The Pharmacy Burger, Nashville

I’ve set out on a goal to visit all 50 states within the US before I die and I’m happy to report that by the end of summer, I should be at 29 out of 50. Over Valentine’s Day weekend, I was able to check off Tennessee from the list as the fiancĂ©e and I made our way down to Nashville for the weekend.

We had done some research on things to do and places to visit during this trip and by the end of it, we were proud to see that we had nearly a dozen food places to check out. Armed with stretchy pants and an appetite, we put our self control to the test and hit up Nashville. A quick break down of the greatest hits:

  1. Food Tour – I love taking walking tours of any place that I visit and even better if it has food and drinks. We used Walk Eat Nashville this time around and had Chris as our guide. Had an amazing time and Chris was great. The cool thing about W.E.N is that they only use local food writers as the guides so you really get great insight.
  2. Hattie B’s – Whoa. Hyped? Yes. Worth it? YES. Their desserts were amazing too.
  3. Pied Piper Creamery – Really unique flavors, super creamy. Their Fruity Pebbles ice cream actually tasted like Fruity Pebbles milk.

Right, so the burger. I scouted out a few burger places in the area and ultimately settled on The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden. A popular biergarten spot located near our Airbnb, it had thousands of positive ratings on Google and Yelp and I went in with high hopes. Their website boasts it as Nashville’s “Wurst-Burger” Joint and I had some shifty eyes wondering if this was some sort of weird, punny foreshadowing.

We walked into the restaurant mid-afternoon so apart from a few younger folks that looked to be students, it was relatively empty. Our orders were promptly taken and came out in no time. I was still reading through their beer menu (which is fairly extensive) when the food came out. Great and quick service. So far, so good…

I got the Pharmacy Burger and she got the Farm Burger. Mine was your standard burger with the only unique ingredient being yellow mustard. Hers came with ham, bacon, fried egg, and….maple mustard. They sure like their mustard here. I suppose that’s not too absurd for a biergarten?

Off the bat, you can tell that this burger is slightly different. The bun is doughy with a slight chewiness on it, but it’s quite frankly…delicious. No potato or brioche bun here. The waitress mentioned that they have it specially baked at a local bakery and you can tell that it’s not some generic store-bought brand. I do wish they had toasted it slightly more and maybe throw some more butter on it (I wasn’t sure if the buttery taste was from how it was baked or if additional butter was added), but it was a little cool temperature-wise and with something this good, you want it nice and hot.

I take my first bite of the burger and try out the 100% Tennessee beef (a fact highlighted right on their menu). And it’s unremarkable. The patty itself was cooked fine but tastes like a generic burger patty that you would find at a chain restaurant and i’m not really sure that i’m liking the addition of mustard. The aftertaste makes me feel like I just consumed a hotdog – something about the consistency of that bread plus yellow mustard. I did have flashbacks to my last In-N-Out experience, which isn’t a bad thing, but as one of Nashville’s top rated burger joints, you probably want to be punching a little above the fast food weight class.

The sweet potato fries were on another level though as were the tater tots. The waitress recommended that we try the tots with “beer cheese” – a melty concoction which tastes like nacho cheese – and she was very right. Not sure why more burger places don’t offer tater tots. They really should…

All-in-all, after reading about 60-90 minute long wait times at The Pharmacy, I was expecting something a little more. It was a great place to spend an afternoon over a beer and bar food, but the burger itself disappointed. They do offer a few unique burger combinations such as their Stoganoff Burger which comes with mushroom stroganoff and the Mission City Burger which has guac, pico de gallo, black beans, and crema fresca. Not really my type of burgers, but maybe that’s the way to go here? The Farm Burger that she ordered was fine. An average “brunch burger” that you would find on a corner diner or local restaurant. Not bad, but nothing to wait in line for.

With the burgers ranging from $9 to $10.50, the prices are right (maybe it’s just the Metro area in me talking?), but the burgers are missing that special something that would make me want to wait in a line for it. The dark wooden atmosphere sets a chill mood, and some of the other bar foods were spot on. However, the next time I find myself in Nashville, I’ll have to try out some of this great food city’s other offerings.