With so many burger bars, it's hard to come up with something that really differentiates a new joint from all the others. House-ground meat is an angle many places are taking these days. Some burger restaurants offer house-baked buns to raise the bar higher. Awesome personal service is a big talking point, too, but after those you've pretty much got to offer a laser show or a french-fry cannon with gravy hydraulics if you want to stand out.
Don't get too excited. Despite the sleek exterior, Grub Burger Bar will not provide you with raining shards of colored paper, or piercing, colored beams of light. No fry gun, sadly. The rest of the stuff, though, that's what Grub is all about.
It's hard to call Grub a chain because there are only three locations, but you can sense the owners have aspirations of opening more than three more. The latest, tucked into the streetside corner of an office building on Greenville Avenue, opened the day after Thanksgiving. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows wrap around one half of the dining room and the walls are sporadically covered with cedar two-by-fours, just like the sign out in front of the restaurant. There's a sizable square bar of blond maple with plenty of stools and a massive communal table.
You know there are burgers on the menu, so we'll gloss over the numerous combinations like chili with french fries and onions, or absinthe-sautéed mushrooms and Swiss, and get to the most important stuff. All of the meat (beef, turkey, chicken) is ground in-house every day, and the bread is baked every hour, according the menu. The massive, pillowy buns have a glossy, golden skin and while they're not artisan loaves by any means, they're soft, pliable and fresh.
Don't forget milkshakes (soft serve and milk) in regular versions and boozy upgrades, onion rings that are thin and extra crunchy, and because nobody comes to a burger bar to eat healthy, cheese fries with jalapeños and bacon. OK, maybe some of you were forced to come, so there's a salad or four on the menu, too. But people are sure to look at you funny if you order one.