Bull City Burger And Brewery
Active Beers: 16
Beer Ratings: 67
Beer Avg: 3.65
Taps: 7 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 21 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by mechamifune:
4.08/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Kind of shocked this place hasn't gotten a review yet.... i'll do my best to give it a fair representation.
Atmosphere is very open and generally laid back. Most of the seating is communal long benches (with nicely refurbished wood), There is a relatively long bar and then a section of more normal seating. It all has a bit of the refurbished warehouse/factory that is so common in a lot of the restaurants and stores in durham.
All in all it is a nice looking place that feels pretty inviting. The crowd is pretty mixed between hipsters, families, suits, and the occasional beer geek or college student thrown in.
The way service is set up, you order at the counter, then wait at whatever seat you want and they bring you the food when its ready. If you sit at the bar you can order from there. The staff has always been very friendly in all my visits there, but I feel like the beer ordering process is less than streamline.
You can order a beer when you order food at the counter.... the problem in this for me has been that sometimes that means you get your beer brought to you as soon as you sit down.... other times i've waited 10 minutes before my beer has been brought out. Basically what happens is that your beer request is forwarded to the bartender and the bartender has to walk out, find you, and bring you the beer. If the bar is crowded, this can take a while.... if the place is empty, you'll get your beer pretty quick. Generally though, I have not had to wait long at all, and the staff have all been very friendly and the bar staff knowledgeable.
From that point forward, your best bet is just going up to the bar (rather than back to the counter) and ordering any more drinks.
On my last visit they offered 6 of their own beers on tap, and no guest taps. The beer trend towards english in style, but they have since started brewing a couple lagers (a lager and a pils to be more exact). From what I have had, i've found their esb, pale ale, porter, and smoked rye to be their most enjoyable. All the beers in general are pretty sessionable and i've not had anything that wasn't at least "ok". For the styles, I think their esb and porter are great.
The food is the real standout here.... they claim everything they serve is made in house, and based on what I have seen i tend to believe them. I've made a point of going to a lot of well known and respected burger places in my travels across the country (places like hodads in SD, and kuma's corner in Chicago, among others) and I truly believe this place matches up with them. The flavor of the meat (ground in house) is amazing unto itself, but the add ons are all of obvious quality and work amazingly with the taste of the beef. The Green Monster is a personal favorite, but really you can't go wrong with any of the burgers.
The fries (one kind cooked in duck fat, one not) and the onion rings (called onion loaf for whatever reason) are great as well. For non-beer drinkers, they offer boylan sodas on fountain, which is amazing (to me anyway.... their black cherry is severely habit forming).
Price might be a little more than you would expect for a burger place, though I think that given the quality of what is being used, it is somewhat justified. A burger and fries will set you back around 10 bucks at the least, around 13 at the most. The beers are all around the $4 mark for a pint, which is pretty good for a pint of high quality beer IMO. I did not see anything about them ever having beer specials. For those interested, they seemed to have a very nice wine selection, and one of the systems where you can purchase different size pours from a dispenser (i know this thing has a name, just can't remember it).
As a whole, this place is a great combination of quality beer and amazing burgers. The beers are made very well to style and aren't overpowering, which seems like the right way to go given the quality of the food. The place is inviting and should provide a comfortable setting for just about anyone. Also, for those with kids, they have a kids menu and a small "play area" in the corner with some toys and such for younger children. The only angle I can think of where maybe you shouldn't absolutely make a point of going is if you are both 1. only interested in beer and not food and 2. only interested in BIG or more experimental beer styles....otherwise, check this place out if you can.
08-15-2011 18:41:19 | More by mechamifune
More User Reviews:
4.63/5 rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75 | $$
Always enjoy coming here. Local ingredients, inventive, yet edible options on the menu. For added ambiance, you can peek into the brewery from the dining area.
The beer is good and at a good price. My favorite beer that I've tried from them so far was the Olden Horny, a cognac barrel-aged.
Parking may be hard to come by at times, but it's worth it to walk two or three blocks to hang out at the bar or on the back alley patio.
06-21-2014 22:09:51 | More by jerefreakinmiah
4.05/5 rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
This place is great. Pretty cool vibe, when you first walk in, the bar is to the left, and you file straight through to the back of the restaurant to order. All the brewery equipment is behind glass on your right. Burgers galore, with some really interesting options. The food is great! They have 6-8 beers rotating, as well as a rotating cask. Also, there is a wine self-service station that you use a prepaid card to access. The servers are fast and polite, and you really can get in and out fairly fast despite the place being packed almost every time I've been there. Growlers for the beer are available to go. This is a great place to hit if you are in the RDU. Awesome place!
05-20-2014 02:55:23 | More by GarthDanielson
3.83/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $
Admittedly, this was the second time I’d visited Bull City Burger and Brewery. The first time I had just flown into town for a job interview. I was a bit harried, a bit worried, a bit tired, and a bit in no mood to have a swinging good time. I wrote it up, thought I had published it, and moved on. Then, a few months ago, I tried to find said review so I could give my opinion of the place to a friend in passing conversation.
No dice. It wasn’t there.
But that’s all the better for Bull City, because I was much more impressed on my second visit. Perhaps it was just frame of mind, perhaps it was ordering a burger without pimento cheese, which I don’t think I actually like very much. Whatever it was, I only have nice things to say this time around.
As advertised, this place makes everything they serve except the ketchup. And it shows. I ordered a standard beef burger topped with bacon marmalade, sauteed onions, and aioli. Yes, all of that is just as delicious as it sounds. Plus, the burger came out nice and pink and juicy and exactly how I like it. You can taste the difference in freshly ground local beef. Thus, here you can taste the difference.
The beer once again did not blow me away. Everything was fine, but nothing stood out. They did have some higher gravity options – a barley wine as well as a barrel-aged version – but both tasted mainly of alcohol with little depth or complexity. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it all and will happily return and drink it, but I don’t forsee myself taking any growlers home at this point unless they make a killer seasonal.
And finally, there’s the atmosphere. I’m not a big fan of the lining up at the counter and then finding a seat with a number for the runner to find you. It works pretty well for their limited space and likely cuts down on the number of people filling up the few alleys between tables, but it makes it difficult to know how to order a drink.
Do I go to the bar? Do I go back up to the food counter and wait in line? Can it all get on one check? If I just want a drink now while waiting for my wife before ordering food, how do I go about that? Will people give me the stink eye for taking up the end of a table with just a beer?
Perhaps with more practice I’ll figure it out, but I opted to sit at the bar and get the traditional service from the bartender, which was excellent, I might add.
In short, if/when I move to Durham, I’m living as close to this place as possible.
04-03-2014 18:42:25 | More by bigkingken
Bull City Burger And Brewery in Durham, NC
92 out of 100 based on 21 ratings.