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Thurman Cafe Review

History

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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The Thurman Cafe's history is a long one. It's been a family owned establishment since 1942. Nestled in the historic German Village, the restaurant has long had a great reputation evident by its massive popularity on the weekends and during lunch.

The Ambiance

Depending on the time you visit, the first thing you notice when you walk into Thurman's is a small waiting room of sorts with TVs and a video game or two. There's a great raised nook that you can sit in and people watch while you wait on your table to be ready. And you will wait.

I have visited the cafe several times at different times of the day and have yet to catch it having a 'slow day.' The wait time can become a big factor if you arrive during the more busier times - lunch, dinner and the weekend or with a large party. And calling ahead won't help. They do not take reservations.

The reason for the long wait is revealed when you enter the dining room. It's tiny. Now, depending on your perspective, it could either be very cozy or frightening. In the end the hap-dash decor, signed and pinned dollar bills all over and bustling bar makes the venue feel very comfortable. The service staff makes you feel right at home.

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The Food

You don't go to Thurmans for the decor. It's the food that is the star of this show and they give you plenty of it. There are a variety of sandwiches, appetizers, wings, etc., but the cafe is famous for its burgers.

All of the burgers are 3/4 of a pound and come in tantalizing variety of flavor combinations. First time visitors should start at the burgers and work their way out. My personal favorite is the Jaeger. An open-face (you read that right) burger smothered in sauteed mushrooms, onions and topped with French onion dip.

I have to confess. I told a small fib. Not all the burgers are 3/4 of a pound. There is one, that used to be whispered about in circles, that only the bravest, biggest guy would try - the Thurmanator.

This burger is in a category all its own. Here's how it's assembled: bottom bun, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, 12 ounce burger, bacon, cheddar, another 12 ounce burger, sauteed mushrooms, onion, ham, mozzarella and American chees, and a top bun...with fries on the side.

Whoa.

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Price

Everything at the cafe is in an affordable price range, even the Thurmanator in all of its gigantic glory is only $16.49. The average price for one of the signature burgers is $8-$9 bucks and appetizers run between $3 and $5.

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Cons

There are some downsides to the cafe and they really doesn't take away from the experience if you plan ahead:

-Parking. Parking is rough in German Village in general, it's terrible around the cafe. There is on street parking only. Be prepared to walk a few blocks or to do the shark circle a few times.
-The wait. The place is small and popular so you have to wait, but the wait is made tough when the holding area gets full. Then everyone is just trying not to fall over each other.

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