183 Thurman Avenue
Columbus, OH 43206
Day #2 of the Metal Road Trip (click here for Day 1 – Weber Grill) began with an arrival announcement arrival announcement of fellow Burger Conquester Chuck, “I’m here with bacon and juice!” We slammed some breakfast burritos, coffee and then piled into the SlayRv for the next part of our journey. A brief Coors Lite soaked ride later we arrived in Columbus, OH for the Scion Rock Fest. An event, now in it’s 2nd year, put on by the car maker Scion, features 4 stages of metal bands all for the low, low price of FREE.
Attending the virgin outing of the fest last year, allowed us to make stop at the world famous The Vortex for tasty burger relief. With year #2 taking place in the college town of Columbus, we set our sites on a different burger…THE THURMAN BURGER!
Gaining notoriety for years now as one of the country’s best burger spots, the Thurman Cafe, has been in business since 1942. It’s Located at the corner of Jaeger (yes many drinking jokes were made) and Thurman in the German Village part of town and is still family owned. The joint is relatively small so expect to wait up to an hour, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon! Walk in, sign yourself into the waiting list and feel free to have a beer while you hang out in the vestibule. When your table is up, your name will be called as it was in our case, by the courteous and over-worked Victor. As if we weren’t full enough from Chuck’s bacon-fairy move, we were about to dive head first into one of the most critically acclaimed and BIGGEST burgers in the Midwest.
While The Thurman Cafe offers up all kinds of bar-fare, the burger menu is what keeps them coming in. With 2 pages of burger options, that are all centered around a 3/4 LB sized patty of freshly ground beef, it’s enough to make your head spin. Me? I didn’t even need to look. I know what brought me here and it’s the signature Thurman Burger – “Our head honcho overloaded with ham, mozzarella, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sauteed onions, pickle, banana peppers, and mayo with chips and a pickle spear.” Not daring enough? Go for the “Thurman-Ator” – “Bun, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, hot pepper, 12 ounce burger, bacon,cheddar, another 12 oz burger, sauteed onion, mushroom, , ham, American and provolone cheese, top bun and served with fries” While I do love to go big, the thought of wolfing down that beast and then attending a metal show at dirty rock clubs seemed like a bad idea. I ordered the Thurman, medium-rare sans pickles, tomatoes and mushrooms.
I was expecting a sandwich of legendary size, the pure girth of the real deal is a sight to behold, while the actual burger itself is just plain hard to hold!! After a few moments of awe, I wrapped my mitts the best I could around the beast and ATTEMPTED to get my mouth around it. Bread was originally wrapped around the contents of a sandwich to make it easier to eat, keep it all in one place and to a certain degree, keep one’s hands and fingers relatively clean. In the case of the Thurman, I don’t think a case of cement shoes could hold in the contents! Check out the extreme drippage on Steve’s Thurman burger, even before the first bite!
Much like a rock fest with 4 venues, there is a lot happening on this sandwich. It was hard enough to eat it, let alone experience each flavor held within. The onions and heavily stacked ham really dominate a lot of what is happening while the mild cheese choices sort of get lost in the mix. I loved the addition of banana peppers and thought they really added something unique to the burger. The lettuce, covered in mayo, almost seemed unnecessary as it practically shot out of the bun after a few bites. It’s a concoction of loving design, created with the freshest of ingredients that presents not only a challenge in eating but also in finishing!
Wino from St. Vitus / Hidden Hand / Shrinebuilder / The Obsessed joins SAVIOUS on stage.