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Tried Burgrz in Rochester Hills, MI...

...and you know what? Not too shabby. Nothing to indicate that it's anything resembling an end-all, be-all burger place, but what they do, I must say (based on this singular visit) that they do it pretty well.

I ordered a hamburger (no cheese, you crazy people!), and wanted to get a real feel for the beef, so I ordered mine with an extra patty, making it a 2/3 pound burger, along with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and grilled onions. The basic hamburger clocks in at $4.49, and has a whole *bunch* of at-no-additional-charge toppings you can throw on at your request. Grilled onions is one of those free toppings, which is kind of a surprise as most places charge for them, but not here. There are some add-ons (they distinguish free items as "toppings" and charged-for extras as "add-ons") like bacon, an egg, cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and others, and they're pretty reasonably priced add-ons, all under a buck, IIRC. Since I'm not a fan of the quickly-cooling waffle fries anywhere, I decided to try their hand-battered onion rings as well.

I'll start with those rings, which, though they were thick, and rather ugly to look at, were actually pretty good, and certainly sharable amongst 3 people for the $4 they are. The price isn't bad, and they actually were pretty good, served with a BBQ/mayo that I liked, too. I'd give these a B-/C+, but I wouldn't order them again as a single diner, since there was just too much for me, and I left a few uneaten, and by the end, they were a bit cold, as all onion rings tend towards, quickly. Still, I wasn't sorry I'd gotten them, but they were pretty off-putting in appearance...I wonder if the fryer they were in just needed cleaning or something? Taste-wise, they're not as good (or light) as Scotty Simpson's or Redcoat, but for the price, they're pretty good.

The burger was extremely messy, but I have to say it: darned tasty. I do wish they'd have grilled my onions for a bit longer, and perhaps that they'd have not cooked my patties quite so hard/well done, but even so, it was pretty darned good. Far, *far* better than, say, Five Guys. I was going through napkins like The Most Environmentally Unfriendly Person In The World, but man: that burger was quite greasy, especially at the beginning. I actually had them bring me out a plate to set the thing on since my paper sheet was literally swimming in a puddle of grease in the center of it.

The beef's taste was still good, even if it was a bit overdone. I like the mix they've got. What was really impressive was the bun: I don't think I've ever seen a more well-put-together hamburger bun in my entire life. For as messy as that sandwich was, the bun was more than up to the task of keeping it together, and I find that impressive. Normally, the bun on a messy hamburger is a source of frustration to me...here, it works to the advantage of the diner, and thus, the establishment. Overall, I'd give the burger a B, which isn't bad at all. I could honestly see going without the extra patty (an additional $1.49) next time, and I think I'd still be satisfied, but I'd still need a side to go with the burger. I also was able to try their Zack sauce, which is sort of their answer to Big Mac sauce, only better: it's not just another 1000 Island sauce. It's actually got more diverse flavor/character, and I added some to several bites of the sandwich. Again: no charge for the sauce.

One really nice thing (to me) was the fact that I walked in basically at 8:59PM and asked "Am I too late?" and they were totally willing to serve me with a smile, as well as a couple of other people who came in after me, and considering that their posted closing time is 9PM, that's quite nice and accomodating. The girl who took my order was very pleasant, and did her best to make me feel at home, asking at least two times whether everything was okay, and if there was anything she could get for me. Service would get a solid A.

So, I'd definitely go back. For you cheese lovers (freaks) out there, they offer four different types of cheese on your burger, including Bleu Cheese. I'm not saying that this place will redefine hamburgers for you, but considering the (what I consider to be) highly unwarranted praise that Five Guys seems to receive, Burgrz just makes them look positively inept, comparatively-speaking.

One slight disappointment: the milkshakes are made with (::sigh::) soft serve from a machine, and then mixed. For $3.49, I didn't even bother, but I'm positively *anal* about my milkshakes being hand-dipped, and thick as the day is long. Straw-collapsingly thick, and this wasn't even going to be worth my time. Why hold them to a standard they can't possibly meet?

Not a bad entry into the quicker-serve better burger genre, lousy spelling/grammar in the name of the place, notwithstanding. It was clean, accomodating, and overall, the food was better than a lot of the new wave of burger joints going up all around the city, and the country. You can certainly do a lot worse than this place.

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  1. Could you tell me where they are located? Might be good for that night before Thanksgiving when I'm already tired of cooking and don't want anything fancy.

    4 Replies
    1. re: grouper

      Walton & Squirrel, same plaza as Busch's and TJs.

      Co workers have tried and liked as well.

          1. re: tokyo

            Yeah, I realized I was wrong too late to edit, sorry about that!

      1. Great I'll be up that way today....might have to check it out. I don't get in that plaza very often so I must have missed it.

        1. Boagman,
          Since you mentioned your preference for hand dipped shakes, have you tried the burgers and shakes at Knapp's Dairy Bar in downtown Rochester? The burgers are sort of an acquired taste but their seasoned fries and malts/shakes are the real deal. I've been frequenting Knapps for about 40 years and really miss the place when I'm out of state for long periods of time.

          -----
          Knapp's Dairy Bar
          304 S Main St, Rochester, MI 48307

          2 Replies
          1. re: Wakeley Bridge

            I have not. I've been in there, but recall that I recoiled at what I considered to be ridiculous pricing for their food and milkshakes. IIRC, it was about $5 for a milkshake, and that was about 3 years ago, minimum. For some reason, I haven't even been back to give them a second shot or to see if my memory serves. I'm out that way at least once a week, so maybe I'll have to go back and see. Thanks for the idea.

            1. re: boagman

              I'll admit, the prices are high at Knapps. The key is that they have discount coupons in the local advertising/newspapers that get you a free second burger. So, if there's more than one diner (which in my case is always true) it makes the cost more manageable. My wife and I also usually split a milkshake.

          2. One patty is more than enough! Burgrz has become a dietary staple for us at work. I sent two of my co-workers there and they ended up eating there for the next 3 days.

            I'm in agreement with Boag on the rings, they were good but get soggy quick. The sauce is the deal maker though. I ended up putting the ring sauce on my burger and event contemplated taking a straw to it but that might have gotten me some weird looks.

            1. Tried this place over the weekend. Really good burger, with a superior bun. I tried a small order of waffle fries, which was big enough to share. And these waffle fries were enormous - size of a whole cross-section of potato. In fact, they need bigger paper cups for the ketchup, because the ones they had weren't big enough to dip the fries in. My only other quibble was no coffee, only cold beverages (I was with someone who drinks coffee every meal without fail).
              But overall, definitely a place I'd go back to.