First Bite: Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden



Ever since cryptic posts began to appear on Holland House's Facebook feed and neighbors noticed the work going on in the old play-school at 731 McFerrin Ave. behind HH and across from Mas Tacos Por Favor, East Nashvillians have been all atwitter (that is, burning up Twitter) about the prospect of having a good burger parlor in their neighborhood. Last week, after two invitation-only preview nights for their neighbors, Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden finally invited the rest of us in to try their brand of hospitality.

With a variety of burgers, sandwiches, wurtschen, house-made sodas and shakes as well as a nice selection of high-end beers, Pharmacy is like Swensen's for adults. Not that they aren't kid-friendly, at least until 9 p.m. Before that witching hour, young'uns are welcome and will probably have a great time enjoying the sort of fountain drinks that their parents might remember from Moon Drugs soda counter along with a nice little playground tucked in the back corner of the beer garden. In fact, that beer garden may be a favorite playground of many of us once the weather improves — its multilevel grassy knolls are filled with picnic tables that are just begging to be covered with steins of summer lager. Until then, there's plenty of space indoors and on the covered patio with an indoor/outdoor bar and propane heaters to warm your buns while you enjoy Pharmacy's burgers and their buns made special for them by Provence.

The buns are indeed notable in their ability to hold up to the juicy overtopped burgers, including what I've been told is a decadently messy Stroganoff Burger covered with a gooey mushroom bechamel. I sampled the Farm Burger (pictured), which was a protein bomb topped with country ham, bacon, maple mustard and a fried egg for good (if not necessarily good for you) measure. Other specialty burgers include the Chili Burger and a Mission City Burger with guacamole, black beans and crema fresca. Vegetarian options include a Falafel Burger and a Black Bean Burger.

All the burgers come with either fries or tater tots. I've heard from other diners that it is important to order your fries cooked crispy, but I didn't care about that because the tater tots I sampled were absolutely top-drawer — well-seasoned and fried to a golden-brown perfection. The only way to make these tots better was to dunk them in the Chillup, which is sort of a curried ketchup. Pharmacy imposes a slight upcharge for a side of the chillup, but trust me it's worth it. Unless you prefer to dunk your fries and tots in a brown beer gravy, which I'm told is more of a German tradition. That's also available for an extra fee, so whatever floats your boat. But trust me, get the tots and the curried ketchup.

Beers, hard ciders and specialty root beers are available in either 12- or 20-ounce sizes and are all pretty high-end and interesting. Don't expect to get a Bud or a Miller Lite at Pharmacy; Dino's is just down the street if you insist.

I'm confident that Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden will take off in this spot. Parking may be a little problematic if both Holland House and Pharmacy are hopping on the same night, but there are several lots around and between the restaurants. It's worth the effort. If you get to visit before I get back over to the People's Republic of East Nashville for another fine burger, as always, let us know what you think in the comments.

Comments (24)

Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

Add a comment