Burger kings: The Top Steakhouse

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The one on Top

The Top Bar Burger, $8

The Top Steakhouse has been keeping it real for over 50 years - real Rat-Packy, that is. Dark inside and equipped with a literal piano bar, this no-foolin', old-schoolin', don't-need-no-retoolin' piece of vintage Americana is, in fact, my favorite steakhouse in Columbus.

The Attraction: A ground steak burger with a side of Bob the bartender

This six-ounce baby is exactly the kind of burger you'd expect from a great old steakhouse, but it's only available at the bar. I consider that a perk. You see, the bar is often commandeered by Bob - who's quick with a quip and a wicked wink and is seemingly straight from bartender central casting.

As the piano player sings and tinkles the ivories, Bob'll set you up with a lean and mean patty that's extremely steaky tasting and juicy, not greasy. Its "brioche" bun is crisped up both inside and outside and comes modestly dressed with crunchy iceberg lettuce and a melty mass of good-old American cheese.

Hot stuff on the side: The Top Bar Burger arrives with enough fries to feed two or three steak chompers, and on top of that (pun intended) the spuds are winners - crisp, golden brown and proudly bearing the tell-tale irregular shapes of being homemade.