Bun and done
Burger Me recently opened a third location in the far south of Reno, replacing a vacated chain restaurant location. The offerings are upscale burger joint and include a fair selection of wines and draft beers in addition to more traditional milkshakes and such. Order at the counter and your made-to-order food is table-delivered with impressive speed.
All burgers include a third-pound patty, sliced tomato, iceberg lettuce and housemade sauce—unless ordered otherwise. Although we ordered all but one or two of the burgers medium-rare, every patty was cooked medium to medium-well.
My daughter went all-in with the Trainwreck ($9.95), a beef patty with onion ring, chili, cheddar cheese, a fried egg, a white bun and sliced jalapenos on the side. The better-than-average bun held up well under the assault, and—though the patty might have been a bit dry—the sandwich was a flavor explosion. She was pleased with her selection.
The Italian Stallion ($10.95) sounded like an equal to my daughter’s meal, with a beef patty dressed with thick-sliced mortadella, salami, provolone cheese, hot Boston cherry peppers and a cabernet vinaigrette. The slightly dry burger was loaded with so many flavors, and I enjoyed it far more than expected. The one negative would be that it had way more lettuce than was necessary, making it tough to wrap my mouth around it.
From the specials board, my friend ordered a Reuben burger ($9.95)—a beef patty topped with pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and housemade Russian dressing on marbled rye. He chose to skip the ’kraut and substituted a white bun for the bread, rendering it a dressed-up pastrami burger. The deli meat was lean and nicely grilled, and the overall effect was pretty good.
To be fair, American bison is a tough meat to work with, because it’s considerably leaner than beef. We ordered Burger Me’s bison burger ($12.70) with bleu cheese, bacon, and all the regular stuff on a white bun. While the perfectly crispy bacon and pungent fromage did their best, the overcooked meat was so dry it was tough to swallow without a swig of water.
For something different, another friend ordered the Fish Sando ($7.95), featuring Atlantic cod blackened or fried—she went with blackened—purple cabbage coleslaw and tartar sauce, all on a long roll. I couldn’t really detect any Cajun seasoning to speak of, but the coleslaw was really nice, and the fish was moist and plentiful.
My wife ordered the Gyro burger ($9.95), a ground lamb patty combined with feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion on a whole wheat bun. The spring mix lettuce was a nice touch, and the sauce was good, but the very dry patty and a sizeable serving of fresh mint made for a confounding and not wonderful meal, which she wasn’t able to finish.
We also sampled sides, including battered onion rings, garlic fries and sweet potato fries ($2.50 each). The rings were excellent, a rich golden brown and very crispy. The garlic fries were very garlicky and tasted good but became more and more floppy as the meal wore on. Their sweet potato cousins were much crispier and—I’m told—were pretty good. I’m just not a big enough fan of sweet potato anything to be a reliable judge.
Our experience wasn’t perfect, but there was enough good about it to lend hope they’ll improve as they settle in. If they served a medium-rare burger, that Italian beast would become a regular guilty pleasure.