There are a lot of negative perceptions of the City of Oakland in California. Whenever I tell people that I’m here, they more often than not reply with some variation of “be careful.” While Oakland’s crime rates are undeniable, it’s not accurate or fair to let that define the entire city. I have enjoyed my time here, and I always encourage my friends to come to Oakland to see it for themselves. On July 22, I did just that, eating lunch at Barney’s Gourmet Burgers with a friend from out of town.
Hamburgers are ubiquitous in the United States. Between fast food restaurants, sit-down franchises, and local establishments, it’s hard to find a part of the country that doesn’t serve hamburgers. When searching for a good place to grab lunch with my friend, Ms. U, I heard nothing but good things about Barney’s, a local chain.
Barney’s may serve “burgers,” however you can choose to have a beef burger, turkey burger, chicken breast, or veggie burger. My friend, being pescatarian, ordered the garden burger with pesto. While the menu was full of excellent-looking options, I knew from the moment I laid eyes on it that I had to order the mac cheese burger.
I’m not going to mince words — although the pictures of the mac cheese burger look delectable, the end product can be summed up as “meh.” Both the beef burger and the macaroni and cheese tasted bland and unseasoned. The burger consisted of the bun, the a slice of cheese, beef patty, and the macaroni and cheese. There was no apparent seasoning and no sauce. On the other hand, my friend said that her garden burger was delicious, praising the zesty pesto sauce in particular.
There’s no question that restaurants in 2018 are designing dishes knowing that people will post about them on the internet. As someone who takes photos, uploads them online, and writes about them, this does not bother me. However, when a dish looks amazing but tastes boring, that’s a real problem.
Barney’s Gourmet Burgers did not thrill me. While my friend praised her garden burger, I was severely disappointed with the mac cheese burger. Given the local buzz, I would not be opposed to returning and trying a different burger, but it is not very high on my list. Oakland has a number of great options for foodies, but perhaps Barney’s reputation needs reassessment.
Tasteless | Bad | > Okay < | Good | Tasty
Name: Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers
Phone +1 (510) 655-7180
Credit Cards? Yes
Apple Pay [?]? No
Take out? Yes
Outside seating? Yes
Wheelchair friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? ???
Bike parking? Yes
Car parking? Yes
Monday: 11:00 – 21:30
Tuesday: 11:00 – 21:30
Wednesday: 11:00 – 21:30
Thursday: 11:00 – 21:30
Friday: 11:00 – 22:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 22:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 21:00
Address 4162 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611 U.S.A.