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Blanc Burgers + Bottles- KC

Ending our adventures in cheeseburger payoffs, we went to Blanc on Friday night. We went to Chefburger the week before, so comparisons are inevitable. The restaurant itself manages to be cozy and modern all in one, so I enjoyed that a lot. It's a little more upscale than Chefburger, both in prices and atmosphere. They have an enormous beer list- front and back of an 8 1/2x11 paper in a small font! They also have a lot of fancy pops in bottles. I had Izze Blackberry and my husband had James Mango. The mango was amazing! It tasted like a freshly made mango spritzer! James is local to Kansas City, KS which we were surprised about, because we'd never even heard of it. I'm interested to try their other flavors as well. I had the classic burger with aged white cheddar and homemade ketchup and the sweet potato fries. My husband had the bison burger and sweet potato fries. We split the kalamari fries. The kalamari fries were served with a garlic lime aioli-esqe sauce, which was excellent- these were very tender and flavorful. The fries were served with a chipotle aioli, mustard, and homemade ketchup. Again, like Chefburger, too spicy on the mustard! What is up with that?! It completely overwhelms the sweetness of the sweet potato! Both the chipotle aioli and homemade ketchup were great though. We both enjoyed the burgers and the toppings, but something bothered me about the burgers while we were there, and it's kind of been nagging at me ever since we left. I just felt like they were too tightly packed and it made for too dense of a burger, in my opinion. The more I've thought about it, the more it bothers me. I just love a juicy, tender burger, and I really thought this inhibited that quality. Pre-formed patties really freak me out, and this was slightly reminiscent of that, even though I know they don't buy pre-formed patties. I hope this is something they work on a little bit, since they have only been open for three weeks. Okay, now on to the thing they really need to work on... the price of the sweet potato fries!! They were $8!! For one order!! All in all, with the kalamari fries, we spent $24 on fries!!! I mean, they were great sweet potato fries, but not that great! I was really shocked by this, considering the prices at The Drop are very reasonable. I'm sure that's something they are going to have to adjust, because the burgers ran from $8 to $12 on the burgers, so there's no way people are going pay the same price for fries that they do for burgers. Despite that, we still really enjoyed the overall experience and will definitely go back. I'm wanting to try the Mahi Mahi sandwich next. We'll just share our fries next time! ;-)

Edit: Sorry for my incorrect reporting. My husband double-checked the receipt, and he had looked at it wrong the first time. The sweet potato fries are indeed $4, and not the $8 like I originally reported! And they were fabulous!

[Edited to add: Sorry for my incorrect reporting. My husband double-checked the receipt, and he had looked at it wrong the first time. The sweet potato fries are indeed $4, and not the $8 like I originally reported! And they were fabulous! ]

Blanc Burgers + Bottles
419 Westport Rd.

409 E 31st St, Kansas City, MO 64108

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  1. Thanks for the review! $8 is steep for sweet potato fries....sheesh.
    James Mango might be the same company as James Lemonade - former barber turned drink man. http://www.pitch.com/bestof/award.php...

    1 Reply
    1. re: stellamystar

      I think that is the same... I can't wait to try the other flavors, because I was really impressed with the mango.

    2. I find this review quite strange - the fries are $4 on the menu. Perhaps if you got 2 orders they would be $8.

      10 Replies
      1. re: chaiguy

        I don't see why you would call the review itself strange? Perhaps we got charged for 4 orders of fries (I didn't look at the price on the menu). I'll have to check the receipt, if we still have it.

        1. re: Katie Nell

          I went there last Wednesday and found that this place is 100 times better than Chefburger. Chefburger who doesn't grind their own meat and have prepackaged fries!! The sweet potato fries I got at Blanc were $4 dollars. Maybe there was an error on the bill. Everything at Blanc was superb. We had 4 people in our group, and everyone just loved it. I got the pork burger with slaw, my husband and friend got the blue cheese burger, another got the Mahi Mahi burger. We had 4 side orders and quite a few alcoholic drinks and our tab ran exactly $107.46. I have the receipt right in front of me. I call that a bargain. We had appetizers, burgers, sides and beers. I think that there prices are very reasonable. I don't see them charging $3.50 for crappy PBR CANS! I plan on going there again this week. I can't wait!!

          1. re: chinkymonkey

            We were there during the lunch hours. The lunch special is 8 bucks for a burger (there is a list of at least 5 burgers to choose from) with a side (again, at leat 5 sides to choose from). The fries didn't come in the miniature shopping cart, but were on the plate with the burger. That was fine. We thought it was terrific. It's quite a different place than Chefburger, we don't even want to compare the two. We like them both, for different reasons I suppose.

            1. re: chinkymonkey

              The PRB trend is beyond me and is just awful. I know it's "hip" - I saw it on the Sarah's Eat Drink Art menu, too.

