Review #8: Tribeca Tavern (Cary)

  • Joint: Tribeca Tavern
  • Burger: Land and Sea (Scott), Southern Lovin’ (John), The Masterpiece (Michael)
  • Burger Category: Look At Me! (Scott and John), Snooty Beauty (Michael)

Michael’s Review

There was a lot to like about the Tribeca Tavern in Cary. The service was excellent. The restaurant was beautiful, the table well appointed. My locally brewed beer was served with a hard pretzel—a nice touch. Tribeca’s burger menu is extensive, with 17 burgers to choose from.

I decided on The Masterpiece, which featured a Kobe beef patty topped with St. Andre triple crème and short ribs that were smoked for 12 hours, topped with port wine gravy.

It turned out to be a burger of contrasts. My first bites were complex and intriguing, but those first impressions gradually diminished. Eventually, it was just another burger. The gourmet ciabatta bun crumbled apart as I ate. The patty itself was silky Kobe beef, but it was overdone.

Despite the critiques, I will say that the burger was interesting. The short ribs and sauce could stand on their own as a respectable entrée. It was a difficult burger to rate. The bun was a 1. The patty was a 3. The short ribs and sauce were 5s. I look forward to going back to Tribeca, as I want to support a restaurant that supports local farmers and brewers. I might get another burger, but more likely I’ll explore the rest of the expansive menu.

I give the burger a 3.25.

Scott’s Review

Tribeca Tavern: A Play in One Act



Still, warm evening. Outside seating area at Tribeca Tavern in Cary. Spotlight on our three heroes.


(pounding head on table)

What should I order? So many choices. Do I get the burger with short rib and St. Andre Triple crème, or the one with fried salami?


(arms extended heavenward, imploring)

Or the one with 10 ounces of ground beef, 8 ounces of Kobe, 8 ounces of lamb, 5 ounces of spicy sausage, all topped with “Hoop” cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, and American cheeses, complete with 8 slices of bacon–all on battered brioche?


(weeping gently)

Or the one with slaw?


Table littered with beers, wing bones, and three plates of fries and quarter-eaten burgers, each four feet in height.


Who had the Southern Lovin’ burger, again?


That would be me…I think.


No, you got the Land and Sea.


Was that the one with crab on it?


I think so.


[Examines burger on plate.]

Oh yeah.


So where’s the one with the fried egg on it?


We got one with fried egg on it?

All three heroes look confusedly at one another’s plates, then their own.



Our heroes shrug, continue eating.

Big points for service, ambiance, and burger novelty. Mid-level points for taste. My review: 2.75 out of 5.

John’s Review

Oh my. You were right! She is breathtaking in this photo—exotic, even. And the way you describe her, we seem to have so much in common. I’m in. I want to meet her. Go ahead and set it up.

Blimey! She was attractive, but there was just no chemistry. And what the hell was she wearing? It was pleasant evening, and it had its high points, but just not what I’d hoped for. But there’s more to her, I think. I’m not giving up yet. I’ll see her again, but next time it’ll be much less formal. I think we need to just relax, hang out, and not try so hard. I’ll let you know how it goes.

My hopes were sky-high for the Tribeca Tavern, as it had come highly recommended (though not by a fellow burgiatrist, I should say). It seemed to offer such a special atmosphere, and while covering a more traditional burger menu, also promised some special burger artistry in a unique marriage of the “Look at Me!” and “Snooty Beauty” categories. Add that excitement to the availability of their proprietary brews on tap, and TSB was on its way.

And we went for it! We all opted for the Burger Menu, which is dedicated to such fanciful and esoteric burger creations as to put your imagination into overdrive. Eggs, fried green tomatoes, crab, goat cheese, rosemary hollandaise…these are all ingredients in the mix here. Despite the availability of some much crazier options, I chose a “Look at Me!” burger that you might find elsewhere: the Land and Sea, with Angus beef, lump crab, fried mashed potatoes, roasted garlic, and rosemary hollandaise. It came on what I would call a split ciabatta roll. All of these very special ingredients combined to create and thrillingly different burger that was, in a word, bland.

The thrill was gone, baby. What remained was to finish this thing in a state of mild disappointment. Perhaps even that Kobe burger on the main menu (which of course, would be in the “Snooty Beauty” category due to the professed quality of the ingredients).

I won’t drone on. The burger was a 3. The service was excellent, the sweet potato fries were good, the place was lovely, and the beer selection is probably delicious, even if I did make a poor, overly-hoppy selection. I still think Tribeca is highly attractive (smokin’ hot, as a matter of fact), and I’m actually looking forward to seeing her again. But we’re not going to put on any airs this go ‘round. We’ll just dress casually, kick back with a good beer, and maybe listen to some Classic Rocks together. (In other words, a good old-fashioned cheeseburger.)

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