Whenever my mom goes out-of-town, my dad calls me to grab a meal. We either do
something my mom doesn’t like to eat (mostly curry), or grab a burger and beer. True to form, the day after mom went to visit my brother in Florida we got dinner with Dad!
This summer, our go-to burger place has been Bull City Burger & Brewery. We go
at least once a month, and it’s one of my favorite places to introduce friends to. So I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t already featured it as a Triangle Bucket List post yet!
Bull City feels so quintessentially Durham to me. It has delicious, high quality food. It prioritizes local farms for their meats and ingredients. It’s all made in-house, down to the mayo. It’s got a laid-back but not sloppy vibe. It even made its order number cards to reflect years of significant moments in Durham’s history (with explanations, of course).
They’ve got a bunch of seating inside, either at the bar or at picnic bench tables. But the real draw is the outdoor seating. It’s a back patio area with picnic tables that backs up to Pompieri (owned by the same people as Bull City Burger) and Dos Perros. There’s always groups of friends after work or families grabbing a bite to eat on any day on the back patio.
The menu is pretty straightforward. They’ve got about 6 burger options, plus a build-your-own, plus their monthly special. Much as I hate to admit it, I have a favorite I usually get unless the monthly special strikes my fancy. (It does about a third of the time.) But my go to is the bacon and blue cheese burger. The crunch of the bacon and decadence of the melty bleu cheese are a perfect complement to the beef.
Because that’s the start at Bull City. I have a few burger joints I love in the triangle, but Bull City wins the prize on the quality of the meat. It’s delicious, it’s cooked perfectly, and it doesn’t actually need much in terms of toppings to be a completely amazing burger.
Beyond beef, they’ve got a veggie burger and hot dogs as well as some sandwiches and appetizers. I’ve tried all their varieties of fries, and because this is my blog and you’re choosing to listen to me, 😉 here’s what I think:
- Sweet potato fries: decent but not impressive. I LOVE sweet potato fries, so the bar is pretty high here.
- Dirty fries: good, your classic choice.
- Duck frites: a fun twist. Taste good, but know that they’re crunchy. I don’t want them limp, but they’re a little to crisped up for my taste.
The wild card I tried this visit was their onion loaf. Now, I’m not really an onion ring kind of girl. I don’t have a great reason, I just never find myself craving slices/chunks of onions battered and fried. So this wasn’t something I’d order for myself, but Dad got one to share and I thought I’d give it a shot.
And it. was. amazing.
Remember what I said about the duck frites being too crunchy for my taste? These are the perfect counterpart: they were crispy on the edge but the onion was almost melt in your mouth soft. They were very thin pieces of onion so it wasn’t an overload of the onion flavor, but avoided that terrible sensation of “I can tell I’m eating deep-fried-something, but it’s so breaded/fried that I have no idea what’s inside this.” I scarfed up more than my fair share of them, and they disappeared before our burgers arrived!
Great. That’s how it is. All the beer is made on site: when you walk in, look right and you’ll see where it’s brewed. There are tours offered, but I’ve never actually planned ahead enough to check one out. Who wants to go with me??
Their beer selection is listed lightest to darkest, which I appreciate a ton. I’ve tried a bunch of theirs (and some switch up seasonally), but on this particular night I got the Taurus Tripel, which is a Belgian ale. Logan introduced me to tripel ales early on in our marriage, and I will be forever grateful. This one was a bit more mild than your average tripel. Still delicious, but not erring on the side of sour, which made me love it all the more.
Later in the evening we’d finished all our food but weren’t quite ready to leave yet, so we got another round. We all love dark beers and chose the same one, so we got a pitcher of hsaWaknoW, which is backwards for Wonka Wash. It’s a bit chocolatey, and very smooth. I probably enjoyed the Tripel more, but they’re such different types of beers I don’t know if I can really rank them.
My take: go. For sure. Multiple times per month. Bull City is one of our favorite places in Durham . Enough said.
all images original to Teaspoon of Nose