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Bagger Dave's in Berkley (Detroit)

A new venue offering "legendary" burgers and fries opened up in Berkley on 1/13/08 (Sunday). It's on Coolidge between 12 Mile and Catalpa. I reckon it's a tad early for anyone ti chime in, but I'm looking forward to giving it a shot, and to reading trip reports. So post them if you got 'em!

Here's a write up: http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs...

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  1. I just ate there tonight, and i have to say it was nothing special, the last thing I would call it is Legendary...Just another overpriced burger place with a catchy name... the fries were cold... but hey at least they had big screen tvs

    4 Replies
    1. re: gastronomical

      Gastromical, I have to agree and add a little. I was just there, drove by it on my way home, thought I would give it a try. The sign says "established in 2006" and states the place is "legendary", but oddly enough Ith has been open 3 days and is the frist of "many" according to the bar-tender. ??? Hum... Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. has 12 or so BW3's 6 or 8 in the metro area and the rest in Florida. Bagger's has a beer and wine list and offers 2 kinds of grinds, beef and turkey offered in singles and doubles, there are many toppings to choose from and a selection of sanwiches, and specialty burger. Fries in sweet and russet potatoes available in 2 sizes of bags.The room is wood finished, the train running through is on a short track, oversized pictures of Berkley are through the room, andd there are many flat screen t.v.s through out the place. It is non-smoking which is a plus IMO. The staff was plesant and friendly.

      On to what I ate. I ordered the BBQ Bacon Burger (5.99) and a small "bag" of russet fries (2.19). I also had a Bell's Brown (4.75). I ate at the bar. The order came promptly but was not my order ( happens, it's a new place). The error was taken care of. The patty weight is 3 oz. and ALL burgers are cook to med-well (as stated on the menu). Two patties slightly bigger than a slider, soggy bacon, light sauce, and a flimzy bun. I couldn't really tell the burger had chedder on it. The grilled onions were larger cut and crunchy. As for the fries. The potatoes are unpeeled russets and hand cut. I believe the fries were not rinced well of starch after cutting and go to the fryer without being blanched. This believed methodology yielded very brown, soggy fries. The jackets left on the fries were gritty. The thing is they were not crispy at all. If kennibec potatoes were used with this product and they were a bit smaller cut this methodology would have yeilded a light colored crisp product.There was no salt on my fries and the burger was not well seasoned nor were they hot. All was served in paper lined 10" cake pans (a step up from BW3'S paper baskets) and the not so good fries were in a bag.

      It was not bad but not good. It is a burger joint with beer and big flat screan T.V.s. I can't say it was a value. The place will probably do great in this area, as places like this always do (and make buckets of money). I just had hopes it would be better. But, it would have been much better IMO if they seasoned all better. Boy do i miss In and Out and Fat Burger. Cheers.

      1. re: buttermonkey

        Wow, I was hoping for better from them. Danaher's was decent and I was sorry to see them tank in that space. We'll give BD's a couple of weeks then see if they've improved from your experiences.

        There's always Red Coat for burgers and 24 Seconds for a bar/TV experience!

        1. re: buttermonkey

          Is it really the same ownership as BW3's...Because that would explain a lot Ha Ha! Easily in the top ten worst eateries I've been to. Yeah I did notice the 2006 thing was was kinda questioning that as well.

          1. re: buttermonkey

            After reading Buttermonkey's thoughts one thing stand out a lot to me

            "There was no salt on my fries and the burger was not well seasoned nor were they hot."

            I have found many burger places recently in Michigan some older 50's style places etc. That seem like they are going to be good. Get excited to find a good burger close to home. But then I get the food which is cooked properly etc. However the burger has not been seasoned at all. I mean no salt pepper nothing. And personally I hate few things as much as unseasoned hamburger. A couple of the places could have had a great burger if they just seasoned the hamburger.

