Sunday, March 26, 2006

915 Pub and Grill

Review 14 @ Stop 25
915 Pub & Grill
915 N. Ft. Thomas Rd (Ft. Thomas)

Given the success of the outstanding burgers at 915’s siblings, the Burger Guys couldn’t wait to drive up to the highlands. Would this be an opportunity for a letdown?

Nestled atop Ft. Thomas’s north end, the 915 Pub and Grill is a pleasant neighborhood tavern. Unlike the older look of its siblings, the dark mauve color scheme and the vibrant, multicolored, hand painted images on the center wall provide a contemporary feel. The larger, front window allows enough light to notice the bright colors.

The menu seems the same as Zola’s and offers 8 burgers. Included with fries or Asian slaw, the $4.95 Traditional Burger is a half-pound Black Angus meat served on a grilled Kaiser bun with tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, and onion either grilled or raw. Nice touch!

Fresh meat? Yes.
Hand made? Yes.
Made to order? Yes.
Toasted bun? Yes.
Juicy? Yes!

Do you dream of burger nirvana while eating a large burger and observing the juices falling to the plate below? If so, the 915 may be the place. While Bucky swears by this place, Freddie and Wolfy are cautious. True to form, Freddie wants more seasoning integrated into the meat. Wolfy says that although this burger was very good, he knows of instances at the 915 when the burger is considerably smaller. Being an operations-oriented professional, he wonders about quality control issues at the 915.

Negatives aside, the positives are enough to earn an Exceptional Burger Award. When you visit, tell them the Cincinnati Burger Guys sent you. On the other hand, keep us posted on their quality control issue.

Score: 8.5
Rating: Exceptional

PS: 915 burger special every Wednesday: Burger with any 5 toppings for $5.

Next Posting: Notes from our readers

Monday, March 13, 2006


Review 14 @ Stop 22
Zola’s Pub & Grill
626 Main Street (Covington)

Located in Covington MainStrasse, Zola’s is a neighborhood tavern with a spirit similar to Quatman’s Café and many other neighborhood establishments featuring food and drink. Bucky looked around and said, “This is good.” With an old wooden backbar, a small seating area (but there is an upstairs), and an open view of Main Street, Zola’s provides a great casual atmosphere for people of all ages to meet.

Found within the surprisingly large menu are 8 different burger – wow! No wonder locals love Wednesday’s burger special of any 5 toppings for $5.

Although Freddie craved the Zola Burger, the traditional burger ($4.95), a half pound of Black Angus beef with tomato, lettuce, onion, and mayonnaise plus fries or slaw, was the choice. The large Kaiser bun, lightly toasted on both sides, served to anchor the meat.

All three patties were slightly different sizes – ah ha! – a sign of freshly made. On the other hand, cantankerous Bucky noted he got the smallest patty that allowed too much space between the burger and the bun’s edge.

Bucky, Freddie, and Wolfy ordered their typical medium-well, medium, and medium-rare. After several bites, the inside color created a perfect color continuum and Wolfy said, “This is good.” Every bite brought forth the freshness of the Black Angus and the simple salt and pepper seasoning. Freddie states, And this is good – but the meat can use more seasoning.

The Burger Guys also give a big shout out to the common ownership of the pub and grill triumphant: Oakley, Zola’s, and 915. Although Freddie and Wolfy have yet to visit the Ft. Thomas location, Bucky without hesitation guarantees, “It will be good.”

The old bar environment, the nice server, the MainStrasse setting proved to be a great experience. Although the burger was not flawless and did create considerable debate among the team, it is good. Freddie’s score boosts this burger into the Exceptional Award category.

Congratulations Zola’s! Hope you frame the certificate and show it to those who came and say, “The Cincinnati Burger Guys sent us.”

PS: See the Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Band on Tuesdays, 9 pm till midnight. Tell them to play a song for the Cincinnati Burger Guys.

Score: 8.5
Rating: Exceptional

Next Review: 915 Pub & Grill