This is going to make zero sense, but stay with me.
I would not say that I love burgers, but sometimes a burger is the only thing I want. I won’t go get one, but I will crave it. For weeks. I understand how delicious burgers can be, and I appreciate that. I just think what usually holds me back is knowing how stuffed I’ll feel after I indulge. But it will hit me and a burger will be the only thing that sounds good.
I would say that Kenny is basically the same way. He’ll talk a big burger game, compare every burger he eats to Terry’s, but then he’ll remember he only orders a chicken sandwich there. And he pretty much always shoots me down when I suggest burgers for carry out. But he’s the one currently advocating for a burger blitz through Cincinnati, taking on a burger a week until we’ve had all the big ones. We are nonsense.
But last weekend, during a big night out with family on Kenny’s side, we dined at ZBGB Gastro Pub, a high quality burger bar right across the street from Taft’s Ale House. And after that meal, I think I’ll be the one advocating for Burger Blitz Week (even though I ordered a veggie burger…seriously guys, nonsense).
I wouldn’t normally be the one gunning for an appetizer to accompany the giant sandwiches I know we’ll both be ordering, but we did spring for the Bahn Mi spring rolls, per the server’s recommendations, and they we’re easily the best part of the whole meal. Not sure the picture does them justice, but trust me, the pork shoulder, ginger, garlic, napa cabbage, and sweet soy dipping sauce were totally and completely spot on. I was mad I had to share.
Kenny ordered the Italian, with prime beef, crispy pancetta, oven roasted tomato, fresh mozzarella, arugula, basil aioli, and made the brawny call and added a fried egg. It was heavy and dense but since each individual ingredient was of high quality, it went down easily. Kenny said, and I quote, “I’m not a huge burger guy, but it was bleeping awesome.”
Even though this was my opportunity to fulfill my burger craving, I opted for The Lori, which was a white bean falafel-like patty, with tomato-pepper compote and tahini. I was initially intimated by it being essentially a double, but it, like the Italian, was surprisingly not daunting. It also did not drag me down in the slightest and I polished it off myself. This one holds its own up against the rest, while also satisfying a bipolar lover of beef.
This spot was a cool one, one that I would definitely recommend checking out if you either have not yet, or you are like me and you like a good burger, and know one sounds good, but you probably won’t order one, but you’d definitely split one with someone, while also ordering a vegetarian option. Then yes, ZBGB should be a go.