Buster’s on 28th came highly recommended to us by some friends. I couldn’t help but think it would be like Dave & Buster’s simply because of the name, but I was happily proven otherwise. So much so that we actually ate at Busters twice in two weeks! I guess that gives a hint on our overall impression…
Ambiance: Stepping into Buster’s, it felt like the perfect place to escape the cold winter night. It is a busy and lively gastropub, but not overly-so. We were told the wait (at 7:00 on a Saturday night) would be 20 minutes, which we didn’t mind waiting, but barely had to wait 10 before we were seated. While the restaurant is pretty small, they fit a surprising amount of booths and tables and it was a great environment of couples and friends talking over beers and food.
Food: Since we have been to Buster’s twice, I will go through everything we have ordered. However, there are a couple of repeats because they were so good. Like the pretzels with beer cheese dipping sauce. Marc is a huge fan of soft pretzels and he could not stop raving about these. They are so incredibly soft yet chewy, and are served with a creamy beer cheese sauce which we loved instead of any sort of mustard sauce. These are probably the best pretzels we’ve ever had. So of course when we visited the second time we had to have them again.
Then there’s the beer. Their beer list is pretty big so both times we went we ordered something different. I tried a new (to me) beer the first time we went and unfortuantely can’t remember what it was, and then on our second visit I stuck with one of my stand-bys, Bell’s Two Hearted. Marc branched out and tried a couple of new ones both times. Basically, if you’re a beer lover you’re guaranteed to find a handful of beers you’d like to try.
Both times we went, we decided to split a couple of the sandwiches. The first visit we ordered the Beer Braised Beef Sandwich topped with Chipotle Cream Cheese and the Reuben Panini. Both sandwiches were fantastic, but the Beer Braised Beef sandwich definitely was the star of the night. It consisted of tender, juicy braised beef with a thick slathering of a slightly spicy cream cheese and the combination was out of this world. The Reuben hit the spot for me (I was craving one) but was no competition for the beef sandwich.
The second time we went, we knew we had to order the Beer Braised Beef Sandwich again and then I branched out and got the Bison Burger. I’m not sure if I’ve ever ordered a bison burger before but for some reason I was intrigued by the addition of bacon and pickle aioli. I was so impressed by how flavorful the burger was. I really loved the smoky bacon flavor and the pickle aioli gave it a creamy tang.
Overall, the food was great and with such a huge menu, I can’t wait to go back and try everything else!
Service: Our service experiences were very different between our two visits. The first time we went, our server was pretty forgetful and slow. It wasn’t terrible, but nothing to rave about. The second time the service was much better. Though she was obviously busy, she was attentive, gave us great (and honest!) recommendations, and very friendly. I would say Buster’s isn’t a place you go for exceptional service, but more for the environment and food.
Overall: If you couldn’t already tell, we loved Buster’s. We highly recommend it for good quality, unique gastropub food. Up next, I can’t wait to try their Elian Gonzalez Sandwich (shredded pork with ham, mustard, Gruyere cheese, and pickles on focaccia bread) and their Walleye Rachel (lightly breaded walleye with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and tartar sauce on pumpernickel bread)!