Week 8 — Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beer

Another burger joint means another tryst with a Cincinnati Magazine Top 40 member.

Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers and Beers was a must try for me. Not only had I heard things about this place from friends who’d been, it is also on my original Master List (the “Top 40”). Finally giving this place a whirl was all but assumed.

I’ll be rating Sammy’s in two ways—much like I did for Senate—because it is both a place I’ve never been, as well as a burger place waiting for my review. See below:

Location: Tucked away on Creek Road, Sammy’s isn’t necessarily conveniently located for all [Cincinnati] walks of life. That’s not to say, however, that it isn’t within close enough proximity to Glendale-Milford / Pfeiffer Roads and Reed Hartman Highway, and that I-275, I-71, and I-75 aren’t within a reasonable driving distance, but it certainly isn’t close to the aforementioned. Seeing as I live not 20 minutes from this place and I’d never been, that alone is pretty telling of its “convenience”. This is a place—in my opinion—where you set out to conquer this meal, and not necessarily happen upon it. Or, if you happen to get a job near there, you suggest your boss take you for your “introductory” meal. Alas, here we are.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is decorated more like a middle class sports bar than anything, with jerseys, posters, and televisions strategically strewn about the walls for its patrons to view. The décor is pretty unsubstantial, but it doesn’t detract from the all-around experience—a lot like being at your dude’s place. Sure, you [girl] could probably decorate it a bit better, but you have to admit that bachelor’s touch has a bit of charm.

Food: [Disclaimer: sorry there aren’t any pictures. It’s only my third day here, and my coworkers probably already think I’m weird enough without photographing my meal.] The service was efficient and the cost was kind of high for the fare (more than $12 for lunch, including a pop, but not the tip). For a Blue Ash eatery, I was not super impressed, but I wasn’t unimpressed either. It was decent enough nonetheless. I’ll delve more into my meaty delicacy in detail below:

Burger – 3/5
Strangely enough, one half of my burger seemed to be cooked medium well, while the other was cooked to order (medium). The flavor was decent, but it didn’t blow my mind.

Toppings – 3.25/5
“Sammy’s Sauce” (presumably mayo, ketchup, and relish) is reminiscent of a mix of tartar sauce and Thousand Island dressing. Tar-tar-sand Island sauce, if you will. Or Mac sauce, more simply. It was good, and complimented the onion rings and burger pretty well. Also didn’t blow my mind.

Bun – 3.75/5
Had good flavor, but wasn’t amazing. Also didn’t get soggy, which is a plus.

Side(s) – 2.75/5
After seeing the French fries (larger steak-type fries), I opted for onion rings, because steak fries are my least favorite of the variety. They were okay. Not bad; not awesome.

Linger Factor – 2.5/5
I have a feeling I won’t be thinking of this place too much in the future. If I do return, though, (which is probably likely), I will opt for either the Sammy’s burger (with fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella, and Sammy’s sauce) or the Chorizo burger (adorned with chorizo, guacamole, Mexican melting cheese, and white onion); probably the former.

Total Burger Score – 15.25/25 or 3.05/5

Overall Grade: C [out of a possible A+]

It should be noted that, because this burger is held in the distinction of Cincinnati Magazine’s Top 40 Burgers in the Cincinnati area, my expectations were a bit lofty. While the burger may not have lived up to the Top 40 hype, it was still a solid burger to have during my lunch hour. Err, 45 minutes.

General theme here is that it was a solid, maybe above average meal in an average lunch spot. It wasn’t bad, but I definitely was not blown away.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Andi says:

    Of burgers I thought shouldn’t have made that list, this was a standout terrible burger to me. Nice review. Congrats on the new job!

  2. Pop Culture Broad says:

    I agree. As far as its Top 40 status goes, I was a bit disappointed in the burger. For an everyday work lunch, it was decent enough.

    Thanks, Andi!

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