Kuma’s Corner

Andrew Huff, of Gapers Block, etc., is one of my Flickr contacts and so I happened to see his photo of a giant hamburger float across my browser last week. It was the Mastodon from Kuma’s Corner and I remembered that they had gotten top marks in Time Out’s Pub Burger shootout. So when, a few days later, Erica and I happened to be in the neighborhood around dinner time, we decided to check it out.

I’ll cut to the chase: the food was just OK and we had a lousy time.

Now I know plenty of people disagree with us, and I’ll freely admit that it’s possible that our lousy time (which I’ll get to) is influencing my opinion of the food. Kuma’s claim to fame are their half-pound Angus beef burgers, which come in 16 varieties, all named after metal bands. The Led Zepplin, for example, comes topped with pulled pork, bacon, cheddar, and pickles. The Mayhem has jalapeƱos, pancetta, pepper jack, and giardinera mayo. Etc.

Erica and I went halfies on the Famous Kuma Burger — bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg — and the Slayer — a mess of fries topped with the burger patty, chili, cherry peppers, andouille sausage, onions, jack cheese, “and anger”. Erica liked the egg on the burger and the Slayer is certainly plenty of food, but I thought the burger patties were pretty dry (we’d ordered them medium but they were pretty well-done) and nowhere near as flavorful as they could have been.

As to the lousy time, it had two parts: waiting and metal. We did arrive hungry and during the dinner rush, but the wait times still seemed excessive. “At least we’re in a bar,” we thought, “so we can wait with beer,” but it was full 15 minutes between our drink order and beer arriving. And it was an hour until we got our food. And during that wait time, we were listening to metal. Loud metal. Continuous, very loud, very angry metal. “If this music is meant to make you want to kill someone, it’s working,” Erica said. I had to ask her to repeat herself, because we could barely hear each other across the table. I’m no metal-hater — I had plenty of AC/DC patches on my high school backpack — but damn that was a painful night.

So many people like Kuma’s so much that I have to throw out the list of maybes: maybe we were sitting right under a speaker; maybe we would have had a better time out on the patio; maybe we wouldn’t have minded the wait if we weren’t so hungry when we got there (what were we thinking, going to a restaurant hungry?); maybe Erica wouldn’t have been as uncomfortable if she had more visible tattoos. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

1 Comment so far

  1. Erica Burke (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

    I wasn’t impressed w/Kumas at first, either. I got a salad, though — mistake No. 1. It’s a Burger Joint!
    I also was mad they didn’t have Miller Lite until I realized it’s also a BEER JOINT that specializes in v. good micros. DUH!
    My mistake. Now that I understand the place — speciality burgers, speciality beers, headbanger music — I have to say, I really like it now! Sometimes you just need to know what you’re getting yrself into before you go. :)

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