Bar 145 gets it name from what they believe is the perfect burger-cooking temperature (medium rare). While I’m normally wary of eating a burger prepared medium rare, if the meat is high-quality enough, I happily indulge. After picking your temperature (or if you don’t want beef, you can opt for chicken breast, veggie burger, or salmon burger instead), you then have the fun task of filling out the rest of your Build-a-Burger sheet. I don’t know about you, but I find something really fun about filling out a bubble sheet — Yes, I’m being totally serious. :)
- You get to pick your bread (or non-bread – you can skip the bun or make it a salad),
- Cheese type (has some amazing cheeses that rotate periodically — Detroit brick was an amazing, creamy, flavorful peace of heaven),
- Veggies (woo! Arugula! Cucumber relish! Oven-dried tomatoes! And others!),
- Premium toppings (House-cured Bacon, Duck Confit, Avocado Slices, Peach Habanero Chutney, etc.), and
- Sauces and Spreads (Red Pepper Aioli, Bourbon Steak Sauce, Balsamic Mayo, Maple Demi Glace, Truffle Sea Salt Rub, etc.).
I love having that much control over my food and I have tons of fun coming up with various combinations (much like at Yogurt Vi’s and Cold Stone Creamery). I know it’s dorky, but I actually keep a copy of all the combos I develop, in case I want to revisit them or tweak them.Bar 145’s other menu items are equally awesome, tasty, and totally fulfill my craving for things “foodie”. A burger place MUST have good sides. If a place has great burgers but awful fries, I’m not interested (and yes, there is a burger joint in town I refuse to eat at for this reason). At Bar 145, I haven’t yet met a side there that I didn’t find incredibly tasty, though I’ve found some to be a bit heavy for my salad-loving self and prefer to share them amongst a few friends (like the duck confit fries and the roasted bone marrow) or just have a taste of theirs (the cheeseburger soup was amazing but way too heavy for me to have a whole cup to myself, I found one or two bites was fully enough to satiate me). I also particularly like the tempura-battered green beans and the House Truffle Fries with Rosemary, Parmesan, and Red Pepper Aioli.
As stated in a previous post, one of my favorite things about Bar 145 is what makes it my honey’s second choice for a burger place — he finds it slightly pretentious because the fancy foodie dishes offered and the fancy burger toppings like arugula. He still really likes Bar 145, it’s just his second choice, if given the option.
Bar 145 also has an extensive bourbon list and I’m assuming a full bar, but I must admit, I don’t know from personal experience, I’ve only ever gone for lunches.The only time I was there at night was as a performer for their Mayan Apocalypse Party, and though I didn’t get to see much because I was busy dancing and eating fire, the crowd seemed to enjoy the atmosphere of the bar immensely and my friends who came to see me perform had a good time there. The night atmosphere was *very* different from the daytime one. At lunchtime I have fun with my foodie friends, at night it seems more like a regular bar crowd (but I honestly can’t say for sure, since I didn’t see much and I was there for a special event so the crowd may not have been the usual one).
Price is slightly on the high end for lunch (I normally spend $15-$20, with tip), but not over-priced given the quality, variety, and inventiveness of the offerings. As far as the service, I’ve personally always had really good experiences and the one time there was an error with our order, the manager came over and apologized, they took it off our bill, but still gave us the corrected item (yay for free appetizer!). To be fair, I must report that a friend of mine went and had really bad service, so I don’t know if she just went on a bad day, if the server was new, or if my experiences there were out of the ordinary. However, I have gone multiple times and she’s only gone once, so I think they must have just been having a bad day.
I highly recommend this restaurant to any burger lover (whether meat eater or vegetarian) and/or foodie looking for a high quality and out-of-the ordinary food experience in the Toledo area.
Just one more picture of my performance there — sorry if I’m boring you with these, but I really like this pic :)