400 Locust St.
Des Moines Iowa 50309United States
This new downtown lunch option is fine for grabbing a quick bite, but not a destination.
Opened in November 2010, Big City Burgers and Greens has carved out a precise niche. It's open for lunch only, Monday through Friday, and stands in the lobby of one of Des Moines' biggest office buildings. The burgers will sate patrons looking for something better than fast food; the salad-building options rival what Des Moines residents have come to expect at Palmer's Deli on Ingersoll. And prices are reasonable ($6.50 for salads, $3.75 for a basic burger, $5.75 for our Black and Blue Burger, plus $3.50 for sides of fries or rings). The eatery also grinds its own beef from a combination of sirloin, brisket and chuck, all hormone- and antibiotic-free, so people who appreciate that ecofriendly touch will be glad to support this place. The bottom line, though, is that our burgers arrived just-warm, certainly not hot, and barely pink in the middle. They lacked any juiciness, and they're not grilled. The plain white buns are soft and taste like Wonder bread, but they're too big for the quarter-pound patties. The best thing here are the toppings: Our Maytag blue cheese and thick-cut applewood smoked bacon were close to perfect, and the thin-cut onion rings were deliciously crunchy. It's just too bad the patty underneath was nothing special.