Jihye Chang

Tallahassee Eats: Vertigo Burgers

There was a lot of buzz about the Vertigo Burger during the late summer of 2012. I usually don’t eat much red meat, and I rarely order a hamburger for myself at a restaurant. However things were slightly different in 2012 as I was pregnant with a precious little boy. The meat craving was almost ridiculous – I ate more amount of hamburgers and Chipotle’s beef fajita burrito than I ever ate in my life during my second trimester!

Anyways. Back to Vertigo – this is a new burger joint that was established by the same people who own the 101 in downtown. I am not a big fan of 101, but somehow the logo of Vertigo was exciting to my eyes. Also I was craving hamburger like crazy in August. So I went there alone (!!) and ordered the “Straight Up” with some sweet potato fries..then went back a few more times with my husband.

Atmosphere: Minimal, simple, casual, modern, functional, a bit chic

Menu: Simple but varied enough. A few salad options.

See their website for full menu – http://www.vertigoburgersandfries.com/menu/

Food: I like the flavor of their hamburger patties and the texture/ flavor of the buns. I also like their sweet potato fries – crisp outside, not too salty. I am not a big fan of the accompanied Vertigo sauce, though. It has little bacon pieces, and they sometimes taste a bit rancid. Plus bacon+mayo doesn’t work too well with either potato fries nor sweet potato fries. Their onion rings taste as though they are fried in good/ clean oil and are seasoned well. But I prefer beer battered kind of rings with more spongy-ness inside. Vertigo’s onion rings are a bit too floury.

So far we have tried the “Straight Up” (Burger with red onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, American cheese, mustard, and ketchup), “Triple Throw Down” (beef burger, applewood bacon &  blue cheese, horseradish sauce, caramelized onions), and “Vertigo” (beef burger, fried egg, applewood bacon, griddled jalapeños, sharp cheddar, vertigo sauce).

Triple throw down comes with a lot of blue cheese, and my husband liked it very much. Straight up is really straight up, but very clean and refined flavor. I don’t eat a lot of hamburgers, so I can’t compare it to other burger joints, except for Five Guys. I think it is somewhat unfair to compare this place to Five Guys.. Five Guys serves good enough burger (for a franchise) at a very good price, but I think overall quality of ingredients is better at Vertigo. (And it should be!)

Service: It’s straight forward. You order at the cashier, get a number for your table, and they deliver it for you. Servers here are mostly young college kids, and they have been all very friendly and competent. We visited four times, and every time our orders came exactly the way we wanted.

Price/ Portion: A lot of people complained on Yelp about the size of Vertigo’s burgers. I don’t have a problem with it. I actually like it that it’s not too humongous, but I can see that it might be too small for others. Also many complain that the burger doesn’t come with fries. Maybe that is a problem, considering the relatively “high” price tag. (about $8.5-9 average for a burger/ $2.95 for full order of fries/ $1.95 for half order of fries) Portion for their fries is a bit more generous than the burger.

Now that my little boy is out, and I have lost the meat craving, I don’t think I will go back there voluntarily. But probably my husband will want to go back there for some blue-cheese loaded burger. The only problem I have with Vertigo is that I smell like grilled burger after I eat there – somehow the ventilation system doesn’t seem to be working so well..!

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