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.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Longhorn Steakhouse
31 Conley Rd
Columbia, MO 65201




Overall scores:
Richard: Burger-42/50; Sides-7.5/10; Service-17/20; Ambiance-7/10; Location-7/10
Mark: Burger-40/50; Side-8/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-8/10; Location-8/10

Richard orders the 1/3 pound with Swiss Cheese ($7.99) and fries. "This burger is good. I like it. As I say, the burger is...good. But it's not great. 42/50. I'd come back."

I score my burger 40/50. I have the 1/2 pound  with bacon and Cheddar ($9.99) and, since the fries are cooked in the same oil as battered products and therefor are NOT gluten free, I order the loaded baked as my side. My burger is good, but it needs a bit of seasoning, especially salt. I think my burger might be a tiny, very tiny bit greasy. Overall, I like it.

Closeup of my burger (ordered medium rare).

"These fries are pretty darn good," Richard says. "I would say they are certainly above average. 7.5/10!"

I score my loaded baked 8/10. It's cooked just right and of course, props for the bacon and cheese!

Regarding service, Richard says "Our server did a fine job. She was very attentive. 17/20."

Service gets an 18/20 from me. As Richard says, she did a nice job and, importantly, she DID ask how we wanted our burgers done (medium rare; as you can see in the photo above, it was pretty close to medium rare, too!

"I thought the ambiance was great, until a table of 20 sat down right next to us. I have to say, though, they were a pretty quiet group." Richard says "I'll score ambiance at 7/10.

I think the ambiance is fine. The place did get a little loud and did feel a bit busy, but we are talking lunch time, so it's all good. 8/10.

"Parking is free and I got a spot right out front, so this gets a 7/10," Richard says.

I, too, enjoy the plentiful, free parking and score this category at 8/10.

Both of us agree we liked the burger, sides and service and would happily return to the Longhorn for another burger.

If you've had a burger at the Longhorn in Columbia, we'd enjoy hearing about your experience. Did you like the burger? Will you recommend it to others?

While this is a good burger, in our opinion it's not the best burger in Columbia.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Madison's Cafe
216 Madison St
Jefferson City, MO


Burger Menu

Richard; Burger-44/50; Sides-8.5/10; Service-18/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-7/10 (Jeff City)
Mark: Burger-44/50; Sides-No side; Service-18/20; Ambiance-9/10; Location-7/10 (Jeff City)

Richard orders the Smothered Burger ($8.95) which comes with NO bun and NO sides (but it IS 9 ounces!). "This might be too much burger," Richard says. "I have to

say, it's really good! And it's cooked just the way I ordered it (medium rare). Maybe too many mushrooms. But I really like the burger! 44/50!" Richard orders fries as his side.

I also order the Smothered Burger ($8.95) and since I'm gluten free no bun is excellent as far as I'm concerned (I brought my own GF bun, anyhow). As far as the 9 ounces being too big, when it comes to burgers, too much is not enough for me. I think the amount of 'shrooms on my burger is excellent! I, too, very much enjoy the burger and mine, too, is cooked just right (medium rare). I score it 44/50 as well.

Richard says "These fries are a bit smaller than I prefer but they're very nicely flavored. I think they are using a really good oil. They are cooked just right - crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. 8.5/10."

I decided not to order a side as the fries are NOT cooked in a gluten free oil, thus cross-contamination could be a problem.

"Our server did a really nice job! She was attentive, prompt, and somehow she got me what I was about to ask for before I asked for it. Almost like she read my mind! 18/20!"

I also score service at 18/20 and agree with everything Richard had to  say. Plus, our server DID ask us how we wanted the burgers cooked (medium rare) and when the burgers got to our table they were medium rare! The wait for our food was not too long.

Regarding ambiance, Richard says "This cafe is really comfortable. I really like the way they've changed the layout since the last time I was here. 9/10."

I too score ambiance at 9/10. Madison's is busy, but not too loud, it's nicely lighted, clean, and as Richard says, very comfortable.

Location is difficult to score. It IS in Jeff City, after all, a 30 mile drive each way from Columbia. We both score it 7/10, but if we lived in JC we would score location higher. Parking was tight and we ended up in the parking ramp across the street, which worked out well since the folks at Madison's are nice enough to validate so there was very little charge for parking (we paid for anything over an hour; I think it cost us 50 cents).

We both think this is quite a good burger and would happily return for another.

Have you been to Madison's Cafe in Jefferson City? If so, let us know what you think; we'd LOVE to hear from you!