No-beef burgers: Barley's Ale House No. 1

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The restaurant: Barley's Ale House No. 1 is a comfy, brewpubby, beer-hall-like spot positioned right in the crosshairs of the Short North, Downtown and the Arena District.

The burger: Barley's Turkey Nut Burger ($9) has been a local favorite since before the pub's neighbors, the Columbus Blue Jackets, hit the ice. That's no surprise considering the TNB pulls off a hat trick of being full-flavored, juicy and texturally coherent.

Accented with herbs and parmesan cheese, it eats like a hefty slab of lean, aromatic sausage. Note the nuts (pecans) are not integrated into the patty, but rather inserted on top, where the burger gets a nice, darkish, tooth-friendly crusting.

The bun: It's sesame-seeded, toasted and large enough to house the big-boy burger, but overall, it's a pretty unremarkable setup.

Toppings, sides and extras: The TNB comes with a cuminy, slightly spicy, Southwestern-style mayo that makes an interesting flavor collision with the thyme-scented (and kind of Mediterranean-leaning) burger. There's also DIY tomato, onion and good pickles.

All of Barley's burgers come with a decent selection of side choices. I generally prefer the crispy, dark-fried, thickish, not-too-greasy, kettle-style potato chips or the colorful, super-chunky, not-too-sweet, not-too-spicy chipotle cole slaw.

No session of eating at Barley's would be complete - or sane - without one (or three) of their unbelievably delicious, mostly English-style ales. There's always several on tap (and often one "on cask") and every quaff is a liquid gem.