Thursday, November 7, 2013

Loveless Cafe Burger: Hit Or Miss

All photos ©Mary Brace 2013. All rights reserved
I once thought I was finished rating Nashville's burgers, but no. Although Burger Up gave us what is still considered the meaty equivalent of the One Ring, others keep trying — and I'm happy for it. One of the less attractive aspects of Nashville's improved burger eats, since then, however, is the proliferation of restaurants serving a patty with a similar cost to Burger Up's (and others') locally-sourced and/or organic and/or grass fed beef, but without the same fresh beginnings. And although the Loveless does have a burger that's tasty enough to stop for, if there's not much of a tourist-filled line, it simply doesn't belong in the premium priced range. 

Juiciness: 5. Really, not so much. I ordered medium rare and yet the meat was pretty dry. Because it came to my table within 5-7 minutes of ordering, in a fairly well-packed restaurant, I have the suspicion it was pre-cooked and left to sit in meaty-flavored bath, the way sports and other concession stands do it. It probably doesn't help that the burger was flattened out so much.

Flavor: 8. That part was pretty good, actually. Especially on my first visit, when I got the pimento-cheese and bacon version pictured below. I was very impressed with that burger, but the plain cheeseburger just wasn't nearly as good. At least, not tonight.

 Attractiveness: 6. More mixed feelings. It's homely enough to be cute, but leaving this much surface area naked of cheese isn't cute at all. I did like the look of the bun (below) and the accompanying lettuce leaf looks fresh out of the garden. Mustard in packets? Meh.

Atmosphere: 10. Being the Loveless Cafe, this transcends your typical burger joint for style points. In spite of it being a family restaurant and tourist trap, it doesn't seem crazy loud, either.

Digestivity: 5.  Ah. There's a rub. It's been three hours since I've eaten, and there's too much of this burger lingering where I can still taste it, and sort of feel it by way of major sluggishness. Major. What I feel right now is the reason why so many people stopped going to places like McDonald's, Burger King and other corporate McChain burgers and instead came back to independent locals for their burgers.

 Overall experience: 6. Barely. Ouch! I was expecting to give this burger a much higher rating due to my previous visit, but the second time around was definitely not the charm. On the bright side, there aren't many burger joints that offer Mac & Cheese as a side, and Yazoo, too.

Loveless Cafe on Urbanspoon