Photos & Story By Sarah Blatchly
October’s Burger Club Meeting kicked off at Urban Saloon, a self described “inventive pub grub” bar at 2120 Fairmount Avenue. Located on the main drag in Fairmount’s prime real estate, the pub sits across the street from the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, giving Burger Club goers a good taste of night-before-Halloween fun before heading into Urban Saloon’s welcoming interior. The exposed brick walls and dim lighting created a comfortable, warm ambiance that one Burger Clubber declared made for “the most romantic Burger Club ever”. Urban Saloon’s bar boasts a respectable selection of 12 taps and some bangin’ Happy Hour deals that made the wait for our table a little sweeter.
When seated, the club quickly got down to the most important selection of the evening—deciding whether or not we were brave enough to try the “Urban Beene Burger”. Referred to by most as “that weird peanut butter one”, the Urban Beene challenges the senses by adding peanut butter and bacon to give a sweet and salty kick in the pants to the traditional savory burger. Quite a few brave souls gave the burger a try, and most claimed it was earthier than they had anticipated, and pretty delicious overall. I personally was not brave enough to try the strange combination and kept it traditional with the “Steak House Burger”, which was served with Cheddar, Tomato Jalapeno Relish and Crispy Onions on Texas toast. When the burger was first delivered, I was missing my top piece of Texas toast. The server, to his credit, quickly went to the kitchen to grab me a slice. However, the piece he returned with was almost entirely charred and half the size of the bottom slice. Undeterred, I got to work on my burger. I had ordered it Medium, and Urban saloon did a great job of cooking to everyone’s desired temperatures—never an easy feat with a large table of hungry burger eaters. The beef didn’t really seem to have a flavor, and the toppings definitely left something to be desired. The tomato jalapeno relish gave absolutely no kick to the burger and was almost indistinguishable in the overall flavor. The crispy onions were certainly crispy, but also flavorless– I ended up taking them off as they didn’t seem to add anything to the flavor. The lettuce and tomato were fresh and good, but didn’t lend much taste. The burger came with fries, however, and they were AMAZING. Urban Saloon hits the french fry holy grail of a hot, crispy exterior giving way to a soft, salty and fluffy interior. These are fries you dream of. Fries you want to come back for.
Urban Saloon hosts a Quizzo night every Wednesday at 8:30, and a large crowd started arriving around the time our group was finishing up. Our server seemed to want to get us up and out, so I asked to split the bill for myself and two friends from the rest of the group so we could pay with our cards and leave. He sighed about it but eventually agreed, coming back with the bill and telling us that, since we’d split off from the rest of the group, we wouldn’t be getting the 20% off of the final bill. We were a bit taken aback, but ended up just paying and leaving, though the experience did leave us with a bad taste in our mouth.
Long story short, Urban Saloon is a great place to grab a quick bite and a Happy Hour beer, but the service left something to be desired and the burger wasn’t one of the best. If you’re in the market for some great fries and a cold craft beer, Urban Saloon is a good choice. If you want a good solid burger however, you might want to look elsewhere. November’s Burger Club has us heading to Catahoula—only time will tell if their Cajun take on burgers will top the charts! Check out our Facebook page for more information.