boylan heights - 11There are basically two kinds of burgers for sale out there: The thick and fancy restaurant burger taller than a 10-gallon hat, with toppings like feta and spinach, and the thinner grease-pit burger, with toppings like ketchup and mustard. Boylan Heights serves up the former, and they do it well.

The interior is like posh exposed-brick boutique meets frat house. A bar with backlit bottles vies for attention with a massive portrait depicting a scene from the movie Rushmore. The aesthetic on this main floor is a hip mix of muted colors with ambient lighting, while the more college-y upstairs features thick vinyl chairs and couches accompanying café-style seats around a massive projection TV screen that often shows a sports game, and a bar with pool tables beyond. The place feels a little like it doesn’t know what it wants to be, but for college students looking to be entertained for an evening or for those of us who just want a good cheeseburger, who cares?

boylan heights - 03At your seat you will find a long checklist of options for your burger. What kind of patty would you like — beef, turkey, veggie, or chicken? What kind of cheese, bun, sauces, toppings? How about some “assistants” like fries with or without chili or cheese, or maybe some sweet potato fries? You check off the things you want and hand it over to your server.

The end result is a tall burger cooked to perfection, held together with a black plastic toothpick thingee. The sweet potato fries are ridiculously good, while the regular fries would be forgettable if they weren’t so overwhelmingly salty. Though we all agreed that the dry and bland “house roll” bun was a major shortcoming, one friend said he felt it was the best burger in Charlottesville. Juicy and rich without the canon-ball-in-your-gut heaviness of some burgers.

As for me, I agree that it was good — it’s just that I’m more of a Riverside type guy. I like a burger that you don’t need to pin with a toothpick or cut in half with a knife in order to get your mouth around it. I’ll stick to my American cheese and ketchup and mustard. But if you want to eat good burgers while drinking mixed drinks, and would like the option to play some pool or watch the game afterwards, Boylan Heights is your place.

Erin says: “Strong points were the sweet potato fries (definitely a top contender for strongest fries in town) and the giant Max Fischer mural (rivaled only by Mr. Miyagi at the Box).”

award_star_gold_3 16Rating: Erin: Jed:

thumb_up 16 iconPros: Good thick burgers, great sweet potato fries, pool tables, lots of screens for watching your favorite team, good happy hour specials, occasional live music

thumb_down 16 iconCons: No parking, packed with students during the school year

money_dollar 16 iconPrice: Burgers $8

car famfam 16 iconParking: None, but there is a pay-garage around the corner

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