              1. re: stellamystar

                I just went to a party this weekend where they served PBR. The 20 year old in me enjoyed reminiscing about college...the 30+ part of me had a brutal "beer" headache the next day. Now I appreciate the fact that I can "splurge" on Miller Lite or, if I'm feeling crazy, Boulevard.

                Can't wait to try Blanc and Chefburger. I hear Chefburger has awesome milkshakes, does Blanc have dessert?

                1. re: amy_rc

                  They have milkshakes, etc. with Foo's frozen custard. I was too full though!

              2. re: chinkymonkey

                Now that you mention it, what was the pork burger like? I was wondering if it was carnitas-like meat or if was ground pork, or what? I would love it if it were carnitas!

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  We had the pulled pork burger. It was similar to the pulled pork at Oklahoma Joe's, formed into a burger shape, then pan seared. The out side was crispy and the inside juicy porky goodness. It was great!

                  1. re: zataar

                    Oh, man, that's what I always get at OK Joe's! I love it! I'm getting that next time at Blanc then!

                2. re: chinkymonkey

                  Chef Burger has plenty of other beers available- including the local brew- all at $4.99. The beer prices are so similar to every other bar in the P&L Dist that i'd bet the alcohol prices are dictated in his lease. if you don't want a can of PBR don't order a can of PBR- (and the PBR is $2.99, not $3.50). Its not my thing either though it tastes pretty good after I mow my lawn.

            2. Whew! I had my husband look at the receipt last night, and the fries were $4- he had just looked at the receipt wrong! He's in trouble!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Katie Nell

                I just got back from Blanc about an hour ago. I went for lunch and had their classic burger and the Blvd Pale Ale onion rings. And now I must admit I enjoyed it more than ChefBurger. I had my burger cooked medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. Even for 6oz ( I opted for the lunch Quick Fix which is a smaller portion) it was quite filling. The onion rings were light and not over burdened with breading and the onion was not tough to bite into. I really enjoyed the home made ketchup and only wished they provided more.

                It got really loud in there but that was because I was there during the lunch rush ( luckily I got there right before the rush and got my order in a pretty quick turn around).

                I want to go back and try the American Kobe beef burger I just wasn't prepared to spend $12 for hamburger today Kobe or not.

                1. re: Jakevol2

                  I went last night, and wasn't really impressed. I had had the Inside Out burger with blue cheese and bacon. It was okay, but nothing extraordinary. It didn’t seem fresh at all, the meat was pink in some areas and throughly cooked in others. I felt like I could have done better at home.
                  The sweet potato fries were okay, but the regular fries were hard and overcooked, I found the shopping carts they’re served in to be cheesy. The idea of all of the bottles is cool, but for just a regular soda like diet coke, I think they should have a fountain and refills should be given.

                  While the space and the menu look great, they are just failing in execution. And although it wasn’t that busy, the wait staff didn’t seem to keep up. I definitely prefer ChefBurger.

                2. re: Katie Nell

                  We visited Blanc Burgers last night. We both had the blue cheese burgers and we split a order of sweet potato fries and a order of pale ale onions rings. The burgers was cooked perfect, and both sides was hot, crisp and very fresh tasting. After getting slow service, luke warm burgers and very greasy fries. not once but twice at Chefburgers. Blanc Burgers knocks Chefburger out of the water. We can wait to visit again.

                  1. re: Irishbeer4me

                    I went to Blanc Burgers again tonight. There goes my diet!! I love their burgers. I wasn't feeling too adventurous and got the regular ol' classic burger. I scarfed it down by the time my husband ate half of his turkey burger. I really like this place. Based on price point, quality of product and concept, Blanc Burgers blows Chefburger out of the water. This is harsh, but Chefburgers is an over glorified, overpriced, BK have it your way.

                3. we've been talking about the Gourmet Burger trend in the office for a few days now- there's obviously plenty of people willing to do it now, but do you think this trend can last or will it just be subverted by the next thing (fancy tacos?)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: goroe

                    Ooohhh, I would like a fancy taco trend...who has the best fancy tacos?

                    BTW, in America we'll always love our burgers (no matter how much we have to pay for them). We're red meat eaters.

                    1. re: amy_rc

                      There's a good write-up in today's paper about Blanc Burgers + Bottles. A a not-so-good review of Vinino in the P&L district.

                      1. re: jdl98

                        We tried the new Blanc last week. Burgers and sweet potato fries great, some of the best ever. Chocolate malt disappointing. Not like you would get at Foos Fabulous Custard as inferred. We brought half of our burgers home for dinner the next evening. We would go back, especially when we could eat outside. The inside was quite noisy.

                        1. re: senior36

                          I also found the noise excessive.

                          My fries were cold. I think suspending them in the "shopping cart" lets them cool quickly and they may have sat int he kitchen for a while before they came out.

                  2. I had some friends visiting from Omaha so I used it as an opportunity to try out Blanc Burgers + Bottles last night. Overall it was a pretty good meal. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The all white is a nice touch, it's definitely a nice space. While we waited I had an IPA from Arcadia that was phenomenal. We ordered the sweet potato and regular fries as apps and both were pretty tasty. I loved the mustard dip! So tasty.

