Published March 17, 2013
By Jerry Tranovich
We think an appropriate beginning in our search for Cleveland's number one burger would be right smack dab in the middle of the city - Downtown Browns' Town! That's why we chose BRGR 9, the newest addition to the growing list of popular downtown warehouse district restaurants. BRGR 9, (the former Sunset Lounge location), opened in 2012 and is quickly earning the reputation of, "the place to go for a downtown burger," rivaling that other burger place just down the road. And with a menu donning 21 different burgers, we were anxious to begin our investigation!
There's curbside city parking, or if you're planning to make it a day, the $7 max parking lot located directly across the street is a thrifty alternative to the lots just a few blocks to the East, near the bustling Tower City Mall and Horseshoe Casino. It's a 6 minute walk to the casino.
BRGR 9's charming, well maintained, early 20th century facade is in sharp contrast to it's contemporary interior decor. The clean, modern tables are spaced adequately enough so you don't feel like you're a part of your neighbor's conversation. And behind the bar there is an extensive beer selection. An exceptional atmosphere to get your burger on!
THE MEAT AND POTATOS
A few of us ordered the Sweet Potato Tots, ($4.50), as an appetizer and loved them. The tender bits of deep-fried sweet potatoes are coated with a spiced cinnamon dust, and served with both Cajun mayo and a roasted orange mayo. I, personally, am not a big fan of sweet potato fries, but these tots are awesome!
It took a few minutes to check out all of the burger choices. Prices range between $7.50 for the Basic burger to $10.50 for the top of the line, Big Texas, topped with house braised Guinness BBQ pulled pork, “nitro” onion ring and crisp lettuce on brioche. But, if you go on Wednesday, all burgers are 1/2 price. In addition to the 1/2 lb. all natural grass fed Ohio beef burgers, they also offer burgers of ground lamb, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground salmon and a vegan burger. There's a $2 charge to add a large order of Heck's regular or Cajun fries.
Our group of 5 ordered their best seller, The Clevelander -- Ohio cheddar, double thick bacon, lettuce, tomato and shaved onion on brioche; The Cali -- Cajun grilled burger topped with black bean and corn salsa, pepper jack cheese and fresh avocado; The Maui -- grilled burger with grilled pineapple, Guinness BBQ sauce, hot pepper cheese and bib lettuce; and two of us had The Sunday Brunch -- grilled burger with American cheese, thick bacon, sunny side up fried egg, Cajun mayo and tomato on a brioche.
We all agreed that the burger basics, the bun and beef, were remarkable. The toasted brioche's golden brown, flakey, almost pastry-like crust, held up very well throughout the meal. The 1/2 lb. natural grass fed beef was deliciously seasoned and cooked to specs on all plates.
The popular Clevelander, had the look of "a bacon cheeseburger on steroids. The toppings were fresh and crisp."
The Cali's combination of black bean and corn salsa and fresh avocado made for "an interesting and delicious taste."
The pineapple and Guinness BBQ sauce blended together well with the hot pepper cheese, giving the Maui burger "a delicious, sweet and spicy flavor."
Adding a fried egg to a burger has been gaining popularity in the past several years. BRGR 9's Sunday Brunch burger, (available 7 days/wk.), is a perfect example of why. The flavor combination of the bacon, egg yoke and juicy beef soaking into the fresh brioche was very satisfying and very memorable.
Speaking of memorable; You may want to check out BRGR 9's award winning desert, the Sweet burger - 2 Chocolate chip cookies, a brownie, vanilla ice cream, strawberry mousse and served with a side of funnel cake fries and raspberry ketchup. Did I say funnel cake fries?! Get out of here! Now, that's a desert! None of us tried it, but, we didn't need to, to know it's good!
Overall, we had a great burger experience at BRGR 9. We tallied up our scores and came up with a 4 star rating.
BRGRguyz Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Mon. - Thu. 11:30 AM - 12:00 AM
Fri. & Sat. 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
If you know who flips a great burger in the Cleveland area, we want to check it out! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend us on Facebook: Cleveland Burger Review Board