Photo Credits: MARKUS KAEPPELI / AGGIE
Let’s get to the meat of it all
Burgers and Brew is undoubtedly an iconic Davis staple. Whether you found out about it by stumbling in at 1 a.m. for some late-night munchies or by taking your family there when you first moved to town, most of us have some sort of connection to it.
In reality, although a community favorite, Burgers and Brew is a chain founded in 2007, and its owners also own Crepeville and El Toro Bravo, with locations in West Sacramento, Sacramento and Chico. The Davis location is located on 3rd and C St.
So naturally, when I heard another burger chain was coming to town, I got rather curious as to how it would compare to the tried and true Burgers and Brew.
BurgerIM is an Israeli global fast-food hamburger chain started in 2011 with over 168 locations worldwide. Its name is a combination of the word burger and the Hebrew suffix
“-im” which means many in Hebrew. The Davis location opened in late July of this year on E St, next to Insomnia Cookies.
To put these two burger joints to the test, I embarked on a tastebud-enthralling adventure alongside my roommate Clarissa Bailey, a fourth-year chemical engineering major.
Our first stop: Burgers and Brew.
This is now the point in the story where I must admit I have failed any person reading this. I, in fact, did not order a burger at Burgers and Brew and neither did my roommate. The reason why? They have an extensive fries menu with eight specialty fries options.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still very much enjoy their burgers, but ever since I discovered the fries options, I haven’t gone back.
I ordered the New England Fries covered with melted jack cheese, homemade clam chowder and applewood smoked bacon. Bailey ordered the Irish nachos — her all-time favorite — garnished with melted cheddar cheese, jalapeños and applewood smoked bacon.
If neither of those sparks your interest, I’m sure you’ll find your match, whether it’s another of the specialty fries or other menu options.
It’s really the expansiveness of Burgers and Brew’s menu that’s most impressive. Beyond just burgers, it includes specialty items like chicken tenders, hotdogs, fish & chips, a grilled chicken sandwich and a Philly cheesesteak, just to name a few.
Of course, they also have a wide variety of burgers, with about 20 customizable options. There are also several vegetarian-friendly options, such as the garden burger, the smoked tofu burger and the portobello burger. The only vegan option is the Impossible Burger, which comes with Veganaise as opposed to the restaurant’s traditional variations of mayonnaise.
Clarissa and I also ordered vanilla and strawberry shakes with our fries, which we both really enjoyed. The shakes are charming because you get the tin in which it was made in. Overall, you can really tell that Burgers and Brew makes the commitment to providing fresh food, made from scratch. As per their website, they pride themselves on 100% Niman Ranch meats and fresh ingredients.
Now, onto BurgerIM.
I tried my hardest not to peek at the Yelp reviews, but when one of my work supervisors told me they hated it, I had to.
The two times Clarissa and I went, we really enjoyed it, and I was so confused as to why someone did not. Several people complained about the food and service, which were not problems for us.
Although BurgerIM has fewer burger options than Burgers and Brew, I enjoyed the creative menu features. For instance, while Clarissa opted for a crispy chicken sandwich, I chose the duo option where you can have almost any two burgers, just in smaller sizes.
There is also a trio version, but I decided to stick with the duo. I ordered the crispy chicken sandwich along with the Spanish beef burger topped with grilled jallapeño, lettuce and pepper jack cheese. For myself, and other indecisive people out there, I find the duo/trio system to be a great way to get a little bit of everything.
There’s also a salmon burger for pescatarians and a vegan falafel burger. In terms of fries, BurgerIM also has unique fries in the form of a thin, chip-like circular potato wedge. Both times I went there, I stuck with them, but you can also order sweet potato fries, onion rings or half-and-half.
As far as specialty items go, BurgerIM also serves chicken wings and chicken strips, both with a choice of Buffalo, BBQ or Sweet Crunchy Chili Garlic Sauce. Although I have not tried their milkshakes, they do look good and come in cookies and cream, vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.
Although Burgers and Brew has a more extensive menu, I really appreciate the ingenuity of BurgerIM. The two are similar in that they are primarily burger restaurants, but they both have different atmospheres and are fit for different occasions.
Burgers and Brew’s jovial, twinkle-lit patio offers a much different ambiance than Burger IM’s modern industrial interior, which is also something to consider when deciding where to go. Meanwhile, Burgers and Brew has more seating and longer hours.
Overall, I wouldn’t say it’s a case of picking one over the other, but knowing what you’re in the mood for. Either way, if you love burgers, I would definitely check both of them out.
Written by: Nahima Shaffer — firstname.lastname@example.org