                    I ordered the Inside Out burger with bleu cheese in the middle and was a bit disappointed. It was over cooked and I could barely detect any hint of bleu cheese. The onion ring on top was the highlight. I had wanted to try the onion rings as a side, but they said they were out. I definitely want to try them soon! My friends had the pork burger, which was very tasty, and the Classic, also good. Overall it was a pretty good experience. I thought the staff was good. I'll definitely go back, but I think I'll stay away from the Inside Out Burger, too dry and bland.

                    1. I just tried Blanc for the first time and thought it was amazing...the atmosphere was great, the food and drinks even better, overall a homerun. Someone told me they have some really talented chefs there, like real chefs, not just linecooks. We will return there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Dr.Becky

                        Oh, I forgot to mention my favorite item at Blanc...the homemade pickles. OUTTA THIS WORLD! Even better than my grandma's (but I won't tell her that).

                      2. Have these people set up a website for Blanc Burgers + Bottles, yet? They have one up for their other (older) establishment, The Drop.

                        1. Blanc apparently has a website up and running - burgerandbottle.com I think. Came across it the other day.

                          1. Chefburger.. or Blanc? I suppose that is the great Kansas City debate these days.

                            Well, Rob Dalzell wins.

                            At least his concept is his own and not ripped from the streets of Scottsdale.


                            See for yourself.

                            Hidden Tim

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Hidden Tim

                              Come on, Tim. Everyone in this business knows, the first rule of restaurant ownership is there are no original ideas. It's about taking a good idea and making it your own, putting your own spin on things or bringing it to a city before someone else does. It's an exercise of timing and approximation. You, of all people, should know that.

                              The guys that own The Drop and Blanc Burgers + Bottles have not hidden the fact that they come from a bartender background and have deep culinary roots in Scottsdale. They open sexy concepts with good food and great bars. They also much admire a wicked smart restaurant group out there called Fox Restaurant Concepts http://www.foxrc.com/. This group is at the forefront of opening and running multiple concepts under the same company umbrella. They are sharp savvy folks, always ahead of the curve and certainly ones to watch and emulate. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, at the end of the day.

                              As far as Chef Rob Dalzell's concept being his own, not true either. The way he makes and serves his burgers came from a combination of his time working for Taylor's Automatic Refresher in Napa Valley while in culinary school http://www.taylorsrefresher.com/ and The Counter, a build your own burger chain that started in California - http://www.thecounterburger.com/photos/

                              So, I think there is really no reason to have to choose one over the other. Both "give" great burger. Both are owned by young, talented and smart people who know a good thing when they see it and had the cash and the stones to bring it to KC at exactly the right time. It is a gamble that is paying off for both of them, handsomely.

                              Now, I'm hungry. Who is up for a burger?

                              Blanc - http://www.burgerandbottle.com/
                              chefBurger - http://www.chefburgerkc.com/

                              1. re: jvergara

                                I like both places for different reasons, but after watching an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives this weekend, I think a lot of Rob Dalzell's concept comes from Taylor's Refresher. The sweet potato fries looked exactly the same as Rob's, and the bacon bleu cheese burger looked very, very similar.

                              2. re: Hidden Tim

                                Um, Delux Burger or no, I don't think the trend of contemporary gourmet burger places was born in Scottsdale.

                                And Blanc's burger is way better than Chefburger's.

                                1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                  Wow, what a rally! Hidden Tim is truly blessed to live in a town of such profound restaurant loyalty. While it is true that Kansas City is home to many wonderful original ideas AND quality re-workings of prior concepts, let's be honest with ourselves. Blanc is a blatant and profound plagerism of Delux Burger. More specifically, I never claimed that Delux was the birthplace of the contemporary gourmet burger trend, nor did I claim that Blanc's burgers were not artery-cloggingly delicious. I stated merely that Blanc failed miserably at slapping on an original paintjob. However, I will let the following pictures do the talking for me.

                                  Hidden Tim

                                  P.S. Unfortunately the interior shots of Delux are limited online, but guess what? All white!

                                  1. re: Hidden Tim

                                    I have to agree with KatieNell, I like them both for what they are. And so what if they're not "completely original" - you're cape and mask are rip-offs too. Its the food that is supposed to matter and they both make a fine burger.

                              3. Has anyone else tried the truffle fries at Blanc? They are amazing! I'm not sure if they are relatively new to the menu--I don't remember them being on the menu late last spring, but they hands down my fav fries in KC. They take their original fries and coat them with truffle butter. I'm not sure if it's just the fact that the fries are coated in butter, or the addition of the truffles, but they are excellent. Can't wait to go back.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: pollymerase

                                  I haven't- I just love sweet potato fries in any form, so it's hard to sway me! Noticed they're opening a location at Mission Farms... looks like it's a ways from opening, but there's a temporary sign up right now.