Chargrilled Expectations

Chargrilled.  Char.  Grill.  Sizzle.  All terms that Fosters Grill uses to advertise their burgers.  Well, I’m not sure if they use sizzle but, it’s just a fun word to say.  Burgers and chargrill are two terms that should go together.  The combination of the two usually produces a great end product, full of flavor and love.  Prior to this past weekend, I had only visited Fosters Grille once before – for Mother’s Day last year.  We let Mommy pick where she wanted to go for lunch on Sunday and after many guesses, we finally figured our she wanted to go back to Fosters…she liked it that much.

Fosters Grill is located in Gulf Coast Town Center which is about 25 minutes from our home.  We headed up and arrived for a late lunch on Sunday afternoon.  The restaurant was quite busy – more so than I expected it to be.  At Fosters, you fill out your order on paper and then go up, give your order and pay.  We decided to order onion rings as a starter and then we each orders a cheeseburger/fries/drink combo.  The total for the 3 of us was just over $30. 

Our onion rings arrived to our table fairly quickly.  At first look, they appeared to be just be normal old onion rings…nothing special.  I asked for some bbq sauce as an accompaniment to the rings and waited a few moments for them to cool off.  Once they cooled, I tried one and sure enough, they were just normal old onion rings…nothing special.  The outside batter was bland and not cooked enough.  The interior onion was soggy and boring.  I thought these onion rings were better the first time at Fosters but maybe they weren’t.  With the addition of bbq sauce, the rings were a bit better but still just not that great.  I would never have to have these again.

Since Fosters is known for their Chargrilled burgers, I ordered a burger!  I opted for my burger to include American Cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayo, mustard and pickles.  Fosters advertises their burgers as ¼ pound and they certainly are that big.  Our burgers arrived to our table along with a handful of fries in each of our baskets.  I picked up my burger (it was quite large) and the chargrill smell filled my senses.  The chargrilled outside of the burger was also very apparent.  All of the toppings were on the bottom bun below the burger.  This is going to be good.

I added some ketchup to my basket to use as a dipper for the burger.  I took my first bite of the burger with no additional ketchup and tasted the flavors.  First thing I found was that the bun was semi-stale and had no flavor.  Next, the burger, while chargrilled, was lacking any real flavor.  The meat was very dry and tasted like ground beef with no seasoning at all.  I ate the rest of the burger with the additional ketchup and while it did help the dryness, there was no help for the lack of flavor.

After a few bites of the burger, I began to wonder if they perhaps forgot my American cheese.  I looked under the top bun and it was indeed there but, I would have never known.  I did not taste American cheese at all and there was no gooey texture from it.  On the burger itself, there was some ketchup/mayo/mustard but, certainly not a lot.  The lettuce, tomatoes and pickles were good and fresh, which is always good but kinda a moot point when the burger itself isn’t good.

While I was eating my burger, I started to eat my fries.  The fries are advertised as hand cut and they certainly appeared to be so.  The first thing I noticed was that the fries were not very hot – they were luke warm at best.  I love fresh-cut fries and most of the reason is, they are so fresh when you receive them.  These fries tasted as if they had been fried and left sitting around for a while.  This resulted in a soggy, flavorless fry.  Even with the addition of ketchup, these fries were not good and I would never need to order them again.

My visit to Fosters Grille left me wanting more and craving the chargrilled burger I was expecting to receive.  The restaurant is very nice, staff is lovely and the food arrives quickly.  But, I just really did not like my overall meal.  Perhaps it was just the cook and I would be willing to go to Fosters again.  I do not think I will ever be ordering a burger, fries or onion rings again…which kinda eliminates most of the menu.  I would rather have received a smaller burger with bigger tastes.  Mommy thought her burger was great and Taylor liked his as well so, it may have just been that I got a junky burger.  But, when I can go to Five Guys and get the same great burger time and time again, I basically expect the same from everyone else.  Chargrilled expectations resulted in low satisfaction.