It seems like Burger Monger in Carrollwood is the talk of the town lately. It’s certainly garnering its fair share of attention on Urbanspoon. And if anyone knows me, they know the only thing I love more than food is a good bandwagon jumping on. So I piled into the old front wheel drive sleigh and braved Dale Mabry on the weekend before Christmas (thank you for your concern, the therapy is going fine).
From the outside, Burger Monger is very unassuming. It’s located in the corner of a tiny strip mall. I think it’s a mall. How many shops constitute a mall? Ok, so it’s located in the corner of a tiny strip of shops. If you didn’t know it was there, you could easily pass on by.
Inside, the décor is clean and simple. Comfortable booths lining the wall with tables running parallel. It’s put together nicely. They’ve avoided the trap that ensnares many restaurants like this when working with a long and narrow space. They did not try and cram too many tables in. Plenty of room to move around. The walls are decorated with flatscreen TVs and some nondescript giclee art prints (Let’s get some local art on those walls).
Burger Monger is set up like a slightly classier Five Guys. You place your order, take your number, and wait. Though, at Burger Monger the staff brings the food to you.
I ordered a single burger with a simple American cheese, ketchup, French mustard, and Chicago neon relish setup. My dining companion ordered a single burger with Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and a side of Monger Sauce. The orange-colored Monger sauce appears to be a mashup of, perhaps, French and Thousand Island dressings, with a few other ingredients thrown in for good measure. It’s tangy. Give it a try.
Burger Monger’s claim to fame is that serves Akaushi kobe beef. This beef apparently comes from the largest Akaushi herd outside of Japan (the cows are in Texas). The meat of the burger was indeed very good. The taste is definitely more beefy (if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn’t). It’s not overly salty or overly greasy. Again, it tastes like a classier Five Guys burger. My toppings worked well, as did the bun, which was soft, buttered, and lightly toasted.
I had a few bites of my friend’s burger, and it too was delicious. The lettuce and tomatoes tasted really bright and fresh. The pickles were fantastic.
We split a pound of fries with our burgers. They are a pretty close approximation of the fries at Five Guys minus the additional pound of oil and salt.
Our two burgers, pound of fries, bottled water, and fountain drink came to $22.42.
My only beef with Burger Monger (snort) is its branding. Going by name alone, I expected this place to be a dive that catered to late night stoners. But they really are not. They are offering quality burgers that are well made with fresh ingredients. The worst part of the whole dining experience had to be staring at the company mascot, who I’m assuming is the Burger Monger. He looks like the not-so-far removed cousin of one of the dermatophytes from the Lamisil commercials. That’s not what I want to be thinking about when I’m eating. Rebrand yourself, Burger Monger. You are selling yourself short with this cheap, poorly designed nonsense.
That being my only gripe, I really like Burger Monger. The food is good. Sorry for all of the Five Guys comparisons but it really is a higher quality version of what that chain does: simple burgers and fries. However, unlike most of my experiences with Five Guys, I left Burger Monger feeling satisfied, and without a belly full of grease and self-loathing.
10412 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618