Grub Burger Bar Review: There’s a grease overload in my stomach

Logan Ansteatt

It’s grueling to justify a $9 burger. Everything needs to perfectly align during your dining experience to make that higher than usual entry point worth it. Unfortunately for the Grub Burger Bar, the newest burger joint in the St. Johns Town Center, nothing I ate came close to eclipsing other nearby offerings.

The Burgers

The Bacon Love #9. Photo by Logan Ansteatt.

There’s nothing wrong with a juicy burger. I don’t mind a bit of mess with every bite if it means the overall taste isn’t diminished. In the case of the two burgers I tried, the Voodoo Mushroom and the Bacon Love #9, their juiciness was just a disguise for a needlessly greasy burger.

The Voodoo Mushroom did not blend its flavors together in a particularly appealing way. Although, the mushrooms were clearly residing with the cheese on top of the burger, their taste overpowered an otherwise bland piece of meat. The burger seemed to be infused with the mushroom taste, but not in an enticing way. It’s almost as if small pieces of bland and greasy burger were atop a mountain of overly seasoned mushrooms, instead of the reverse. Complimentary flavors, such as the mushrooms and cheese, shouldn’t overpower the main draw of a dish.

While the Bacon Love #9 melded its ingredients together into a better overall package, the question of juicy or greasy once again reared its soggy head. My initial bites were downright pleasant. Sitting by a mirror inside the dining area, my face resembled that of someone receiving an unexpected boost in cash from his or her tax return. But the law of diminishing returns sank in quickly, and soon I was faced with a standard bacon cheeseburger accompanied by a price tag that commanded a better food experience. Halfway through the burger, the grease became overbearing to the point that not even numerous sips of soda or milkshake could bring me back from the unsavory grease coma I felt myself slipping into.

The Fries

The Voodoo Mushroom Burger with fries. Photo by Logan Ansteatt.

Thin in size but thick (thicc?) in taste, Grub Burger Bar nails the flavor and texture of a desirable french fry and burger pairing. Absolutely the highlight of the meal, the fries paired well with ketchup but were tasty enough to eat plain.

That being said, they didn’t take me to another dimension of potato spirituality or alter my own perspective on french fry existence. These fries simply met the expectations I had coming in, something that can’t be said for the rest of my meal.


Mac and Cheese

Bacon Mac and Cheese. Photo by Logan Ansteatt.

Mac and Cheese is a simple concept. You have some pasta, some cheese sauce, and maybe some toppings, breadcrumbs or meats in the dish to add some variety to the flavoring. Grub Burger served me the worst mac and cheese I can recall from recent memory.

Grub Burger Bar’s Mac ‘N’ Cheese features bacon crumbles lazily thrown on top of the standard pasta and sauce. I was originally taken aback at just how bland the actual dish tasted. The bacon, like the mushrooms on the Voo Doo burger, stood out in an unsatisfactory way, something bound to happen when everything else was so utterly tasteless.

I am confident in saying that I could make a more flavorful offering by purchasing some boxed mac and cheese from Target and sprinkling some bacons bits on top.

I realize crafting a suitable mac and cheese isn’t the first priority of a burger restaurant, but if you’re going to put something on the menu and charge people for it, at least serve something up to par.



Photo by Logan Ansteatt.

Presentation aside, my “crafted” shake was nothing more than a melted Oreo McFlurry with some whip cream and four off-brand gummy worms. At $5.50, I can’t recommend the purchase, especially when rival Town Center restaurant M Shack does shakes better in every regard, and for cheaper.

I did truly appreciate the courteous staff member who offered to grab a second milkshake straw when they realized my girlfriend and I were sharing the shake. Unfortunately, the gesture was superfluous; the shake was so thin you probably could have sucked everything but the thickest Oreo pieces through a coffee stirrer.


The Verdict

Newer isn’t always better. The Grub Burger Bar may be the most recent addition to the burger scene at the St. Johns Town Center, but it also stands as the weakest. Five Guys, M Shack and BurgerFi all offer better burgers at cheaper prices and have never left me with such a significant grease overload in my stomach.

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