Review: Gordo’s

I guess Gordo’s is the latter half of 2008′s Terry’s Turf Club.  Terry and I wanted to do a low-end dinner before we traveled this week, and wanted to get something we couldn’t get where we were going, so I suggested Gordo’s.

Gordo’s is the creation of Raymond Gordo, Jean Robert de Cavel’s former sous chef.  He branched out on his own with a menu of bar food, burgers, and a few entrees.  They’re known for their burgers, one of which was a recipe “given” to Raymond by JR himself.

We wandered into Norwood on Saturday night around 8 PM and expected a TTC-like crowd, but instead we saw a couple of apparent regulars at the bar and a few tables with a range of ages represented:  some college kids, some middle aged, some older.  It was a great, varied crowd.

Gordo'sFirst thing that impressed me?  They had my favorite hard-to-find alcoholic beverage, Strongbow.  It wasn’t on tap (it would have become my favorite bar in Cincinnati if they did!) but they did have it in cans, which is just about as good.  Yum.

Gordo'sSecond thing that impressed me?  Goat cheese.  Yeah, I know, TTC spoiled me for all burgers without goat cheese, but I was so darn happy that the Jean-Robert burger included goat cheese that I ordered it.  Not just goat cheese, but blue cheese and onion compote, bacon, mayonnaise , grape compote and lettuce.
Gordo's
Terry went with the Hawaiian burger, which had roasted pineapple, barbecue sauce, cheese, tomato, onion and lettuce.

So, what did we think?

It’s not Terry’s Turf Club.

Gordo'sThere. I said it.  Gordo’s is good, but it didn’t blow me away the way I thought it would.  The buns are fresh (great!), the meat is fresh (really good!), and the flavors complex and a little different than your average burger joint, but the burgers are practically impossible to eat, which takes away from the experience.  The bun had disintegrated before I finished half of the burger, and Terry had the same problem.  The thick (I mean, super-thick) burger is a thickness that I think works better on a mini-burger (which is how I have had Jean-Robert’s burger before), so I think I would prefer either a larger bun or a slightly thinner burger.  I’m OK with messy, I just don’t like a burger that I can barely manage to eat.

I was disappointed by the fries.  Perhaps it’s because I walked in knowing who ran Gordo’s, and I expected frites, not frozen steak fries.  They weren’t bad, but they weren’t what I expected, and I think that disappointed me even more than another restaurant might have.

The service was good– average local bar service, attentive but not clingy, and very casual.  The prices were great– two Coronas for Terry, a Strongbow and two burgers with fries for $23.00

Would I go back?  Absolutely.  Where does it place as far as Cincinnati burgers?  Terry says #2, and I think I can agree, if only because I can’t think of who else I would put in second place.  I’d like to try the Gordo burger next–poblanos and boursin.  They also have a black bean burger for you vegetarians out there– and I’m sure you could get the burger prepared like some of the “specialty” burgers, if you asked.
Gordo's Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

  • http://me-unplugged.com stefanie

    i keep hearing about this terry’s turf club, so i’m going to have to try it!

    also, don’t quote me on this, but i’m 99% sure that both the cock and bull pub in mainstrasse, as well as the pub in rookwood mews (across from j. alexander’s) both have strongbow on tap. (it’s my favorite cider, and during the 4 months i just spent in scotland, it was pretty much all i drank when i was out since it’s on tap at just about every bar/pub. which made me very, very happy.)

  • g

    terry’s turf club may have good burgers (i, too, was impressed by the goat cheese option), but the service completely sucked when i was there and the fries weren’t as great as i’d heard. i was there with my elderly grandfather and they couldn’t get our party of 5 into a booth for over an hour so my poor grampy had to teeter on a bar stool at a high top table that took almost 45 minutes to get seated at. when the check came i was even less impressed. we could have had a much better dining experience right next door at bella luna for what we spent on our bill for burgers and crappy fries.

  • kevin

    TTC is amazing. Bad service is part of the experience. It’s almost like the soup azi on seinfeld…..so when people tell me the service was bad, I think they just didn’t “get it”

  • eroslane

    I went to TTC again last night (Monday).

    My appetite was more than sated with another orgasmic burger, followed by Sam Adams draft after Sam Adams draft until the keg ran dry — but the topper?

    THE TOPPER?

    Terry noticed I was just eating my fries plain, so he brought over a serving of a balsamic vinegar glaze that I poured over the fries.

    I guess that makes Terry’s kind of like Kung-Fu Panda: “There is no charge for the awesomeness!” :-D

    Zowie —- such deliciousness! I’ve drooled over the memory of that, and the burger, all day today!

  • eroslane

    BTW: My wife & I have never ever EVER had bad service at TTC in the 18+ times we’ve eaten there.

    Yes, often you have to wait to be seated.

    Yes, there is no where for you to wait without getting bumped or jostled.

    Yes, the level of business can does not leave time for witty banter and long explanations by the staff (’cause if you don’t like it they have 30 others who’ll take your seat) if you need your whims catered to. This is not the time or place for that.

    Solution: You should just go to AppleO’CharleyBees if that bothers you. They have Stepford greeters to hold the door open for you, cheesy benches to sit on while you wait for their crappy, microwaved food. They’ll even act like they like you while they answer your inane questions at AppleO’CharleyBees when they would just assume put a fork in your head.

    Just sayin’. Put your big girl panties on if you’re going to go out and eat someplace unique and wacky like TTC — because sometimes it’s about the food and the experience, not about you, because I would just DIE if I ever ever EVER ever had to eat at an AppleO’ChiliBees. I’d just make oatmeal at home instead (or go to Starbucks). ;-)

    And g? Bella Luna is a great place with delicious food and painfully courteous-to-a-fault, attentive service. It’s a much better option if you’re taking family out for dinner than TTC — or AppleO’ChiliBees for that matter! I will grant you that. :-D Maybe we’ll be sitting in the booth next to you someday!

  • Brian

    The Rookwood in Mt. Adams has the best burgers by far now in Cincinnati. I liked TTC until I had these, simply amazing. I highly reccomend.