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Mar 25, 2011 09:00 AM

Bull City Burger & Brewery in Durham, now open!

Got to stop in last night for its soft opening and it was a very good meal. Still working out the kinks but their public opening is RIGHT now! Some highlights below

* Communal tables made of lovely, reclaimed wood
* Full bar and self-serve wine bar
* Play area for kids
* Candied and baconed bull nuts as starter, yum!
* High quality locally sourced meat for burger, plenty of heft and bite
* Casual, eclectic environment, great for pre-show or pre-game meal
* Still getting the on-site brewery going but should be good stuff

Overall a nice stop for a quick bite in the $10+ range. I'm sure they will evolve quickly over the next several months, the owner Seth is a very creative and committed fellow. It's going to be good, people...

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  1. Whoops, forgot pictures of the burgers and weblink! Bad boy...

    2 Replies
    1. re: RonboNC

      Looks like one of those burgers is the Joan Jett (non-meat bean burger). How was it? The tastiness of that burger is going to go a long way towards determining how much my no-beef, semi-veg wife will want to go there.

      1. re: ToothTooth

        Hey ToothTooth, I didn't eat the veggie burger so unfortunately, don't have any firsthand knowledge. But my friend devoured it and I do know they make most everything in-house at Bull City BB so I'd expect it to be at least good!

        Let us know if you try em out!

    2. We walked by there on Thursday - must have been some event going on because it was packed. The owner is a former co-owner of Wine Authorities. I am looking forward to trying it.

      Wine Authorities
      2501 University Dr, Durham, NC 27707

      1. Anyone tried the beer?

        Like ToothTooth's wife, I'd love a report on the Joan Jett burger. It would have to be darned good to beat the veg. sliders at the Federal.

        6 Replies
        1. re: LulusMom

          they have four 'guest' beers on tap for the next few weeks: triangle golden, fullsteam ipa, foothills porter, and lonerider shotgun bettty.

          1. re: cervisiam

            Ah .. I got the feeling from the website that they were only doing their own beer, so of course the unknown quality is important.

            1. re: LulusMom

              According to this Indy blog post, they ran into some red tape that is delaying their house brewed beer from being available for a little while. Thus, the "guest" beers until things get sorted out and the homebrew becomes available in early April.


          2. re: LulusMom

            Didn't try the beer, but I had a Joan Jett yesterday. It was unlike any other vegie burger I've ever had. Whole black and garbonzo beans, yet it hung together quite well. It was very tasty and quite substantial; the only criticism I can muster is that it was a little dry, despite mustard, ketchup, pickles and aioli.

            It is not entirely vegie, let alone vegan. According to Seth, there is a tiny bit of egg in the burger to hold it together, and the bun contains some cottage cheese. I can't eat dairy, so I passed on the bun, but my spouse and daughter said it was delicious.

            For sides, we had some dirty fries and fried pickles. Two out of three loved the fries; I was not entirely sold. The pickles were just amazing--fried or unfried on the Joan Jetts. Those are among the best pickles I've ever eaten.

            It took a while for our food to arrive, but we hit the mid-day peak at 12:15. People who came in later were served much more promptly. Service was otherwise excellent, and the help were very friendly and enthusiastic.

            Finally, I must mention the serving system. You order at the counter (or the bar) and receive a number on a metal stand. Not just any number, however. They're all years, and the back contains a commentary on some important local event that happened in that year. Ours was 1865, the year of surrender at Bennett Place. My spouse is a historian, with a specialty in the 19th century American South. Needless to say, we'll be back.

            1. re: dschoonmaker

              Thanks for the update, dschoonmaker. I'm guessing you can't eat the bull nuts either which is unfortunate because they are tasty! Pretty sure they must pan-fry them in bacon grease... :-)

              One other complaint I've heard is noise due to the open space and concrete floors but I'm pretty sure they are working on that issue too. I'm sure the place was slammed this week so it was brave of you to try it out!

            2. re: LulusMom

              I was there yesterday for the launch of their premises-brewed stuff. Happy to say that both the Pale and Golden were good. An added treat was seeing Mayor Bell chug the debut pint.

            3. Not living up to expectations or price point. Sure it’s locally sourced grass fed, I support that, but that is not an excuse for eliminating flavor. When I go out to restaurants and pay for ambiance and execution I expect something equal or better than I can do at home.

              Patty: not juicy, overcooked

              Bun: average

              $3 duck fat fries: the biggest of the disappointments, small serving and since they are cut so thin there’s really no taste just a crunch texture. maybe I’m just not a fan of shoestring fries.

              Service: sat at bar, slow moving bartender. Bartenders should be fast and efficient in an effort to sell more drinks and not let customers wait. Also my clothes came out smelling really smoky upon leaving. Ventilation could be better.

              4 Replies
              1. re: aenverga

                Dined at BCBB last night. In my opinion, they are really started hitting their stride. The bowl of pickled stuff appetizer was delicious.My burger was juicy and pink. My daughter had the hot dog of the day which was essentially a cheese dog encased in a pretzel roll (she loved it).The dirty fries were a generous portion. And they have 6 of their own beers to offer, all good. For any who were underwhelmed on early visits I recommend trying them again.

                1. re: PeterB

                  I agree. The fry portions are large. I didn't love the fried pickles, but everything else I've had has been fantastic.

                2. re: aenverga

                  Ate lunch there in late June and was very disappointed - burger had little flavor, as did the duck fries! Had a better burger at Geer St Garden 2 days later.

                  1. re: seeker630

                    I had the same experience, but at BCB&B I had a veggie burger version of the one with jalapenos. The burger itself was bland and mushy, and as someone stated above, the roll was too dry. The regular fries were good, though. The next Saturday, I had a regular burger at Geer St. and it was better (and not because it was meat, ha.) But the next time I'm at that corner, I'll likely just go to King's Sandwich Shop for my burger fix, truth be told.