Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Mini-Review: Burger City
There's an attractive new burger joint on Sixth Avenue, right across from the Ronstadt Bus Terminal and just down the corner from Tucson City Court. It's called, appropriately enough, Burger City. If you choose to stop there for a tasty burger, you'll be supporting the downtown area in more ways than one. That's because all profits from Burger City go to ArtFare, a tax exempt charitable organization devoted to revitalizing Sixth Avenue and supporting local artists. That's a noble goal, but how are the burgers? Read on.
The décor is rustic and pleasant. Lots of roomy wooden tables wait inside, each of them covered with doodles (upon request, the staff will supply you with pens of your own, to add to the display). Rusted sheet metal lines the walls. Overall, it creates a nice, clean Western steak joint look, not necessarily a metropolitan look as Burger City's name might suggest, but nice. To the right is a fully stocked pickle bar with pepperoncinis, sweet peppers, pickles, gherkins, and pickle slices for noshing. The menu is ambitious, ranging from the simple Naked City Burger to the Mem'fis City (creamy peanut butter with optional bananas) to the top-drawer Sin City (ground sirloin AND pork with braised red onions and sauteed wild mushrooms and spinach, toasted pine nuts, and gruyere). I kept things relatively simple and ordered the Bacon n' Cheeseburger, featuring smoked, peppered bacon, white cheddar, and Granny Smith apple slices, with a side of hand cut fries. The attentive, friendly waiter took my order promptly. While waiting, I snacked on pickles and watched “The Great Outdoors” on the restaurant's flat-panel TV.
My meal arrived promptly, but without the promised apple slices. Fortunately, my waiter corrected the problem with little delay. The bun was okay, but a little too large for my liking. The patty, although serviceable, was not especially memorable; it tasted a little like one of those frozen patties they sell by the bulk at Costco. This is not to say that the preparation of the burger was flawed in any way. It's just that the patty wasn't exceptional, and for a $6.75 burger, that's a little disappointing. On the other hand, the other ingredients brought the burger together nicely. The apple slices added a wonderful, sweet note to the smoky, salty cheeseburger. The fries were decent as well: not too greasy, and cut from quality potatoes.
In sum, it's not my favorite burger joint in town (that would be either Lindy's or In and Out), but the money goes to a good cause, and the pickle bar is genius. I'll probably stop by again soon, just to try that Sin City burger.