Restaurant review: Hubbard Grille's burger-and-beer bargain makes Mondays less of a bummer

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive

I accept and understand the "you-get-what-you-pay-for" idiom, but I prefer to find a way around it. Enter an offer you can't refuse, and a cure for the "I-need-to-feel-better" Monday blues.

Because in an era when dollar prices for mood-improving good burgers (meat or veggie) routinely reach the mid-teens, and attitude-adjusting craft beers rarely tally less than $5 per pint, your money just doesn't go very far - unless it's Monday night, you've got 10 measly bucks, and you're smart enough to dine at the Hubbard Grille.

Here's the deal: From open to close, $10 will buy you a tricked-out burger - Hubbard's "smoked gouda" or its "homemade chickpea" veggie burger (both are regularly $13) - plus a huge serving of fries and a local beer. Considering the quality of everything, it's a ridiculous bargain.

So settle into Hubbard's handsome and spacious digs - where relaxing earth tones and cozy amber lighting are disrupted only by a brash Basquiat knock-off in the bar area. Speaking of the bar, since it's roomy and equipped with TVs beaming playoff basketball, that's where I prefer to sit.

Barley's Blood Thirst Wheat and seasonal beers from Seventh Son, Land Grant and North High Brewing (each usually runs $7) were the draft options when my partner and I visited. With that brew group, you can't go wrong.

As suds limbered up our palates, we dug into the price-slashed sandwiches. Both burgers arrived on attractively toasted, glossy and puffy buns, and with a ton of flour-dusted fries that were impressively crispy and un-greasy.

The whopping big cheeseburger (with all the expected fixins) starred juicy beef sporting a nicely seared crust and a steak-y grilled flavor enhanced by Hubbard's sweet-and-smoky bacon jam. Melted gouda and avocado teamed up for a nice touch of creaminess.

Unlike many veggie patties, Hubbard's golden-brown chickpea burger featured a crispy exterior, and held together admirably. Herbs and roasted red pepper bits lent it an appealing, Mediterranean character. Arugula, "sweet pepper jam" and a fragrant green onion aioli added extra interest.

Both meal-deals offer a lotta good food for not a lotta money - plus a great beer. AND they allow you to say "In your face, Monday!"

Hubbard Grille

793 N. High St., Short North