        2. I just had lunch there. I drive past this place everyday and I was very curious to see how the food was. The place was full so I sat at the bar. Service was quite good. I saw the bartender keeping tabs on all the tables near the bar making sure they got their food promptly. I got the beef burger on sourdough with a handful of toppings and a bag of "Idaho fries". There were some great things about the burger, and some not so good things. It had a *wonderful* seared crust. I don't see that too often at a burger place. It was overcooked though. As mentioned in previous post, all burgers are cooked to Medium-Well, mine was beyond that. Also the burger was quite small, covering only 2/3rds the bread. Halfway between a slider and a "real burger". Sourdough was toasted and the toppings were quite good. The fries were quite good. Deeply caramelized, very fresh. These are quite different then Mc-Wen-King fries. They are not crunchy on the outside, but not soggy/oily either. Overall it was pretty good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jay.radcliffe

            Maybe my fries were around a moment, who knows. I forgot to mention that they use peanut oil. Not so good for those that might have nut allergies. I also will try it again in a few weeks, until then its Red Coat, Hunter House, or Town Tavern in Royal Oak for me. Town Taver has KILLER burgers and BEAUITFUL truffled fries that are hot, crisp, and "hand-cut" in house via proper method as per the chef (a friend of mine).

          2. I wanted to eat here as Berkley does not have many options. It was long overdue for a family place to eat. My sister and I ate there today for lunch and I was worried due to the post already on here. Well we had a great experience, the burgers were cooked perfect. I ordered the BBQ Bacon burger and it was great, the bacon amount was just enough and the BBQ sauce was wonderful. My sister made her own burger and she doesn't eat burgers much, but loved it. The service was speedy and the people were nice.

            I did not like the seating - we were at a table where they had 3 (2) people tables next to one another, my sister and I were at one and then right next to us the other table had 2 people at it. Thank goodness they were nice people and it was fine, but I did not like that at all, too close for comfort. This is my only complaint.

            The ranch dressing was great too which was used to dip our fries in - they were good too. It was busy and the service was still good.

            I would recommend.

            1. Ok I just read the review in the Mirror or some paper about how the burgers are " made to order " . How is " all burgers cooked medium well " made to order ? I think I shall skip this chain of mediocrity ...

              2 Replies
              1. re: GoalieJeff

                I dont like my burgers medium well either so I will skip this chain of mediocrity also. I dont think that this place will last long contrary to earlier posts that it will last. We will see.

                1. re: donna521

                  Yesterday's Freep said they were already planning to open one in A2, but not downtown.

              2. DAMN! why for just once can't someone get it right in this culinary hell-hole!

                9 Replies
                1. re: HoogieEats

                  Millers, Beau Jacks & Red Coat will have to suffice, even Fuddruckers seems acceptable here.

                  1. re: HoogieEats

                    Curious--what do you want that Red Coat et. al. are not providing?

                  2. re: HoogieEats

                    Sounds like it's worth the drive to Fatburger in Southfield when they open soon. Cheaper and more consistent. Has anyone heard updates on the opening? Oh how I miss them!
                    (Well, I prefer In-N-Out but who's complaining.)

                    I e-mailed on the Fatburger website about a month ago asking for updates and got a reply that they were planning on end of January. Can't wait!

                    1. re: kellycolorado

                      What fatburger in southfield. When? Where? I'd love any info.

                      1. re: buttermonkey

                        It's going to be at the Tel-Twelve area in Southfield, right next to the new Best Buy, in the former Island Jerk Chicken or whatever that place was. The Fatburger does seem to be coming along, but it does appear to have slowed. Still, end of the month doesn't seem unrealistic.

                        1. re: boagman

                          hell yea, i'm a west coaster & miss the in and out and fatburgers.

                          1. re: buttermonkey

                            Drove there just today. Still not open, but progress continues. Didn't see any major "Opening on..." signs in the window, but I didn't drive up to the door or anything...just drove by on Telegraph Road and glanced that way.

                            1. re: buttermonkey

                              Every time you crazies mention "In and Out Burger" my first reaction is "Hey! We have those here!" Of course, I'm *actually* thinking of "Hot and Now Burger" which is a *hideous* way to spend one's money on, um, "food".

                              But yeah...you're a long, *loooooooooong* way from seeing anything like a Pink's around here. In fairness to us, though, we probably blow the crap out of LA's ice cream, here. We sure love our ice cream, *if* you know where to buy the good stuff. Mmmmmm...extra butterfat. :)

                            2. re: buttermonkey

                              I am an exiled west coaster too and I miss In & Out a lot. Hell I miss all the California charbroiled burger chains. Those burgers in restaurants similar to Coney Islands but imo the burgers were pretty damn good especially when a drink fries and a burger was like 3.50. But I miss In & OUt the most. I just hope Fatburger in southfield is run better than the one I experienced in Ohio.

