Review #26: Backyard Bistro (Raleigh, NC)

John’s Review

Build Your Own Burger (Classic Rocks)

I don’t know anyone with flat-screen TVs in all four corners of their backyard, much less the humendous (a word crafted by my three-year-old daughter; ginormous is so played) monster screens that you face while dining at Backyard Bistro, with football players looming and leaping literally larger than life. However, the name of this establishment certainly fits when you bite into its juicy grilled burger. It has a thick, high-quality patty that—when you sample a pure bite—is full of charred backyard flavor.

A little too full, if you ask me (and of course you do, by reading these lines).

When it comes to Classic Rocks burgers, I’m on the record as favoring the flat-grill over the open-flame grill. A flat grill imparts a pure charred flavor without the smokiness of an open flame. I could consume a good flat-grill Classic Rocks burger of at least a 4.0 rating every day of my life without tiring of it. I am occasionally in the mood for a good, smoky open-grill burger once in a while, but wouldn’t choose to partake more than once a week. Backyard Bistro’s patty is particularly strong on the open-grill smoky char, so perhaps no more than every two weeks on that one. Add to it the fact that it comes on another God-forsaken Kaiser roll and it’s perhaps every two and a half weeks. That said, when I am due for one, I will enjoy it, thanks to that quality patty, fresh vegetables, and a good job by the Grill Master in the back.

For my refined burgiatric sensibilities, it is a solid 3.5. For those of you with more of a palate for the open-flame smoky char when it comes to Classic Rocks, you’re likely in the realm of a 4.0 and will be quite pleased (though certainly a bit less refined).


Michael’s Review

Backyard Burger (Look at Me!)

Recently, I’ve begun to wonder why I am drawn to burgers in the “Look At Me!” category. Throughout my career, I’ve been a bacon cheeseburger burgiatrist, content in the basic goodness of a quality burger. Over the past two years, however, I’ve longed for more. Here’s a short list of burger toppings I’ve had in that time: sweet garlic mayo, bloody mary mayo, kimchee relish, bacon-onion jam, peanut butter, honey, lime-cured cabbage, port wine gravy, smoking hot chili relish, “queso fundido,” fried egg, sautéed garlic spinach, dirty fries, lump crab meat, chili, pepperoni, salami, short ribs, and a hot dog.

Has there been a void in my life that a simple Classic Rocks burger can’t fill?

Hi, I'm Michael, and I like Look At Me burgers.

At Backyard Bistro in Raleigh, I continued my journey down the rabbit hole. I ordered the Backyard Burger—an 8-ounce patty topped with pulled pork, slaw, and “western-style Q sauce.” (It was essentially the Carolina Burger from Tyler’s, with better execution.) The patty was well-contained in the bun, the pork was smoky and tender, and the patty was juicy, with decent flavor. Overall, the Backyard Burger was tasty, but not outstanding.

Did it fill a hole in my heart? No. But it did fill a hole in my belly.

Michael’s review: 3.75 out of 5.


Scott’s Review

Build Your Own Burger (Classic Rocks)

Words to describe the five hi-def TVs at Backyard Bistro in Raleigh:

Word to describe the burger at Backyard Bistro:

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Scott’s Review: 3.25 out of 5


Backyard Bistro on Urbanspoon