Venue Review: The Burger Company
The Charlotte Observer
1500 W. Moorhead St.
Two bites into the tater tot nachos, and I knew I would be going back to The Burger Company.
The Morehead Street hangout also rocks out some stand-up burgers - for which the meat is ground in-house. Burger-driven restaurants are the thing in Charlotte right now, and I'd say The Burger Company is one of the better ones.
Brothers David and Randy Smith are the owners. Both work in commercial real estate. But since the commercial real estate business isn't exactly thriving, and the Smith brothers owned the building, David said, "We figured, why not open up a burger place."
The Burger Company straddles the line between being a bar that serves food and a restaurant that has a good bar. Next to the sizeable bar that takes up one side of the room, is the order counter.
Tell the cashier what you want, get a number and then go find a table. I noticed a bit of an oily, almost greasy smell in the air - not pleasant. And peanut oil is the choice here, so those with allergies, beware.
The tater tot nachos are $7.50 - more than the burgers. But they were ridiculously good, and if you split them with a buddy, the price tag gets easier to overlook. Actually you'll need to share them anyway because they're huge. Perfectly crisped tater tots were home base for melted queso, beefy chili, jalapenos, tomatoes and lettuce. Bravo to The Burger Company for thinking outside of the box on this one.
The burger buns get a crisping to help stand up to the juices of the meat and the moisture of the toppings. That crisping was especially useful in the reuben burger with its strands of sauerkraut and dollops of 1000 Island dressing.
Since all burgers come sans sides, we ordered the onion rings (the kind with a rough breading, as opposed to the smooth, beer-battered exterior) to go along with the pesto burger. We had no complaints with the thin-sliced rings.
I did have a beef with the pesto burger. On the menu it was listed among the stuffed burgers. On the overhead board, it wasn't. I suppose we should have asked to be sure, but we went with what was on the menu, but got what was on the board. The flavor was fine, nice strong notes of basil and garlic. But for $6.50, I expected a little more.
If that's the biggest fault I could find with The Burger Company, then that's not so bad. If I'd skipped the onion ring side, I'd have come closer to making my $25 meal-for-two budget. Those tater tot nachos, they're the reason I'll visit The Burger Company again.