Tuesday, July 02, 2013

French Fry Diary 500: Zinburger

Zinburger at the old racetrack in Cherry Hill has been open for a while now, after seeing them set it up for several months. There was a lot of anticipation here, hearing about how good the food and service was even before they opened. And then there was the odd combination of a gourmet burger place with a wine bar. I couldn't wait to try it, and try it I did, four times before writing this review.

Every time I've been it's been busy, but the wait is always short, or else you are seated right away. The one time we did wait, they took a cell number and texted us when the table was ready. Nice use of cutting edge technology, well, cutting edge for a shopping center restaurant. In the times I have visited Zinburger, the crowd has ranged from dates and families to noisy teenagers and hipsters from the city, all depending on what time you go, sometimes it's loud, but always worth it.

The booths are very big, obviously built with larger folks in mind unlike the torture racks, ahem, I mean seats at Bobby's Burger Palace, also in Cherry Hill.

Our waiter the first visit, Marcus, and all waitstaff on later visits, were very very attentive. I was impressed with the customer service. They gave descriptive explanations of the dishes, and offered many off-menu choices, just like in 'real' restaurants. Marcus was particularly proud of the food (as well he should be) but he referred to it as 'product.' That kinda bugged me.

The prod-, I mean food, came very quickly, fries first. It should be noted that we were given a choice to have the fries come with our meal, or when they were ready. Duh, of course we wanted them when they were ready and hot - and did so on every visit. On the first visit, the fries were hand cut natural cut shoestrings, not hot, but just fairly warm. On visits that followed, they were hotter and better. As a matter of fact, everything about Zinburger got better with each visit. It's almost as if practice made perfect.

These fries were a good mix of crispy and hot, and not too greasy. The portion size would've been terrific had the menu not said it was enough for two. It really wasn't. And sadly they got cold rather quickly. And the colder they got, the less appetizing. They were like Elevation Burger fries on a bad day. But that was just the first time.

The second time we got the double truffle fries, with truffle aioli and truffle oil. They got just the right amount of truffle oil, which can be disastrous when there's too much, but buried the fries in Parmesan cheese. They were a bit soggier than before but stayed hotter longer. Notably, the last two times I went to Zinburger, the fries were perfect.

Speaking of perfect, the burgers, every time, were awesome. The entrees came very quickly after the fries. Great care was taken in asking how we wanted them cooked, and explanations were given for each choice. I can't say enough about the service or the staff, top notch. They even have a burger than caters to my catastrophically picky appetite, the Plain & Simple Burger. I got it Angus but they also have Kobe available. Next time. The burgers were very juicy and enjoyable, awesome.

On the second trip to Zinburger, and every one after that, we also got the onion rings. They were a little bit different each time, sometimes bite-sized, sometimes big, sometimes skinny, but always very crunchy, and always with barbeque sauce. Yeah, that's right, Zinburger knows that onion rings are awesome dipped in barbeque sauce - extra points for that. The sauce was hot but subtle, I even put some on my burger.

The restaurant's main thrust is that it is of course also a wine bar, and the wine has its own menu, and the regular menu indicates which wine would be best with what foods. There are soft drinks for the non-drinkers, as well as some absolutely awesome shakes, malts, and floats.

I love this place, and can't wait to go back. Bring your appetite, and your wallet - while it's not super-expensive, it's also not McDonald's either. Thumbs up for Zinburger.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Haven't been there yet. Now I really want to go.