My readership is growing regularly, and along with that comes my list of recommended burgers, which I believe is up to about 30 right now. A few of them have been on the list far too long, but a new comment posted to my site the other day got me excited enough about one to try it a day later. Dispensary Lounge sounds like an awful place, and by the looks of the pictures on Yelp it didn’t seem much better. I typically don’t trust Yelp reviews all that much either, but the comments on there made it sound a lot like Henry’s which I’m a big fan of, so I was quite motivated. Could a $3.95 burger at a local dive bar actually be any good?
The interior is just insane; I don’t know what else I can say. There’s a pretty typical bar to the left when you walk in, but the seating area has a combination of some amazing lounge chairs that look like something I would have gotten at Goodwill in college, and some 4-6 person booths with a faux Tiffany lamp hanging above them. The best feature would have to be the water wagon wheel on the back wall slowly spinning with the tiniest trickle of water pouring into it. A trippy carpet and some, um, interesting costumes on their aged waitresses makes this for one awesome assembly of ambiance.
The menu has a few standard bar options such as a steak & cheese, turkey club, nachos, but the star of this menu is the $3.95 Steak Burger: “1/2lb of juicy fresh ground beef charbroiled to perfection. Served on a garlic toasted bun garnished with lettuce, tomato and a slice of red onion.” What came out was pretty much as described, although my bun didn’t seem to be garlic toasted. The bun was in fact, fantastic; grilled, crispy, buttery and delicious, and sized for the perfect meat to bun ratio. The meat had terrific steak flavor, was cooked perfectly to the medium-rare I asked for, with good slight charred flavor. My Swiss cheese was melted perfectly, and the additional mushrooms were also really good. The lettuce, tomato and pickle were fresh and good, while the full slice of onion was a bit much for me but some love it.
I will say that the plate sucked; I don’t necessarily mind if the burger comes out on top of the fries, but there was really no room to put the burger down not on top of them once I started eating, and the grease dripping from the mushrooms and everything really made a mess of my fries. And this is really a pity because the skinny fries were quite good, the bottom layer of fries were sort of inedible because of how soggy they had become. I wanted to dip the remainder of my fries in their great ‘mystery mustard’ but they weren’t really up to the task at that point. Still if my only complaint about this entire meal is the small plate, I think they’re doing something right…
That being said, how do I sum this up? The location is by no means anything fancy like Holstein’s or something on the Strip, but that’s exactly the kind of place I’m looking for at least. As this is a bar, I am sure it could get smoky at night, but being in there for lunch it was pretty quiet and fairly smoke free. The décor and ambiance were fantastic, and the fact that if I hadn’t added anything extra to this burger it really would have been $3.95 with the fries is just amazing. That’s cheaper than In-N-Out, a majority of the items on the McDonald’s menu these days, and is arguably far better than both. Do yourself a favor and hunt this place down.