So I had been to Bru for the first time a few weeks ago and LOVED their ahi burger but wanted to go back for several reasons. Most importantly, it was my foodie friend Kate’s birthday and we needed to celebrate. However, I was doubly glad to be going because
1. The ahi burger was great-like really great-but we all know a burger ain’t a burger less it bleeds.
2. Last time I went it was for a quick lunch-therefore no sides, drinks, or desserts were sampled. And as discussed in my last post, burgers are all about the accoutrements for me!
So my expectations were high. And overall, my visit was very, very enjoyable. But there were issues, so I’ll discuss those first.
1. The name. I mean really. This is a part of the restaurant group that owns Mesh, which I am a fan of, and Stone Creek Dining Company, whose ribs I would kill a second-degree relative for. But “Bru” is really an awful name.
2. The burgers stand alone. This is annoying. It’s always a LITTLE annoying when restaurants try to leeeeech money out of you by selling you $6 creamed spinach alongside your $35 steak. Couldn’t you just throw in a dollop of potatoes and not nickel and dime me, please, Ruth’s Chris? But it’s extra annoying at Bru. Because let’s be real: EVERYBODY WANTS FRIES WITH A BURGER. PERIOD. Doesn’t have to be a ton, but I’m paying $10 for a burger, throw me a bone. We wound up splitting a plate of chili cheese fries between 7 of us for $8, which is a totally fair price, but then it wasn’t split on the bill, causing hassle and potential awkwardness and honestly just give me a few $*&%JFHJ## French fries please. Thank you.
3. It was packed. On a Wednesday at 6. Congratulations to them for being popular, but there was only one exit (aside from an emergency exit) and it was unbelievable how poorly laid out the restaurant is. Constant banging in to other guests and servers, only one restroom per gender, not enough ordering computers so the servers were lined up 3 deep right next to our table where the computers were. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but if it was that bad on a Wednesday at 6… Also they don’t take reservations, which I understand but still chaps my ass a bit, especially since our group of 7 then had to wait an hour for a table. That’s why groups of 7 need reservations.
4. The kitchen seemed to have a really hard time with orders. 4 of our 7 got raw onion on their burgers despite asking for it to be withheld. One guy got mayonnaise despite asking for none. I got onion rings despite NOT asking for them, then alerted my server and was charged anyway and then had to wait for him to stand in aforementioned line to get it off my bill. None of it was a big deal, but that’s kind of a lot of screw ups!
Ok, so that’s the bad. Here’s the good news, and why I will be going back.
1. THE BURGERS WERE AWESOME! Our group tried several of the 765 burger options. **Note: “garden” means tomato, lettuce, and onion, and as you may have guess, elicited a huge eye roll from me**
–Provencal (Basil aoili, red onion jam, herbed goat cheese, and sauteed mushrooms) This one got rave reviews from the birthday girl, who insisted I try the delectable aoili. I think it will be my next pick when I visit again.
–Black and Bleu Bacon Burger (Blackened beef, mayo, gorgonzola, and garden) This one got mediocre reviews from the eater for being really light on the gorgonzola-she said she loves bleu cheese and was hoping for some stinky cheese taste in every bite and that didn’t happen. She also ordered her burger rare and said although it was medium at best, it still was very juicy and flavorful. Overall, she was happy with the burger but underwhelmed with it as a Black and Bleu.
–The Classic Bacon Cheeseburger (Thick-cut bacon, mayo, white cheddar, and garden) I was totally impressed by the quality of the bacon and the perfect flavor and juiciness of the meat. No grease running down my chin, but also no need to gulp water after every arid bite. Perfect classic.
–Memphis Barbecue Sandwich (Pulled pork, white cheddar, homemade BBQ, fried onion, and southern-style slaw)
2. The booze was on point! Sadly I opted not to order a brew for several reasons, but the beer offerings were solid-you’ll just have to trust me. Two of our party tried signature cocktails. The birthday girl got a Pear Cosmopolitan, which I tried and loved for it’s very peary taste. Another girl got a Mole Manhattan, which was incredibly strong but mostly just whiskey without much of the spicy chocolate taste implied by the name. The cocktails made what would be a decently priced burger meal into a night-out-priced dinner, but this place definitely didn’t skimp on the alcoholic offerings.
3. The sides were spiffy! I was informed by another member of our group that Bru makes all their own sauces (even ketchup and the whipped cream atop their desserts!) I was pleasantly surprised also that I wasn’t beaten over the head with this fact (“our signature house mayonnaise, our house-made ketchup” was happily absent from the menu and waiter’s lingo) The chili cheese fries and milkshakes were just scrumptious. I guess I’m tacky because that’s exactly what I want at a burger joint.
4. The service was good. Not over the top amazing, but very adequate, polite, and friendly despite being obviously quite busy. At places this in-demand, I have increasingly found hostesses and waitstaff to cop attitudes, but that was not the case at all here and it made the experience that much more enjoyable.
We rounded things out by chowing down on Flying Cupcakes (ok, we got them before!!! I admit!!!) And the whole thing made for a lovely, lovely night. If you’re on Mass Ave and craving a burger, I highly recommend this place. Unless you’re on a budget. Or it’s Friday.