by Eric Doksa
Surprise, surprise there's another burger joint in town. Vino Burgerz quietly opened at the corner of 17 and 41 in Mt. Pleasant about a month ago. But why the name Vino? The quaint little restaurant is attached to favorite local wine and beer shop Wine-A-While.
After hearing about how great the burgers are on multiple occasions, I decided to stop into Vino Burgerz for lunch to see what they have to offer.
The decor is warm and inviting with a handful of high and low-top tables with a direct view of the kitchen. A giant chalkboard displays the entire menu, including specialty beers on tap.
Right away I ordered the roasted pork belly and spinach artichoke dip. Adding pork fat to anything is a win in my book.
As I munched on the sinful dip I browsed the burger selection. According to the menu, all the burgers are ground in-house daily with a special blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib, cooked to order with your choice of fresh-cut russet or sweet potato fries, or a side salad. Besides the beef, there are four other patty options including: lamb, turkey, salmon, and a portabella cap.
If you can't find a burger you like out of the 15-plus options, you can build your own, but VB creations are very intriguing. The Spanish Harlem is a beef patty with garlic-roasted pulled pork, sofrito, and queso fresco. There's even a burger that's topped with bacon, foie gras, and quail eggs.
Each burger is listed with wine and beer pairing suggestions. Cool idea.
I opted for the Sunshine Burger: "VB grind, heirloom tomato salad, apple smoked bacon, crisp red onion, bibb lettuce, a sunny-side-up egg, and cracked black pepper."
The burger was huge and after eating an appetizer I was full and had leftovers take home.
The only downfall of the meal was the bun. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the bun can make or break a burger. While the bread was strong enough to hold all of the toppings, it was a bit too airy and bready. I found myself tasting more of the bun than the fresh ingredients resting on top of the patty itself.
Putting the bun aside, I do think Vino Burgerz has a lot of potential. With a fresh, creative menu and easy access to Wine-A-While this could turn out to be a lunch/dinner destination for hungry shoppers. I'm already looking forward to stopping in again in the near future.