Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brewburger's Burgers and Brew

Restaurant: Brewburger's Burgers and Brew
Address: 4629 S. 108th St. - In the same parking lot as the Holiday Inn Express
Website: http://www.brewburgersomaha.com/
Genres: Burgers, Sports Bar
Check Constraints: None that we noticed.
Chain: No | More Omaha Locations: No

  • Diet Pepsi ($2.00)
  • Tableside Guacamole ($7.95)
  • West Texas Burger ($8.95)
    • Fries
Brewburger's, located just inside the I-680 loop, used to be a steak restaurant that I never got the chance to eat at before it closed. In its place, Brewburger's was built. On its surface, the restaurant doesn't look like someplace I'd be very inclined to eat; I am fairly indifferent to sporting events in general - especially football - and the exterior of the restaurant makes absolutely no bones about the fact that it was conceived of and executed by people who like sports, and especially the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Thankfully for us cultural transplants, the restaurant owners also seem to like food.

As should probably not be shocking, the menu items at the forefront of the restaurant are their burgers, of which they have a fairly large variety, including buffalo, salmon, tuna, lamb, turkey, a vegetarian patty (of mostly mushroom) and of course beef. They also seem to pride themselves on their appetizers - perhaps rightfully so. The Tableside Guacamole (as the name might suggest) is made right at your table, and you have the option of what you want to add into the mix with the base avocado flavor. The server then grinds it in a large mortar and pestle, which results in a very nice textural counterpoint between avocado paste and avocado chunks in the finished guacamole. Available ingredients include onion, cilantro, salsa, jalapenos, and several more options. This kind of thing isn't new by any means (I have had it before but cannot precisely recall where) but it is delicious. You get a large amount of guacamole to pair with the homemade chips, and because you picked the flavors, it is more than likely delicious. However, I recommend using more ingredients than you initially think you might need, as there is a lot of avocado in that mortar.

The West Texas burger was topped with a heapin' helpin' of fried: fried jalapeno and onion strips fought for dominance on top of some cheddar cheese and a beef patty. Oddly enough, the strongest flavor in the whole burger was the beef - I could barely taste the cheese, and the fried toppings provided little but crunch. I can't lie, the beef itself was excellent, and cooked medium rare exactly as I requested... but I was expecting a little bit more from a $9 burger. I suspect I would have been happier ordering one of the more exotic burgers in their repertoire, or just building one myself off their menu (though that is definitely more expensive). Still, the decision of toppings aside, it was a good burger and deserves recognition as such.

I did not try any of their alcoholic beverages, but they had a rather impressive beer list (predictably most of it is bottled) involving most of the regional favorites like Fat Tire and Boulevard. It also isn't cheap, but you can definitely find something that strikes your fancy - or you can rely on the menu to suggest a beer that matches the meal for you.

If you find yourself of a mood for some interesting meats, have some extra cash to spare, and a football game to watch, definitely drop in. If only the first two apply, you should still give it a try, if you think you can ignore the college sports team logos on the ceiling tiles.


  • Bison Burger ($9.95)
  • Garlic Parmesan Fries ($1.45 upgrade)
  • Lemonade ($1.95)
Today, I added two more meats to my list of things I have eaten. They were both pretty good. The deep fried alligator reminded me mainly of somewhat tougher chicken bites, with just a hint of turkey, but you could pretty easily tell that it wasn't either of those. I declined to sample the guacamole, as I have tried many variations and never even come close to liking them, but the deep fried white cheddar curds were good, as was the dipping marinara they came with, and I'm pretty sure they were breaded there, rather than purchased as-is.

The garlic parmesan fries are... well. I will not say they were bad, but you have to be careful with them. Most especially, do not get these at lunch. Your coworkers will hate you, because they apparently see fit to top the fries with equal parts garlic and parmesan. There had to be at least a dozen cloves, minced, on that plate. And it wasn't a very big plate! The first bite, I did NOT expect that much garlic, and it was like a kick in the nose. Not even a cookie and some root beer could adequately get the taste and smell out of my mouth for the rest of the work day. Aside from that, if you like garlic and parmesan, go for it.

