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Bru Burger: Well worth the trip to Eddy Street

| Monday, November 2, 2020

Liya Blitzer | The Observer

Over the past few years, we’ve seen some Eddy Street restaurants come and go. We’ve said sad goodbyes to places like Yats and BarBici while big-name fast food chains have stood the test of time (Chipotle and Five Guys, I’m looking at you). So when I heard that a new restaurant would be opening this year — and one with an unfamiliar name — my first thought was one of skepticism. Could a smaller chain like Bru Burger survive on Eddy Street?

Well, that’s not quite the truth. My actual instinct upon learning the news was to ask myself the following: another burger place? Really? It’s true; there’s Smashburger on campus, and Five Guys, Brothers and O’Rourke’s on Eddy Street, all of which have burgers — and pretty good ones, at that — on their menus. So not only was I unsure whether this new restaurant would be able to stay open, I also doubted that it was even necessary in the first place.

But Bru Burger won me over. The decor is sleek and modern but cozy, with outdoor seating for warmer days. The waitstaff are friendly, and the menu items, while not as inexpensive as, say, a Chipotle quesadilla, are perfectly reasonable for a sit-down place. The real highlight, though, is the meals themselves. The appetizer options may not be particularly groundbreaking, but they still amount to a (tasty) variety of upscale pub mainstays. The soft pretzels, for instance, are a good alternative for anyone who’s missing Ben’s gameday pretzels; the charcuterie platter or “Bru board”— which includes cheeses like white cheddar and habanero jack, cured meats such as soppressata and crostini — is quite a step up from dining hall cold cuts. Other appetizer options like the chicken tenders and chili make good main courses. 

Speaking of main courses, let’s just say Bru Burger knows what it’s good at. While the restaurant does offer a small selection of salads, its specialty is clearly not piling vegetables on top of lettuce. Bru Burger does sandwiches, and it does them really well. The menu’s  burger section ranges from  “The Beginning” — a simple cheeseburger — to “The End” — an elaborate treat topped with horseradish Havarti, an over easy egg, tomato, caramelized onion, lettuce and truffle aioli — and makes stops along the way. The Bru Burger, for instance, reflects well on its namesake with Taleggio cheese and caramelized onions piled high atop a juicy beef patty. And if one is in the mood for more of an exotic main course, the Provencal burger and its herbed goat cheese, marinated red onions, sauteed mushrooms and basil aioli are always an option. 

But if we’re talking about sandwiches, Bru Burger has far more to offer than your usual beef burger. For those of us who are vegetarian or vegan, the black bean burger, the impossible burger and the grilled portabello mushroom are available, as are an ahi tuna burger and a salmon burger (which is really just a salmon fillet laid atop a layer of guacamole and placed on a bun.) Both fish offerings are fresh-tasting and flavorful — perfect for anyone who’s craving some high-quality fish.

So the entrees are varied and delicious. But what about the fries? The desserts? For their part, Bru Burger’s fries are thick and hearty but still crispy. They are wide enough to be good carriers for the restaurant’s specialty ketchup (it’s homemade) and, while they may not be as greasy or salty as your typical fast food fries, they are definitely worth the extra few dollars. Meanwhile, Bru Burger’s dessert options may be some of the best things on their menu. I haven’t yet had the chance to sample all of the restaurant’s offerings, but the whisky brownie is incredibly moist — almost like a molten lava cake — and comes with ice cream and contains a hint of whisky flavor that is not overpowering. To put it simply, Bru Burger’s bread pudding is an absolutely delicious swirl of rich butter and cinnamon goodness.

The food is tasty, the menu is big but not too big and the prices are reasonable. So if you go to Bru Burger — which you definitely should — just make sure to save room for dessert!

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