Do you believe in second chances? I definitely do, and I’m so thankful about that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know what an incredible experience you could have at Burger Up as a gluten-free diner.
Burger Up is a hot new burger joint in Nashville on 12th Avenue South that opened in May 2010. Known for their scrumptious upscale burgers, Burger Up provides unique flavors in their meats and toppings to tempt both carnivores and herbivores alike. Would you rather sink your teeth into a bison burger, lamb burger, citrus salmon burger, or would vegetarian options like quinoa and black bean burgers or portobello burgers be more your style?
I never would have even attempted to dine at Burger Up had I not heard a delightful rumor.
“Burger Up has gluten-free buns.”
And these aren’t just any gluten-free buns that are mass-produced halfway across the country, shipped in, and stored in the freezer. These are gluten-free buns provided by one of my fellow Nashville gluten-free bloggers, Katie at GFree Made Easy. These are homemade, gluten-free buns!
Guess who was at Burger Up that same week!
Not only did Burger Up appear to be gluten-friendly, but they also appeared to be animal, community, and environmentally friendly. Sourcing as many products as possible from local farms that treat their animals well, 10 Tennessee farms are represented on their menu including Triple L Ranch and Hatcher Dairy.
But I have to say that after all of the hype, my first experience was terrible. It was so awful that I declared that I would never again return.
First of all, after ordering we found out that they were out of the wine that the Husband was interested in. That’s not so terrible, but it was the first disappointment of many.
Secondly, when we ordered bison burgers with gluten-free buns, the waiter returned to say that they were all out of gluten-free buns. My reaction must have been dramatic. After all, that was the whole reason we decided to try Burger Up in the first place. But the waiter said that he would make sure that we were well taken care of.
I’m used to eating burgers without buns.
But when the burgers came, they looked like this. If you’re going to serve a naked burger, shouldn’t you make sure that the burger is actually shaped properly?
It seriously looked like someone had already taken a bite out of it! The meat was tasty, but I would never go to a restaurant just to have a naked burger.
But the fries weren’t just good. They were to die for. The Truffled Fries with honey dijon aioli were the most delicious fries I’ve ever had. And the Sweet Potato Fries (how can you go wrong here) were even more delicious with Jack Daniel’s Maple Ketchup. Wow!
As great as these fries were, I don’t think I’d ever go to a restaurant just for fries.
Maybe it was my fault for assuming, but when the waiter offered dessert I expected that it would be on the house. After all, he did say that he would take care of us. The gelato and sorbet are the only gluten-free desserts that Burger Up offers. I opted for the gelato, and it was quite delicious. But it was not the peacemaking gesture that I thought it would be. Not only was the dessert listed on our bill, but so was every other item that we ordered. No comps, no discounts. So we paid over $60 before begrudgingly giving a tip for two burgers patties, two orders of fries, a few drinks, and a single dessert that I wouldn’t have accepted had I known that it wouldn’t be free.
“I am NEVER coming back here again,” I said even before putting on my coat.
With such a bad experience, I am not sure why I ever agreed to go back a few weeks later.
Maybe it was because the Husband called ahead and asked them to set aside two gluten-free buns for us.
Maybe it was because the fries had wiggled their way into my cravings place.
Maybe it’s because everyone deserves a second chance.
Those Truffled Fries with honey dijon aioli are magical. (As is their margarita!)
Whether you’re gluten-intolerant or not, give Burger Up a chance. Or maybe even a second chance.
What’s your favorite burger place in town? Do they have gluten-free options?