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It’s always good to see my family in Virginia although it seems that whenever we go out to eat, it’s buffets. Well, this girl is tired of buffets and need of some good social interaction. One of my best food buddies mentioned some restaurants in Ghent. If you’re unfamiliar with Ghent, it’s an area in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s towards downtown but has a quaint atmosphere. Full of restaurants and boutiques, it’s definitely my kind of place.
So John takes me to a place called 80/20 Burger Bar. I sure do love me some burgers! Man, oh man. Well, 80/20 Burger has only been opened since the second week of December 2012. It’s relatively new but I see it making a mark here for awhile. All the beef is grass-fed from Virginia and the patties are 80/20 percent lean meat to fat ratio. Hence the name. Pretty simplistic but it gets the point across. For those not into beef, there are other options like appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.
80/20 Burger Bar has a nice draft beer selection as well as bottled beers. I’m not the biggest beer drinker in the world but I’m learning to appreciate it. For the craft beer lovers, they’ll certain appreciate the selection here. I ended up ordering a Shiner Ruby Redbird beer. It’s a ginger/grapefruit beer with 4.2%ABV. It’s not as sweet as a cider but not a bad option for the ones who aren’t beer afficandos.
The inside of 80/20 Burger Bar is dark. Wooden seats everywhere, black ceiling tiles, nice use of lights. It was a relaxed vibe in here although in a way, it felt way too open for me. The interior look matched well for the Ghent area. The restaurant also has a bar with specials written above it.
There are 17 burgers on the menu and then you have your build-your-own-burger. I selected the alamo burger which consisted of crispy bacon, fried onion rings, and sharp cheddar, smothered in house made bbq sauce. For my side, I had the sweet potato and turnip au gratin. The alamo burger was very tasty. I had the burger prepared medium. At first glance, I wondered to myself, “how on Earth am I going to eat this?” Fear not, the Feisty Foodist always finds a way. The meat, it was flavorful beef not greasy at all. The bacon was absolutely delicious, seasoned well. I’m a saucy gal, so I definitely could have used more bbq sauce. It was a truly enjoyable burger although I wasn’t a big fan of the bun. It was too crumbly for me. The bun itself was tasty but it didn’t seem to hold up well with my burger. A nice pretzel bun would probably have held up better. The sweet potato and turnip au gratin was a nice change instead of french fries. It was slightly sweet but more savory side. Both John and I agreed it was tasty. The sweet potato isn’t overpowering and it achieves a nice tasty balance of flavors. There’s nothing I would have changed with this side dish.
John ordered the pancho villa with house fries. The pancho villa was topped with roasted corn and shallot salsa, black bean puree, roasted red peppers, and pepper jack cheese. It wasn’t a bad burger but not a favorite for me. Again the meat was perfectly cooked, very good indeed. The bun just didn’t seem to work well with the burger. Also, this burger could have benefited from being a tad spicier. Give a little “oomph”. By the end of eating the burgers, we gave up on the bread. The house french fries were seasoned with garlic, rosemary and Parmesan cheese. Very good. If garlic isn’t your thing, they have other seasonings as well.
All in all, a very good restaurant. The burgers starts off at $11. For some, that maybe too expensive but this is quality food here. If you enjoy grass-fed beef, local produce, unique side items, and local beers this is a great spot. Unfortunately, 80/20 Burger Bar isn’t open for lunch. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal and friendly service and would recommend 80/20 Burger Bar.
Just look at that burger! Mmmm…