                    2. My family and I ate at Bagger Dave's this weekend and I have to say that I thought it was great. I got the "Tuscan" ( turkey, motz, tomato, basil, and balsalmic) My husband got the "Train Wreck". I know his burger had 2 beef patties and a sleu of toppings including a fried egg and fries in the burger. My husband throughly enjoyed it! We also shared a "Mix and Match" order of fries. One bag of Idaho and one bag of Sweet potato. The fries came with ranch and honey-mustard dipping sauces. Now, I usually only put malt vinegar on my fries (which is available there) but these dipping sauces were awesome! When I asked the waitress about them (why they were so good) and she said they make all their dressings/dipping sauces from scratch in-house. The twins shared a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich. It's now their new favorite. (I'm having a hard time replicating it so we will have to go back!) The atmosphere is very relaxed. One of the best things is that it is smoke-free, it has quite a few large flat screen/plasmas positioned around the restaurant. There is a great train that keeps going around and around that kept the boys entertained. Thankfully there is no sound comming out of it! It would have been too much to handle if there was. The wait staff was truly friendly. I work in customer servive so it's easy for me to spot people who actually care about what there doing. The waitress actually looked at us while she was taking our order. How refreshing! I noticed in other posts the comments rearding the actually size of the burgers, IMO there were just right. Not too big so you don't get that overstuffed feeling and not too small. Bagger Dave's was a terrific experience . My family and I will be back.

                      1. PEANUT ALERT! For those families, like mine, who deal with food allergies, this will not be a good "family restaurant" choice. They make their fries in peanut oil. We were looking forward to this opening, but, it turns out we will never eat there. Too bad. This is a good niche to fill in this area; unfortunately Bagger Daves won't do it for a number of families who have life-threatening allergies to deal with.

                        1. My wife and I waited 15 minutes to get a table this past sunday. there were two empty tables that other customers had vacated but I was told they were too busy to bus(?). Hostess was unwilling to do it herself. One person took our order for (2) glasses of only OK wine (probably about 4 oz in a half filled glass at $6.25 each) then a second person took our food order and another round of drinks. As others have said previously, fries were cold even though I ordered mine extra crispy. they almost looked burnt, they were still cold and they were soggy too. (maybe it's the peanut oil). Burgers were nothing special; prices were stiff. Each "regular" burger consisted of (2) 3oz patties. 3 oz is what I was told but this didn't appear in writing anywhere. But the best part about the whole place: NO SMOKING. For this reason alone, I will give it another try in a few months. The other good thing is that the first water didn't give the tab for the wine to the second one. I would have normally informed them but given the prices, wait time and attitude of the hostess, I didn't bother. More than anything, they need to get their act together and hustle when it gets busy. Even after we were seater, people were standing in the lobby for at least 10 minutes waiting for a booth to be bussed. My favorite burger joints: Wheat and Rye (romulus), Red coat tavern (royal oak), Hamlin pub (rochester) Saylor's Bar and Grill (pontiac) or Checker bar and grill (downtown). Some are more expensive than bagger daves and some are less expensive but all are better than Bagger Daves even if you smell like an ashtray by the time you're done.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: chasman

                            Hey chasman...Fatburger will be here soon!!!

                            1. re: chasman

                              Too busy to bus the table? My kid applied for a bussing job there, apparently they should have hired him!

                              What a lame excuse. It sounds like they should have spent more time training staff and doing some practice runs before the grand opening.

                                1. re: coney with everything

                                  Ms. Abraham rarely dis-likes any of her subjects; she is a food writer not a reviewer or critic. IMO.

                                  1. re: buttermonkey

                                    Yeah, you're right about that... The only thing I've gathered from her writing is that she likes to eat food...I've never read a negative word in her column. Now Sylvia Recter in the Free Press however..., she'll tell you her opinion...she just recently issued a very accurate review of Chen Chow in Birmingham. That's a critic for you.

                            2. Went for lunch today, I can't say that anything good to say about my experience, so I will say nothing at all.

                              1. I took my 15 year old son there today. One thing you need to know is that he will eat ANYTHING. He loves hamburgers and so do I.
                                He couldn't eat his burger. Frankly, he was disgusted by it. We had an adorable non-english speaking waiter but he messed up our order and so did the kitchen. He couldn't mess up the little card that he had us check off our topping choices on but he did mess up our fries. I ordered plain sweet potato fries and what I received was sweet potato fries with cinnamon sugar and some sort of weird syrup on them. YUK! Who wants sweet,candy tasting fries with a burger?! My burger also was missing the onions,A1,cheese and lettuce that I marked that I wanted. My son couldn't eat his. He took one bite and then deposited it into his napkin. I had to take a bite as I thought he was exaggerating - but, no, it was GREASY and weird tasting. FUNKY is the word.
                                I must say the staff was very friendly though. It's just mediocre,pablum. blech.

