Mercury Burger Bar
Nights out are so rare. I’m not complaining. I love spending time with my 3-year-old, but Mommy and Daddy need some time alone every now and then.
J and I headed to Detroit for a function at Soundboard at the Motor City Casino and Hotel. We almost didn’t go because it’s hard to find a babysitter since we don’t have family in town and functions like these are expensive when you factor evening wear, but my Mom was insisting we go and helped us with some of the expense and, of course, the child care.
We got to Soundboard at about 6:00 for an event that started at 7:00. They had an hors D’oeuvre and cocktail hour with some pretty delicious selections, but as 10:00 rolled around, I was hungry again and wanted to take advantage of the fact we didn’t have to get home and get a toddler to bed.
A few months ago, I was in town with a co-worker to stop at Slow’s BBQ. I noticed a burger joint across the street and when I looked up the menu online, I almost wished we would have went there instead.
Mercury Burger Bar is on the corner of Michigan Avenue and 14th Street in Detroit’s Corktown Neighborhood. It is literally right across the street from Slow’s and right next to Roosevelt Park. Parking is a little interesting in this part of town. I’ve actually had friends who have had their cars broken in to while they were eating at Slow’s so there’s always some caution to take when parking. The businesses in the area have come up with somewhat of a solution to this problem with a guarded parking lot on 14th Street directly behind Mercury. It costs three dollars to park and there is always an attendant on duty to watch the cars.
I looked for street parking on Michigan Avenue in front of the bar, but when I didn’t see, I just went to the parking lot and paid the three bucks. It was good piece of mind for both of us.
Mercury Burger Bar has the 50’s diner feel to it when you walk in. There are a number of booths and tables with red leather backs and there’s a huge lunch counter in the middle over-looking the kitchen. All of those areas looked full when we walked in and being that it was after 10:00 at night, I didn’t want to find a new place. Luckily, they have a pretty awesome outdoor garden area with picnic tables and lawn furniture. It was a gorgeous night in “The D” so neither of us had any objections to sitting outside and enjoying the cool breeze that was blowing through the patio.
The menu is pretty heavy on burgers but offers many other things as well. I know there’s alcohol available, but there was no beer list on the table, and to be honest, I had already had a couple Griffinclaw Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA’s at Soundboard, so I couldn’t drink anymore anyway. I had a Coke while J just stuck to water. Since we were outside, they were served in plastic cups. Cans of Faygo were also an option for that truly authentic Detroit experience and the whole picnic table behind us when that route.
I quickly narrowed my burger choices down to one or two. The one I eventually selected was The Southwest Detroit burger. This burger came topped with a Chorizo slider, jalapenos, Muenster cheese, tortilla strips, avocados (I left this off), and something called zanahorias…or pickled spiced carrots plus it had the usual accouterments of lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. This burger was good. I mean, this burger was damn good. The meat itself had a slightly pink center and a char-grilled crust. The chorizo patty was pretty damn amazing. It was just about as big as the burger and it just had that warm, spicy, feel to it. Everything else was just icing on the cake to this burger. I could have eaten just with the beef and chorizo,so the rest of the toppings just added to that already deliciousness that I couldn’t put down long enough to breath.
J ordered the Grilled Cheese. They cook the sandwich on an “inside-out” hamburger bun with a choice of cheese. J chose cheddar then added on Applewood smoked bacon for a little extra. The bacon made this sandwich amazing. It was good grilled cheese on it’s own, but the bacon was very smokey and very crispy. How does it get any better than a cheese and bacon sandwich?
The sandwiches don’t come with any sort of side, but they do have a list of sides that you can order as either a single order or shareable. We decided to a shareable order of the Hand-Cut French Fries after J noticed them at other tables on the way in. As we sat down she said she didn’t care what else was on the menu, she wanted those fries. We ordered them with a Salt and Pepper topping and they were delicious. Perfectly cooked, skin-on fries with just enough grease to hold that salt and pepper in place. Both of us could have eaten the share size by ourselves, so it’s a really good thing we just ordered the one.
Our bill came out to just a little over $23. It’s amazing how cheaply you can eat when there’s no alcohol…..but seriously, that’s the fun of eating out sometimes.
Mercury Burger Bar lived up to an exceeded my expectations. J was iffy on going at first because of the location and it was getting late, but she went along with it after I said I was hungry. She thanked me many times on the drive home for being hungry because the food was outstanding.