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Abbey Burger Bistro (Federal Hill)

Has anyone been there/heard of it? I definitely plan on checking it out soon

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  1. Grand opening isn't until next week, I believe the 17th is the first official day they will be unveiling the menu and serving food. Rumor has it that they are having a "soft opening" this week, but I think its drinks only. I am planning on going at some point next week and am looking forward to checking out all the different options for making the perfect burger!

    1. Wow - I'm there this week. I wonder how it will stack up next to Spike's place (Good Stuff Eatery) in DC.

      1. Stopped in this weekend for a beer and decided to try the waffle fry nachos with black beans, chili, jalapenos (fresh ones!), creme fraiche and tomatos(not 100% sure). Everything was GREAT! crisp waffle fries, not too heavy on the toppings, great flavors. Looking forward to the new beers that will be added as there are already some good picks available.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BaltoPhilFood

          Ack! Waffle fry nachos?!? Um, I might be in heaven. (Minus the chili. Chili is a disgusting thing to do to innocent nachos.)

        2. MakeMeDinner and I went for lunch today.

          We started with the waffle fry nachos. What a great idea. Just as described by BaltoPhilFood.

          Since burgers are what this place is about, I wanted to try their basic hamburger. There's a menu with several options, including a peanut butter burger (shades of Joe Squared!). There's also a sushi-type ordering menu where you choose a meat, temp, a bun, and toppings. The meat choices include bison, lamb, turkey, and beef, and I think one ro two others. Bread choices include English muffin, pita, and the plain bun. Topping choices are all over the place, and include crab and foie gras for a substantial upcharge.

          I ordered the beef burger with mushrooms, fried onions and mayo on the classic bun. This was a good burger. They source the beef from Roseda Farms, which is good, although i'd still give Springfield Farms beef the flavor edge by a fairly wide margin. It was a large burger, cooked to medium rare exactly. MakeMeDinner got basically the same thing with the addition of bacon and onion rings, the latter as a topping and as a side order. Excellent smoked bacon, good and apparently homemade onion rings.

          We ddin't delve too deeply into the beer selection, but I had an Arrogant Bastard -- not widely available around here. They seem to be concentrating on Belgian beers. The waitress said more were on the way.

          I'd give my burger a solid A, although I'm not sure about some of the toppings they offer -- white truffle oil seems to be there for low-rent cachet rather than as a useful flavor enhancer. You could really delve into the weird and even disgusting if you're not careful.

          But for a basic burger and a nice beer selection (esp for Federal Hill, home of the crappy domestic lager) I'd recommend it. Very nicely done.

          1. Went for lunch today because I was in the area picking up some pies from dangerously delicious. I took my dad as he's never really seen federal hill. Overall, there were some ups and some downs.

            The waffle nachos really are very good. Very flavorful, very fresh. We both opted for the "make your own burger" system, although the breakfast burger looked potentially delicious. I went for the angus with mushrooms and bleu cheese and lettuce. The cheese was very nice and the mushrooms pleasantly flavorful. Unfortunately we both ordered our burgers medium rare but they came out medium well to well done. They were both juicy, so it wasn't entirely a loss, but I still wasn't happy with it. Also, I wish the bun was more solid - maybe lightly toasting the faces?

            As for the side of chips: I do appreciate that the chips seem housemade, but it seems that they left them out too long before we got them because they were a bit soggy and unfortunately also fairly tasteless. I am, however, looking for to trying their sweet potato fries on my next visit.

            Overall I enjoyed the meal, especially the waffle fry nachos, and would be happy to go back particularly to try out their beer selection. The service was attentive but as we got there right when they opened, it was obvious they were still setting up for the day. The idea seems solid, and I like where they are going with this establishment. Fix the cooking issues and I'd be a happy constant patron, even considering that it's quite a drive.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Wangus

              That's sort of disturbing. If there's one thing I would expect them to get right every time it's the temperature of the meat. esp. on the beef. Did you complain at all?

              When we went it was also just as they opened, but it was a very different experience, at least as far as the burgers were concerned. My chips weren't soggy, but they were tasteless. Not sure what they're doing there.

              1. re: JonParker

                Agree on the chips - something needs to be done.

                We mentioned the temperature at the end of the meal. I think if the mistake caused the burgers to be dry we would have made more of a deal about it. The guy serving us was kindly apologetic about it, and all in all we left pretty satisfied. In a disturbing note: I googled abbey burger to see what some of the baltoblogs thought and there was one which also mentioned a temperature problem - except that this time all the burgers at that table came out rare. So we'll have to keep our eyes on this in the future.

                As for the nachos - the thing I love best about it was the fresh jalapeno taste that sticks to the back of your throat. You'll love them, hon.

              2. re: Wangus

                I think I need the waffle fry nachos!

                1. re: hon

                  You'd love them. They're really good.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    How much for the foie upgrade, Jon? Anyone?

                    1. re: ko1

                      The basic burger is $7. There's a list of free upgrades (condiments, onions, lettuce, etc.), another of $0.75 upgrades (mushrooms, fried onions, the aforementioned truffle oil). The only upgrades with a different charge are crab ($8) and the foie gras ($10).

