Opinion: O’Brien’s offers wide selection of non-beef burgers

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    O’Brien’s, the new football themed burger joint in the Multi-Purpose Building, is TCU’s go-to place for those who prefer beef alternatives.

    In the midst of a menu of beef options including the All American, the Hail Mary, the Pigskin Burger, the Second String Sammy and the Dirty Bird Philly Burger, O’Brien’s also offers the Heisman Chicken Sandwich, the First Down Fresh Burger, and the Turkey Burger.

    Heisman Chicken Sandwich, $5.99:

    Choose between grilled and fried chicken breast on buns and add garlic mayo and sweet spicy slaw for a nice bite, especially on the hand-breaded option. Whether it would taste as good on grilled chicken is up for debate.

    If you like ranch on your chicken, you’re out of luck: O’Brien’s doesn’t have it at their station. Their staff will, however, refer you to Magnolia’s two stations down to find ranch.

    The First Down Fresh Burger, $5.69:

    The First Down Fresh Burger is O’Brien’s “house made veggie burger with spinach and sundried tomato mayo,” according to the menu posted on the wall.

    If you’re the type to ask what’s in your veggie burger, you may be turned off when you ask the O’Brien’s staff. “I’ll ask my manager,” one chef responded. “I’ll go check the ingredients that are in these,” the manager said.

    After going to the back to check the ingredients, the manager, Vinny, said the veggie burgers had a mozzarella cheese base “but other than that it’s just a veggie burger.”

    Regardless of the uncertainty of ingredients, the First Down Fresh Burger was tasty. The sundried tomato mayo was an interesting condiment in that it helped make the burger taste a lot like a beef patty burger.

    The Turkey Burger, $5.99:

    The Turkey Burger has no clever football themed name like the other items on the menu, but it can hang with the other menu items taste-wise.

    Hard critics would probably give the burger a B-. There are some pretty amazing turkey burger recipes out there and the patty O’Brien’s uses is not only thin, but also bland. Paired with the sautéed mushrooms and spinach with a garlic aioli, the lack of flavor is tolerable.

    The chef on duty may or may not ask if you’d like anything else on your burger, depending on how friendly they are; the night shift is far more friendly than the day shift.

    If given the option, you may want to add mayo and/or ketchup to give the burger a bit more flavor and alleviate dryness. (Tip: There are condiment packets on a stand a few feet from the grill, if you don’t mind dressing your burger yourself.)

    Other Options

    O’Brien’s also offers chicken tenders for $4.99, and if they’re as good as the chicken tenders on the hand breaded chicken sandwich, they’re worth a buy.

    They also offer grilled cheese sandwiches for $2.49. It’s pretty hard to mess a grilled cheese sandwich up, so if all else fails there’s always that option.

    O’Brien’s is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. Though they serve breakfast every day, O’Brien’s weekend menu consists of breakfast only.

    If you’re looking for a tasty non-beef/non-pork breakfast meal at O’Brien’s, good luck. The closest you’ll get is the Spring Training, a toasted bagel topped with egg whites, organic spinach, feta cheese, and tomato.

    Everything else on the breakfast menu consists of either bacon or sausage. Turkey bacon and turkey sausage are not options.