When the local Westminster restaurant 5280 Burger Bar reached out to invite me to check out their menu, I shanghaied a couple of buddies and we headed over on a weekend afternoon to see what they had to offer. Our agenda: Eat. We had a tentative plan about going to see the film Hunter Killer afterwards, but it was pretty loose because we weren’t sure how long lunch would last and because, well, any movie with Gerard Butler is going to be bad so none of us were particularly enthused about it anyway.
It’s just as well we had flexible plans too, because we hung out at 5280 Burger Bar for quite a while, catching up and having a lot of fun socializing and eating. Eating a lot. I mean, like “let’s try these three appetizers and four side dishes” eating.
First off, yes, Coloradans, this is the same owners as the 5280 Burger Bar in Denver too, but with a more informal “neighborhood bar” sort of vibe. You can see in the bar design:
It’s not a sports bar per se but there were TVs on every wall showing sports. I am sure it’s quite the place to be during a Rockies game or – even more so – a Broncos game! This particular area of Westminster is also lovely, a nice, albeit somewhat yuppified stab at gentrification along a road that has very nice areas and not so nice areas. Post-meal we ended up walking around and checking out the more residential areas too, and were all quite impressed.
You get a small sense of that from the exterior design. Notice the modest patio on the left side:
Note: That white vehicle? That’s the 2018 Subaru Ascent Touring that I’m reviewing this week. Test drive, meet test lunch.
Also worth noting is that instead of hiding their dessert ingredients in the kitchen, they’ve converted the space in front of the kitchen into an ice cream parlor, 5280 Ice Cream. Did we indulge? Well, you’ll have to keep reading, won’t you? 🙂
Restaurant manager Charlie was quite chatty with us, sharing his favorites and emphasizing how they make everything themselves, from ketchup to mayonnaise to their burger buns. You could taste it – everything was fresh and light, with lively flavors far superior to the over-blended and sweet bottled ketchups.Our server Ryan helped us navigate the menu too, and it was on his recommendation that we started out with guacamole and chips. The guac was a bit mild for my taste, but still quite good and very fresh:
Time to order lunch? Oh no, with their cocktail menu in hand we ordered some drinks instead. I was the boring designated driver guy who got a Zuberfizz draft ginger ale soda, but my buddies were more adventurous. Lamar ordered a “Too Smoke or Not Too Smoke” mix of tequila, grapefruit juice and lime. It tasted like a slightly weak margarita and was really good. The grapefruit juice made it very bright as a beverage too. Steve? He went hog-wild and got an ice cream blended alcoholic drink, the “Shaketini Twisted Oreo”, with oreo ice cream, nutella ice cream, godiva chocolate and vodka. And oh, man, you could drink a few of these and then have a nap on the floor, they’re really tasty:
Don’t you want to just reach into the screen and grab it for a sip? Yeah, it was really good.
Then we ordered our meal. Steve got a “What the Guac?” burger with 100% black angus beef, pecan smoked bacon, guacamole, white cheddar cheese, red leaf lettuce and roasted garlic aioli:
You can see that the burgers are served on metal wire trays with a piece of butcher paper, not on plates. That was a bit problematic because the burger was really tasty (with some wicked good bacon!) but more than a bit messy. Or maybe it was Steve that was messy. 🙂 Still, one quite tasty burger, no question.
Lamar went the health route and got a “Mexican Corn Salad” with chicken:
He was quite impressed and happy with his salad and the chicken was perfectly cooked too (I stole a piece to taste it). Me? I ordered their two smaller burger “I Can’t Decide” with a smaller “New Mexican Green Chili Burger” with pepper jack cheese, hatch green chili and crispy tortilla strips and a smaller “5280 Prime” with prime Wagyu beef, sharp white cheddar and onion rings. I couldn’t much taste any difference between the two burgers even though the Wagyu is supposed to be a premium beef, however. Both were really good and yes, with green chili poured on it, the New Mexican burger was so messy I resorted to a knife and fork!
But we didn’t stop there because it’s a la cart. So we ordered some sides. Like, a lot of sides. To start, the Crispy Brussel Sprouts were fantastic with their tangy teriyaki/bbq sauce and their delicious onion rings with homemade ranch dressing. It’s hard to find good onion rings so these are worthy of praise; light and tasty with a buttermilk-based batter. I’m sure I ate the majority of them (sorry guys).
Our third side dish was the rather over the top Truffle Fry Basket with queso. Check this out:
It was absolutely as delicious as it looks, with perfectly cooked french fries (uh, freedom fries?) and a decadent queso sauce that pools at the bottom of the container.
Oh man, so much good food. And great conversation with two of my closest friends. A lovely venue, cheery servers and a definite neighborhood pub sort of energy contributed to a relaxed and, yeah, decadent lunch.
And then we decided to sample their ice cream desserts too, so we ordered a “Very Strawberry” sundae with wild strawberry ice cream, homemade strawberry sauce and house-made whipped cream. It was way bigger than expected:
Do I even need to say that it was delicious? You can see and I bet you’re salivating right now! It was indeed quite refreshing and tasty, but oh man, by then we were so full that we barely dented it before we threw in the proverbial towel.
All told, we had run up an impressive tab – and appreciated them covering it in return for this review! – and all agreed that rather than sit in a movie theater, we needed to move around a bit, so we walked around the neighborhood behind the restaurant. A two mile stroll and chat, according to Lamar’s fitness app. And we were still full. 🙂
Finally, got kids? You’ll want to know about their Kids Eat Free Tuesdays! It’s a free kid’s meal with the purchase of any full size entrée on Tuesdays at the Westminster location. That, my friends, is a solid deal.
5280 Burger Bar, 4301 Main Street, Westminster Co. Phone: (720) 887-5970. Recommended.
Disclosure: 5280 Burger Bar covered the cost of our meal and also gave us a gift card so we could come back a second time, all in return for this candid review and writeup.