                                1. We ate lunch at Bagger Dave's and found the food to be excellent. My husband had the 3oz burger and I had the turkey burger. The food was fresh and hot and that includes the fries. The fries were so good we got a second order. I must explain that we are both picky and we are very critical of the food around Metro Detroit. On the down side they were out of iced tea and the waitress (after 10 minutes) had to be asked to bring our change (we were not leaving a 30% tip). Otherwise, kudos to Bagger Dave's.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: groovyfood

                                    My daughter & friends had gone to Bagger Dave's and LOVED it! She took me there a few weeks ago. I had a delicious cup of chili and the fries were awesome! My daughter had a turkey burger & said it was great. Our waitress was attentive. And the price is right too.
                                    To Sharlee: Berkley doesn't have many options? Have you driven around Berkley? There are plenty of places to get great food.

                                  2. I heard that they are already going out of business! So sad, not even a year!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: hold the mayo

                                      So...a substandard burger joint run by the "geniuses" that operate Buffalo Wild Wings in the area isn't going to make it. And I'm supposed to feel *sad* about that? Good grief. They're less than 2 miles from the Redcoat Tavern, for heaven's sake!

                                      If they close, I won't be shedding a tear, except for those who'll lose their jobs.

                                      1. re: hold the mayo

                                        Are you sure? We just got coupons for them in the paper yesterday.

                                        1. re: coney with everything

                                          I ate at Bagger Dave's last week, This going out of business stuff is silly. They had a 15 min wait, and our greatet was great and on top of things. Everything was great the food was excellent, I think maybe just a few more items to pick from. But like any new restaurant they have to iron out the wrinkles, and they have done a great job. Will be back.... Not sure where all you other people went, but this place is AWESOME.....

                                          1. re: Downtownman

                                            Well, your voice is, apparently, in the minority. I have a very, very hard time convincing myself to go to Bagger Dave's when Redcoat Tavern is only a couple of miles away, and it's either #1 or #2 when it comes to the best burgers in the Detroit area.

                                            I'm glad you like BDs, but considering the legacy of the owners (yeah...BW3 isn't exactly a chowish destination) and their ego, in cooperation with less-than-stellar reviews here, I stay away.

                                            1. re: boagman

                                              You seem never to say how your visit there was, you only seem to bash on the owners. I may be wrong, but Buffalo Wild Wings have been a strong restaurant in the local area, for years. What do you have against them, did they run your business out of town. But why stray off from what this is really about.. BAGGER DAVE'S. They are new, if you know anything about a new restaurant it takes time, but like I said before, I go there often, and they have made some vast improvements... KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK

                                      2. a 3oz. burger?? You have got to be kidding! That is on par for McDonalds or something! Way too small......4 - 6 oz. is the norm... IMO

                                        1. Finally tried this place a couple of weeks ago, and while it wasn't bad, it wasn't anything to write home about, either. I liked, but didn't love, the burger, however: the Railhouse sauce (or whatever their version of 1000 Island is) was really good, and impressed me. The fries were completely forgettable. Fortunately, they were free with the coupon I had, and that solves that problem.

                                          I guess, for me, it just comes down to the fact that this place is less than 2 miles from Redcoat, and Redcoat's burger isn't just a better burger, it's honestly a better value for the money. That being said, I've got nothing against Bagger Dave's. It's certainly a *lot* better than what the same owners offer at Buffalo Wild Wings, which isn't saying much, but hey: improvement is improvement.

                                          So not bad...just not worth stopping for when one of the best burgers is available so close, and is actually a better value.

                                          1. I LOVE Bagger Daves! Everyone has a special taste when it comes to burgers...some like them seasoned, unseasoned, big and sloppy or small and sliderish...what I love is that at Baggers you can order it ANYWAY you like. Don't complain if you don't like the burger...you order it the way you'd like. My son who is probably the pickiest eater on the planet will devour a hamburger there (and when we lived in CA would not a touch an In and Out Burger) so It wins huge points on the family front. Not to mention that the restaurant is always impeccably clean, the staff friendly and customer oriented, and its wonderfully NON SMOKING. I will never go anywhere else with my family for a burger.