I recently ordered a hamburger, banh-mi burger, half & half of curly fries/onion rings, side of cole slaw, and a chocolate shake at Damn Good Burger. Here's the lowdown and highlights:
DGB sure is impressive looking for a burger joint -- actually it's not a joint at all, but an emporium, occupying part of the space that was formerly Mia at Biscayne (which was DOA until owners revived it as DGB).
Outside of the two level, pop-postered interior is a sprawling patio/lounge with bar, leather banquettes, umbrellas. And while you might not want to linger at a McDonald's terrace for long no matter how nicely designed, there are strong incentives for doing so here: Twenty top craft brews ($5.15), domestic and imported beers ($3.50 to $5.50), scotch on the rocks ($7), mojito ($6), rum & coke ($5)....
The signature "damn good burger" brought a single, somewhat thin patty topped with lettuce, too-large chunks of red onion, a tomato slice the color of cantelope, little potato sticks, and a slightly spicy ketchup/mayonnaise-based sauce. The beef is a mix of Black Angus chuck, short rib and brisket that is "humanely raised," hormone free, antibiotic free, and $5.99. The counterperson asked how we'd like our burgers cooked; we said medium-rare. The dgb burger was very well done, and way too dry; those potato sticks didn't help moisten it either (the menu, incidentally, states that all burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested).
The taste of the beef was fine, which was more apparent in the slightly less well-done banh mi burger -- same patty but with a circle of pork belly, shreds of pickled carrots, cilantro leaves and mild jalapeño rings. This was a delicious burger ($7.99).
Another option: B.Y.O.B: A single patty ($4.99) or double ($6.99) with choice of garnishes ($.75 to $1 apiece). And the veggie burger is real tasty and moist, flecked with carrots and other vegetables ($7.99). The buns on all the burgers are fresh and burnished with the namesake letters. I don't know about anyone else, but I really don't need to have my hamburger roll branded.
"We don't sell fast food, we sell damn good food as fast as possible" is one of DGB's mottos. The curly fries, however, are pure fast food: Frozen, pre-seasoned, with no flavor of potato apparent at all. On the plus side, the fries are crisp and don't taste bad. Onion rings were a bit greasy, but otherwise OK. An order of half each is $2.99. Cole slaw ($2.25) was not fast-foody, but a fresh toss of cabbage in a creamy, not-too-sweet dressing.
The chocolate shake was thick and tasty enough -- nothing to write home about. A few salad bowls are up for grabs, a few sandwiches (turkey, buffalo chicken, grilled mahi-mahi, $7.47 to $8.49), and a hot dog with sauerkraut or chili toppings ($3.49 to $4.49).
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
DGB is A-OK for hanging out. The food is freshly prepared and tasty -- there are better burgers elsewhere in the city, and these are a bit pricey per weight, but lunch here will still end up being less expensive than at most downtown spots.