, , ,

Three bros visited longtime Lakeview burger and hot dog establishment Chris Z’s while Joey had work obligations elsewhere.

Greg: It’s the system we have. This phrase has been uttered plenty as we prepare for the BCS National Championship showdown. The phrase is applicable to this week’s review as well. We compare apples (BBQ or Mexican) to oranges (Burgers/Deli Sandwich) often within our reviews, but it’s the system we have. This week, I picked Chris Z’s. As we arrived at high noon, parking and seating were plentiful (not always the case there). I was quite surprised at the circumstances considering all the people in town for the BBVA Compass Bowl. I ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger with fries. Blue Powerade on tap with crushed ice really got the meal started in a good way. We weren’t seated for 3 minutes when our order number was called. The burger was cooked to order with fresh ingredients. Crisp onions and hot bacon were a nice touch as well as some sort of special sauce. The fries were hot and had just the right amount of salt. There wasn’t too much talking as we all devoured our food. My only regret from this visit is not knowing about a burger that I saw a lady eating- The Big Az Burger. The buns were 2 grilled cheese sandwiches. That will be for another outing. Again, it’s the system we have and this was the best stop on the BLC tour thus far. Overall: 5 out of 5 bros

Blake: There is a new Burger King in Birmingham, and I’m not talking about the fast food chain adjacent to Chris Z’s in Lakeview.

Since Harry’s in Hoover closed its doors without fan fare, I’ve searched for Birmingham’s tastiest burger. The Birmingham News recently awarded this to local dive “Five Guys Burgers & Fries.” But I never could find that place. Now, I live a block from Marty’s, and a burger on rye at that late night hot spot is pretty terrific. It was the clubhouse leader. Until today.

Bros, the service is unrivaled. The crushed ice is a big player. And the special I had? Well, let me tell you – it was next level. I had the patty melt, fries and a Coke Zero. Cashing out at under $9 and leaving with a full belly just accentuates the service. And the patty melt? Delightfully grilled onions and a pickle on a toasty piece of bread. Mustard, mayo – Chris Z’s pulls no punches. The fries reminded me of McDonald’s, if McDonald’s fries were home made. Cholula on the table to spread on everything was a nice touch.

Chris Z’s is an over-the-top one way trip to Tastebud Town. So pack your bags, because Chris Z’s will fool you into believing you have escaped to an exotic, tropical lip smacking paradise. Here’s the thing: you barely have to drive. If you can’t realize all the riches that are buried in your back yard, you’re not breathing in the Magic City. Maybe one day I’ll shimmy down an alley and stumble into this unique Birmingham landmark “Five Guys Burgers and Fries,” but until that accidental slam dunk, Chris Z’s is undisputed. How I’ve missed out I don’t know, but this is the first perfect score in the BLC’s young history. Overall: 5 out of 5 bros

Brad: I enjoy the Lakeview district… provided it’s not past 10 PM. Nightclubs are like amateur hours for drinkers and I have no desire to be anywhere near all the young kids & their pumped-up kicks. Although one of my favorite stories happened at a Lakeview bar – whose name I will not mention – the area has some decent dining establishments. Chris Z’s has been a place I have always wanted to try. We walked in and were assisted immediately. While perusing the menu, I noticed a woman had a remarkable burger in front of her – a 1/2 pound patty in between two grilled cheeses, appropriately titled the “Big Az burger.” Did I have the #balls for this? I decided to take it easy and go with the good ol’ cheeseburger combo. I paid under $6.99 – a fair amount. Service was lightning fast. My food was ready before I could fill my drink. The burger had a special sauce that didn’t do much for the taste, and that really is a shame. While I had been pleased with the atmosphere and service, the food was rather unexciting. The burger was bland and it tasted like a bun w/ cheese, produce and some other substance. I couldn’t taste meat. The fries were shoestrings that you can get anywhere. The meal was not as bad as I probably made it sound; however, burger places need to make their signature items stand out. I didn’t taste that here. I would certainly go again and perhaps try the Big Az burger as you KNOW that thing has some flavor. Plus, I’d rather shell out $7 for a less-than-spectacular burger than for a watered-down, bottom-shelf well drink any day of the week.  Overall 3.5 out of 5 bros.

Composite Bro Score: 4.5 bros out of 5.