                      I'm a huge fan of the foie gras slider at Salt, so if this is anywhere near that I'm all for it. Crab on a burger is beyond my ability to comprehend though.

                      1. re: ko1

                        Here's a picture of their do-it-yourself option 'menu' with all the prices. Hopefully linking this is allowed. http://www.600block.com/photos/0000/2...

                        (Terms and conditions: Wangus is in no way affiliated with aforementioned posted website and its owners and/or corporate sponsorship. We here at Wangus Inc. do not necessarily support nor disagree with the opinions proffered by the site and its affiliates. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other deals or promotions. Standard tax may apply for residents of specific states.)

                        1. re: Wangus

                          Wangus--got the impression that you are an attorney. Ha! Ha!

                          P.S. Am certain that no one will "out" you for providing a website regarding a restaurant and their menu.

                          HAPPY THANKSGIVING! FoiGras

                      2. re: JonParker

                        spicy and fried, whats not to like!

                        1. re: hon

                          Does anyone know when they'll have an actual website functional, as opposed to an image of their "build-your-own" menu?

                  2. Just wanted to report that we didn't have a great experience at this place. Seems a lot like other Federal Hill pub establishments. The burgers were okay, but greasy. The fries weren't great, and the onion rings were really gross, totally soggy and covered in grease. We won't be back anytime soon. I guess the search continues for a good burger place--all suggestions are welcome!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: haldi

                      Any word on Elevation Burger in Harbor East? Sign on the frosted door still says "coming this November", but it doesn't look very close to being ready.

                      1. re: haldi

                        Jennings on Frederick and McCabe's on Falls are pretty good. Jennings has cucumber-onion salad as an ideal topping.

                      2. The abbey burger bistro is a welcome change to the typical bars in federal hill, it's actually something different. The idea is excellent, but the execution of the beer side of the business is poor. My first time to the bistro was a week or two after it's first opening. The food side of the business is good, some of the best quality and unique burgers around, but we are going to focus on the beer here. Looking at the tap menu there were about 12 beers on tap and 20-30 bottles. A few good seasonals on tap, some solid year round beers, Belgians, and some unique bottles. The first thing I noticed was the multiple misspellings on the menu. Such as St.Bernardus was St.BArnardus which then the waiter referred to as St. BArnarBus. So you have misspelling leading to mispronunciation on top of the misspelling. It’s a new place and the wait staff needs beer specific training, I can understand this so no big deal in my mind. But I was actually corrected four times on the pronunciation of St. Bernardus by the waiter. Yes, four times in one conversation (20 seconds), needless to say the waiter was mispronouncing on top of the misspelling. Okay that put a bad taste in my mouth. On the menu St. Bernardus was listed with out stating which St. Bernardus it was. So I asked “do you know which St. Bernardus is on tap” the response from the waiter was “the usual one”. Well since there are 10-12 St. Bernardus beers I knew the waiter had no idea what he was talking about, nor was willing to find out for me. I gave up and just said “oh okay I’ll go with that”. It turned out to be St. Bernardus Abt 12. Thumbs up for being on tap though. The exact same thing happened to my girlfriend when she tried to order a kriekbier. The misspelling on the menu was “krakenbriar”. When she ordered a “kriek-bier” she was quickly corrected with “kracken – briar”. Well they were out of the kriekbier which leads me to another gripe. Only half of the draft menu is ever available. There are 2 draft systems about 6 taps down stairs, 6 taps up stairs. I have been back to the bistro a couple weeks after my first experience (praying to see improvements) and every time my girlfriend and I have ever tried to order a beer that is on the upstairs taps It has been out. This leads me to believe that the upstairs draft system is not functional and therefor those beers should not be on the menu. Also on this second trip the kriekbier was still misspelled and still unavailable. My girlfriend finally got fed up when she was corrected AGAIN on the pronunciation and she informed the bartenders of the miss spelling and mispronunciation. Three bartenders looked at her with a confused look and said “oh okay” and seemed to care less. Again, the staff needs some serious beer education especially when your business focuses on two things, burgers and beer, and the beer side is poor.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: danadeny

                          I've been to the restaurant several times, and I agree with sevaral of the comments made. The quality of the meat is excellent, in comparison with other burger joints in the city. i'm also impressed with most of the ingredients. My burger was cooked a perfect MR. The potato chips were salted nicely, a littlle soggy for most palates. I think that waffle fry nachos on any menu is a copout for something that could be better chosen. This place is sort of trying to be epicurean( i.e. beef from organic farms, truffle oil, fois gras, fresh chicken egg), but if you are grouping frozen potatoes with high end product on the same menu who will take you seriously? There is no way they are making the waffle fries from scratch.

                          But the fact that one of the waitstaff corrected several of you on several occasions in several instances is deplorable. No one has the right to make a guest feel stupid. Especially when the beer menu was not proofread. If you are going to be serious about a certain product, or an expert, per se, exemplify that you know what you're talking about.