The bison burger actually did come out the medium rare I ordered it, just like Cham's texas burger. The meat reminded me mainly of a very lean beef that somehow didn't sacrifice any juicy goodness. it was quite good, though the smattering of gorgonzola on top really didn't do it any favors. I thought it clashed quite badly with the bison, and would have been far better if replaced with feta, like the lamb burger got. The barbeque sauce wasn't anything outstanding, but also didn't get in the way of tasting the meat, so that's sort of a point in its favor, and aside from the fairly hefty price tag, it was a pretty damn good burger.

Brewburgers' schtick pretty much seems to be a lot of very good burger options, plus a lot of beer options, plus sports bar. I don't know about the beer, but the burgers part, it does damn well, if a bit on the pricey side. Okay, a fair bit on the pricey side. On the other hand, the sheer variety of meats available may well make it worth it. Just... not very often.


  • Lamb Burger ($9.95)
    • Chili Fries ($1.45 upgrade)
  • Alligator Bites ($9.95)
Guacamole: Fantastic. Oh man, was it fantastic guac. Fresh and full of deliciousness, made at the table? Oh yes. Cheese curds: Pretty good, and I think part of why they are made there is that they're made with Nebraska cheese. I doubt that one can buy generic cheese curds with Nebraska cheese. The alligator bites were pretty enjoyable, and they came with a nice sauce. I assume that the price premium of 10 bucks is due to rarity/distance/etc, but all the appetizers were a bit on the expensive side. On the other hand, all solid, which is something we don't generally get from our appetizer sampling. And plenty of them, too, none of this 'six pieces for 7 bucks' stuff. Definitely worth giving them a shot yourselves on these.

The Lamb Burger was lamb (they didn't ask me how they wanted it cooked), topped with a ridiculous amount of feta and cucumber sauce (AKA, tzatziki or a close relative). I was glad that it came with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Anything to blunt the strength of the feta, to me. Good meat, and good burger on the overall, but perhaps a little strong for me with the feta. ND pointed out that it was a bit of a lesser version of the Greek Isles burger, and that may be worth considering: If you like lamb and feta burgers, they might be a better choice if you're striking out for it. The two resturants are pretty far apart, though. I'll probably try something else next time I go, but don't let that steer you away from it if you're in the area and like your feta.

I used the upgrade option to go with Chili on my fries. They had a fairly meaty chili here that made for some pretty darn good chili fries. It wasn't the best at binding to the fries, so it took a bit of work to get chunks of meat or bean with your fries, but the flavor was all there. I'll probably try some of the other fry modification options when I go back.

On the overall, the place is definitely a cut above, and the price is also a cut above. In the sense that it's kinda high. It looks like they have several deals throughout the week, and those might help various people enjoy things more without hitting the wallet quite so much. We also did not sample any of the 'brew' part of the equation, which may also help. Also, the sports bar component seemed reasonably strong, but Thursday Lunch does not give you a huge opportunity to feel the Husker fans, among any others. Give this place a shot in your rotation, and I don't think you'll regret it.


  • Maverick Burger ($8.50)
  • White Cheddar Cheese Bites ($6.95)
The Guacamole was delicious and well worth the price. It had a fresh and cool taste with a hint of salt and a tiny, tiny kick. Be sure to eat it while it's still fresh though. It suffers a little getting warm. The cheese curds were also delicious. I'd wondered where they managed to get their cheese curds, since you rarely see them this far out from Wisconsin because they lose their luster in transit, but Mecha's probably right. I didn't bother with the marinara. They were good enough on their own. The alligator bites tasted like a gamier chicken bite. They were served with what I still maintain was hoisin sauce. If it wasn't, it was something damned close. They were good, but you could have gotten the same amount of appetizer for $3 less by going with the cheese curds, so you're paying extra for their exotic nature.

The Maverick Burger was a beef patty with sliced onions mixed in topped with jack cheese. I ordered mine medium-rare and it looked to be cooked through. The onions mixed in with the meat made the burger crumbly and didn't contribute any flavor, so I'm not sure how much they contributed to the burger as a whole. They could have added some juiciness (it was a juicy burger), but unfortunately I can't empirically conclude that. It also came with a horseradish sauce on the side which I smeared generously on the upper bun. The horseradish sauce was disappointingly tame. I was hoping for a good nasal kick on each bite but never got it. Overall, it was a very good chunk of meat, but all of the fancy didn't contribute to that at all and it was a rather small burger for the price.

1 comment:

snekse said...

@MapleSyrup Your comments on the Maverick Burger are right on. The onions in the burger did nothing for it. In fact, I think they did the burger a dis-service.