In the past few years, Richmond’s restaurant scene has become increasingly dominated by burger joints. From Burger Bach, to Jack Brown’s, to Carytown Burgers and Fries, there are plenty places to choose from. Each restaurant offers their own spin on the basic burger. A new addition to Richmond’s burger scene that opened this past January is Boulevard Burger and Brew. The owners of Boulevard Burger also own a few other local hotspots, like Osaka, Foo Dog, Fat Dragon, The Blue Goat, Wild Ginger, and Wong Gonzales. Since these restaurants are already well-liked by many Richmonders, I assumed that their new establishment would not disappoint. Boulevard Burger is right on the Boulevard across the street from Movieland and down the street from The Diamond. I, along with Lee Kennon (‘18), Catherine Clark (‘18) and Carter Chambliss (Trinity Episcopal School ‘18), paid a visit to the restaurant this past weekend.
When I first arrived at Boulevard Burger and Brew, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find a parking spot, a rarity for this area. Once inside, the smell of burgers and french fries filled my nose and made my mouth water. I noticed how the restaurant had been decorated to model a burger joint from the 1950s. After conducting some research prior to our visit, I discovered that the building that houses Boulevard Burger was actually a burger place in the 1950s called Kelly’s Jet System Hamburger, which was a popular chain at that time. From the red and white tile on the walls to the high-top bar with red vinyl seats, the character of the 1950s is definitely present. There are several televisions above the bar, which made Chambliss happy since she could watch her favorite college team Alabama beat one of their rivals, Ole Miss. Some classic rock was playing, which added to the retro feel. My party and I decided to sit outside since it was a comfortable September evening. We were seated right away, but then it took about ten minutes for our waitress to come over to even take our drink order.
I ordered a Cookies and Cream milkshake, which was tasty. It wasn’t too creamy or to Oreo-y. Kennon ordered a chocolate shake that she thought was “really good.” After we ordered our meals, we anxiously awaited the burgers we had been craving all weekend. As we watched the people seated around us enjoying their delicious looking meals, we didn’t think we could wait any longer. Thankfully the food came out quickly, and we dug in.
I ordered “The Kelly’s Classic” topped with American cheese and a side of fries. I thought that the burger was delicious. The flavor was bold but not overpowering. There was just the right amount of flavor and juiciness without it being too greasy. It was cooked well-done but not charred, which is always a plus. The fries were fantastic. They were very crunchy and seemed to have some sort of seasoning on them that gave them a zesty taste. Most importantly, they were not soggy. Chambliss ordered the same thing, and she said, “the burger is okay, but the fries are fabulous.” She also commented on the presentation of the food since the burger came on a little tray covered in red and white checkerboard paper. The fries came in a little wire basket, which Chambliss thought was “cute.”
Since Kennon and Clark are both vegetarians, they ordered the “Vegan Burger.” This vegetarian option consisted of a quinoa and lentil patty topped with tomato, cilantro, Sriracha, vegan mayo, and an onion ring. Kennon said that her vegan burger was “stellar” and commented that she “would never have thought of adding cilantro, but it is so good.” Clark gave it a thumbs up and said that it was “really good.” While I did not taste the vegan burger, it looked delicious. They both thought that the addition of an onion ring on top was a nice bonus. Even if you are vegetarian or vegan, Boulevard Burger and Brew has something for you.
My friends and I really enjoyed our meal at Boulevard Burger and Brew. The decor of the restaurant truly made you feel like you were at a burger joint from the 1950s. The prices were reasonable (my burger cost about eight dollars) and the food was delicious. Being able to enjoy a shake with your burger is something many of Boulevard Burger’s competitors don’t offer. I would strongly recommend going for a bite to eat there, especially before a Flying Squirrels game or a movie.