WHAT WAS ONCE Columbus’ dirty little secret has blossomed into Columbus’ dirty little “place to be.” Thanks to some media exposure, people have learned just how amazing the food is at The Thurman Cafe. On a Friday night, there is a wait--every single Friday. And people do wait because the food, though incredibly simple, is so very worth it. With the addition of Thurman-To-Go at the original German Village location, as well as in Reynoldsburg, you can also take home this deliciousness quickly – avoiding the wait.
Just think burgers. Big, fresh burgers. Thurman doesn’t freeze their meat; everything is freshly purchased from a local butcher and served to you juicy and unaltered. We were once told by a reliable source that they pound through over 2,500 pounds of meat weekly. Sure, they offer other things – thin pizzas, subs, salads, fries and onion rings They are all outstanding, but the burgers are the real reason that we go.
We won’t talk about the Thurmanator. No one – and we mean no one – should ever have the appetite to take that thing on. Last we checked, the completed product weighed in at around 691 pounds. OK, no – not really, but it is absolutely huge. The Thurmanator is proof that sometimes there can be too much meat.
They offer a variety of burgers, and we have our favorites. Taste Bud Mike most enjoys the Pepperoni Pizza burger. The spiciness of the sauce, the pepperoni and the pepper in the meat complement each other very well. Even though this thing is three-fourths a pound of meat (after cooking), the flavors marry in a way that you won’t want to stop.
Taste Bud Craig, being the heat junkie, is in love with the Salsa Burger. It is served open-faced on Texas toast and drenched in the most flavorful salsa you can imagine. Freshly sliced jalapenos finish it off with one helluva kick! Look for our glistening bald spots – you’ll know we are sharing one.
All burgers are served with potato chips. They are good, but we recommend upgrading to the combo basket (proudly named “the happy basket” by Taste Bud Craig back in the 1980s). It is a 50/50 mix of fries and onion rings. Something is different about the way they deep fry, though. We can’t say what it is, but it is delicious! We have gone to Thurman simply to split a happy basket and have a few drinks.
One other thing that the Thurman has mastered is service. It can be so busy that they can’t see their next table, but their staff doesn’t panic, and most of them have been there for more than a decade. The service is always fantastic – once you finally get to your table. We recommend asking for Kevin and playing a Prince song on the jukebox. Just be ready to be serenaded!
As is custom, we give The Thurman Cafe four greasy thumbs up way up. Now where is the number to our cardiologist?