Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dive of the week

What makes a burger at Booches so special? I'm still trying to figure that out after dining there yesterday prior to the Missouri-Kansas State basketball game.

I had heard about Booches for years but didn't stop by for one of their famous burgers until a couple of years ago. I was instantly hooked. So, when a friend invited me to the game yesterday, my first response (after "yes") was, "can we stop at Booches?"

The burgers here are small--not exactly slider size, but you'll want to order two, served on wax paper, and accompanied by the normal cheese (if desired), pickles, mustard and ketchup. And, the bun is pretty much Wonder Bread variety. But, wow, something about these burgers is special--so special that no less than USA Today rated them as a top ten burger in the U.S.

The joint is actually a "restaurant and billiards hall," as advertised in online reviews and features pool, snooker and billiards tables.

Booches has been in business since 1884, and it shows. Located in downtown Columbia, MO, the joint features dark wood, photos of past Missouri Tiger teams and greats, comic strips (which incorporate famous Booches regulars) and several sayings framed on the wall. My favorite? "No sniveling."

We arrived at 11:15 a.m. prior to the 1:00 p.m. game and didn't get our burgers until 12:30. We inhaled the magical beef concoctions (two apiece, mind you) which were accompanied by Backer's chips (no french fries) and soft drinks served in paper cups. Naturally, beer's available--about four varieties on tap plus the requisite Anheuser-Busch products. (After all, we were dining in "St. Louis West," as one of the guys in our traveling party pointed out.)

A Booches' burger doesn't have the magic sauce of an In-N-Out burger served "animal style." It doesn't have the quasi-gourmet flavor of a Dempsey's (Lawrence, KS.) A Booches burger is just a plain, simple, really, really good hamburger.

Check it out...

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