parking space so I ended up in the garage. I hate paying for parking. Downtown is pretty busy today. 7/10," Richard says.

I also give location 7/10. It makes me nuts to have to drive around looking for a parking space, and even nuttier when I have to put a buck and a half in the meter to get an 1 1/2 hours of parking.

This is NOT the best burger in Columbia. At $10 I'm thinking this burger is seriously overpriced. We won't be coming back anytime soon.

What do YOU think? Have you been to Harpo's recently for a burger? We'd LOVE to hear from you: tell us if you agree or disagree with our review (and why!).

Thanks for visiting our blog, and have a GREAT day!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


D' Rowe's Restaurant and Bar
1005 Club Village Dr.
Columbia, MO



Overall Scores:
Richard: Burger-45/50; Sides 8/10; Service 18/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-9/10
Mark: Burger-45/50; Sides 9/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the Bacon Cheeseburger ($9.69 w/fries). "The cost for the bacon and cheese is no more than the cost for any other burger on their menu, so I'm happy to go with that. Half-pound, plus bacon and cheese...that's alot! My burger is cooked just right! It's seasoned very well. I think this is a very flavorful burger. Two types of cheese. Two pieces of bacon. I would certainly come back to order this again. This is a very good burger! 45/50."

I also order the Bacon Cheeseburger ($9.69 w/baked) and agree with Richard. If I have any complaint it might be that my burger is a teeny-tiny bit too salty in some spots - but for the most part, the burger is seasoned very well. The burger came as ordered (medium rare) which is a rare experience (pun kind of intended) and I love the fact my burger is 1/2 lb, has two pieces of cheese and two pieces of bacon. How does the old saying go? Too much is NOT ENOUGH for me! 45/50.

"I'm not crazy about waffle fries, but these are OK. They were cooked just right and were seasoned very nicely. 8/10," Richard says.

The fries are cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products, so I sub for them and very much enjoy my LOADED baked potato (cheese, bacon, sour cream, butter...) and note that the potato has been seasoned (salt and pepper) on the skin; I LOVE that (it's the way I do it at home). 9/10 for the baked potato!

"Our server was quick to respond to any of our requests," Richard says. "We were approached quickly, our food got here quickly, our server visited the table just enough times and we were asked how we wanted our burgers done. And they were actually done as ordered! Nie job! 18/20."

I also score service 18/20 and agree that our server did a fine job.

Regarding ambiance, Richard says, "This place is very comfortable. This is a good table location and I like all the TV's. This is very nice for what I would consider a 'sports bar.' I like the sports memorabilia on the wall, too. 9/10."

I score ambiance at 8/10. I like the place very much. I don't feel at all crowded or rushed, I like the way our table is positioned (and it doesn't 'wobble!'), enjoy the TV's and, while D' Rowe's is busy, it's not at all loud (though you can tell from the 'buzz' that people are enjoying their food).

Richard scores location at 9/10. "Parking is free and it is not to far from my house."

I score location at 8/10. D' Rowe's is on the opposite side of town from where I live and while parking is free, the parking lot was full, so I had to find a place on the street; that can be a it of an issue when D' Rowe's is really busy.

Have YOU had a burger at D' Rowe's recently? If so, we would LOVE to hear from you. We think this is a VERY GOOD burger (45/50 puts them on our list of Best Columbia Burgers) and we will return! What do you think? Are the burgers at D' Rowe's as good as we say they are?

Thanks for reading, and we'd enjoy getting your feedback.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Ranch House BBQ
1714 Lindberg Dr
Columbia, MO 65201



Overall Scores:

Richard: Burger-43/50; Sides-9/10; Service=14/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10
Mark: Burger-40/50; Sides 8/10; Service-15/10; Ambiance-8/10; Location-7/10

Richard orders the $6.95 special - a burger and fries. "I like the flavor of this burger. It's overcooked, though. They toasted this bun...that's great; I really like the bun. This is a pretty good burger! 43/50!"

I order the cheeseburger special ($6.95) and replace the side of fires with a baked potato. I brought my own gluten free bun. My burger has a 'smokey' flavor (not unsurprisingly - this is a BBQ place - and mine, too, is overdone. This is a fairly thin patty so it is difficult to cook it anything but medium-well to well-done. I also think the burger is good. 40/50.

"The fries are good," Richard says. "They should have been cooked  a bit longer; they're just a bit 'soft,'  but they are the right size for me. I think these were frozen. 9/10."

Note: our server tells us the fries arrive frozen and are seasoned once they get to the restaurant.

Since the fries are NOT gluten free (I don't know if they come from the manufacturer with a coating and I don't know if the seasoning at the restaurant is gf, but it doesn't matter: the fries are cooked in the same oil as flour-battered products so they are NOT gluten free) I replace them (at no additional cost) with a baked potato. The potato is fine. 8/10.

Regarding our server, Richard says "Our server didn't ask how we wanted our burgers done. But, I suspect it wouldn't matter; they pretty much have to be medium to well-done. I don't know what is going on with our server - we haven't seen much of her. We don't have silverware, no water, we've waited quite awhile to place our order...14/20.

I score service at 15/20. Richard is right: when we get there our server is slow to get to the table. She takes our order and that is the last we see of her for awhile. Our food is brought to the table by a fella sitting in a nearby booth who informs us he does not work at the restaurant but he is a friend of the family, so he wanted to help out. He makes sure we get silverware and our drinks. Our original server shows up to ask how everything is, then disappears again. I think the next time we see her is when we ask for the check. 15/20.

"The place is big, but it's quiet. That may be because it's not too busy. I'll score ambiance at 8/10.

The place exudes one of my favorite smells: it smells like BBQ! Richard is correct: the place is big, is not overcrowded and in my opinion feels quite comfortable. I like it; and it appears to be quite clean. I also score ambiance at 8/10.

Location gets a 7/10 from Richard. "Getting here means putting on a few miles (Exit 137 off I-70) but there is plentiful parking and the parking is free."

7/10 is the score I give location as well. I live on the north side and Ranch House BBQ is a 20-25 minute trip. I appreciate the plentiful, free parking.

Richard and I enjoyed Ranch House BBQ. This is our second visit for burgers since the place opened. I'm headed out there soon to try the BBQ.

While we like the burger, we do NOT think this is the best hamburger in Columbia.

Have you had a burger at Ranch House BBQ? Let us know what you think. We'd LOVE to hear from you.