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Burger Tap Restaurant Review, Atlanta

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I hope you burger fans can never get enough of a good thing.

Burger Tap, yet another contender for your burger dollars, recently landed in Morningside. Given how well- planned the restaurant seems to be, it should come as no surprise that the team behind it has done this before, and plans to do it again . The masterminds behind the concept include some of the founders of yogurt franchise Yoforia.

Review by Jon Watson

Review by Jon Watson

However saturated the gourmet burger market may be and however unoriginal the concept has become, there is always a little more room as long as the food holds up.

To that end, the Burger Tap crew teamed with Los Angeles’ Sean Park as executive chef to create an Asian-inspired menu for their take on the gourmet burger and beer concept. Park has worked in sushi in L.A. for the past six years, most recently at WP24 at the Ritz-Carlton.

Burger Tap has a brightly lit, modern, industrial feel, with a blend of stainless-steel beams, stained wood and colorful design prints of words like “desire” and “gourmet.” The setup is fast casual; diners order at the counter and perhaps get a pint of one of the 25 beers on tap, take a number and seat themselves.

Park’s menu keeps things à la carte free, so don’t expect a laundry list of toppings for custom burger builds. Each burger is a deliberately designed flavor profile. He smartly keeps the menu parsed down, focusing on a handful of burgers and sides, and avoids the brain-scrambling overload that plagues other fast-casual competitors in town.

The breakfast burger (photo by Becky Stein)

The breakfast burger (photo by Becky Stein)

Brace yourselves, because this next part seems to throw folks for a loop: The burgers are rectangular.

Despite what your eyes may initially tell you, the oddly shaped burgers — about the length of two square sliders — aren’t as bite-size as you think. Each starts with a grind of brisket, chuck and short rib and comes in a quarter-pound single or half-pound double for $2 more. Purists will enjoy the freedom to have their meat cooked to order, a welcome change from the many overcooked-by-default patties in town.

A double truffle burger

A double truffle burger

For those eager to dive head first into the gourmet, start with the truffle burger ($5.80, single). Park covers a mass of melted Gruyère cheese, fried onions and garlic mayo with a white truffle glaze that gives more of a hint of the unmistakable pungent fungus than a wallop. Aside from keeping the price in this stratosphere, this restraint doesn’t overpower the beef. It is more of an ensemble role than a starring one, and it works well.

Given my policy that egg makes anything better, it comes as no surprise that I make quick work of the breakfast burger ($5.80, single). The addition of crispy hash browns to the bacon, egg and cheeseburger makes this a hearty heart-stopper, even with only a single patty. Or, you can always go the traditional route with the classic, topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and familiar BT sauce.

However, the sweet barbecue sauce dripping from my spicy southwestern ($3.80, single) dominates even the fried jalapeño slices and jack cheese. There is no hope of tasting the beef when the sauce is so strong that you miss the heat from the peppers.

Aside from their shape, the buns add to the burger experience . Part Hawaiian sweet roll, part Krystal bun, the soft and sweet breading gets a slather of butter and a crisping on the grill before serving.

At first, I was unsure of my side of panko-crusted Asian sweet potato fries ($2.80). But I discovered that, unlike the traditional orange-fleshed variety, these have a firmer texture and a slightly nutty flavor that makes finishing a basket easier than the sweeter versions more commonly seen. My side of fried zucchini ($2.80), cut french-fry style and breaded with panko, was also a welcome change from the norm.

Frankly, any of the sides at Burger Tap are a solid choice, except the fries ($2). The too-thinly sliced fried potatoes fall flat, and become unwieldy when you must fit 15 in your hand just to get a mouthful. Instead, try a side of the lightly salted and crispy fresh cut chips ($2).

Ultimately, Burger Tap doesn’t reinvent the genre, and may not be worth a special trip across town, but folks in the area should definitely give it a shot.

Burger Tap
1409 N. Highland Ave., Suite D, Atlanta, 404-249-7191
2stars5Food: Asian-inspired burgers and sides, and an impressive beer selection
Service: friendly
Best dishes: truffle burger, Asian sweet potato fries
Vegetarian selections: one burger and the side dishes
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover
Hours: 11:30 a.m-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays
Children: family-friendly
Parking: limited street parking, plus parking in a few adjacent lots
Reservations: no
Wheelchair access: yes
Smoking: no
Noise level: moderate to loud
Patio: yes
Takeout: yes
ratings_key_febUSE

14 comments Add your comment

Peavine Creek

March 8th, 2012
7:09 am

Brain-scrambling? Rather than simply list the toppings I wanted, I was required to pick one of the “deliberately designed flavor profiles” and add or subtract toppings. Wouldn’t it be easier to train the staff than the customers?

Paul

March 8th, 2012
9:46 am

My Review: First – I liked the burger – tasty and cooked right.

But that was it – very soggy fries – come-on, everyone knows you need to cook them twice for crisp fries. And the decor??? – this is the coldest place I have ever seen – we almost turned around and walked out. This is someone’s idea of modern and trendy – they failed. At least it wasn’t crowded – in fact only two other people there. They have wasted so much space and made it so unappealing it is sad.

Price – average to high – too much for what you get. I’ll walk another half a mile and go to George’s – much better burger, much better price, much better atmosphere.

I will not be back.

noelle

March 8th, 2012
10:14 am

i was not impressed at all.
Go next door to Rosebud!

Frank

March 8th, 2012
10:47 am

More unoriginal crap like Farm Burger, ____ Burger, and all of the ones with one-word names. STOP FOCUSING ON THE DECOR AND YOUR WEBSITE AND WORK ON THE FOOD!!!

FoodFan

March 8th, 2012
12:07 pm

Gotta agree with Paul – George’s Bar is the best. Going to be hard for me to be right there for a burger & not just go to George’s for the BBQ Bacon & Cheddar burger.

Brian

March 8th, 2012
6:41 pm

Disagree that it’s expensive – actually it’s rather cheap by comparison. $5 for a burger isn’t too bad. But overall it’s nothing to write home about. And the decor is rather cold…

Crumpy

March 9th, 2012
3:02 pm

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo……

[...] Burger Tap Restaurant Review My side of fried zucchini ($ 2.80), cut french-fry style and breaded with panko, was also a welcome change from the norm. Frankly, any of the sides at Burger Tap are a solid choice, except the fries ($ 2). The too-thinly sliced fried potatoes fall flat, … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Tim

March 9th, 2012
7:40 pm

George’s is cheaper?! Last time I went there, a whole meal for three was $30.00 while at Burger Tap, a meal three was only $15.00. Also if your so dang picky on your toppings then make your own burger.

Baltisraul

March 11th, 2012
12:53 pm

Don’t think I will try this place.

Jim R

March 12th, 2012
6:46 am

Why was Gene Lee’s farewell post deleted?

AzCat

March 12th, 2012
5:53 pm

^^ What Jim R said. My recollection of the post was it was positive/noncontroversial and what few comments there were simply wished Gene well. Did notice he’s not on the ‘masthead’ any more.

Bollywood Bistro

March 13th, 2012
4:40 am

Every Restaurent, I think no matter what the menues they serve.

Jim R

March 14th, 2012
1:41 pm

AzCat….Guess we’ll never know…..Sure seems like a lot of people are curious.