The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden is the latest project from the owners of Holland House Bar & Refuge in East Nashville. I was eager to try it out since the opening had been postponed due to beer license issues (oh Tennessee…), so I was stoked to try it out with my friend and her husband after Christmas. I usually hold off a bit to let a new restaurant work out their kinks, but I only had 2 or 3 weeks lefts in Nashville so it was now or never.
The menu has 8 specialty burgers or you can build your own with curry ketchup, beer gravy, a fried egg, etc. They also give you a choice between regular fries or tots. Or you can go for a house-made brat, currywurst, or other pork product on a bun or a chicken sandwich if you’re feeling unadventurous. As for drinks, they have a great list of craft beers with descriptions of the ones on draft. There are also milkshakes and minerals (what you call pop/soda/Coke in Ireland, by the way) that are made to order.
I chose the Pharmacy Burger that comes with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mustard, but I added some Benton’s bacon to mine. I also opted for the crispy fries with curry ketchup and a Saranac Caramel Porter. By the way, that caramel porter is life-changing. It has the flavor of caramel without being sweet or syrupy, and I could probably drink it all day. Since they were still getting into a groove in the kitchen, my burger wasn’t very juicy whereas a few friends who dined there a couple days earlier needed a ton of napkins for their juicy burgers. This is also where I think they might hit a snag. All burgers are cooked to a certain temperature. Like your burger still moo-ing? Can’t get it rare here. I personally prefer my burger medium well so it isn’t a problem for me. Yet I can see many people who are particular about their doneness, or lack thereof, getting frustrated that you can’t get your burger cooked to your liking.
The bun, which looked like an English muffin, is from Provence Bakery, and it really stands up to the loaded toppings without getting soggy. The crispy fries were golden and evenly crispy without mushy bits or burnt ends. That curry ketchup is a must! It’s sweet, spicy, and fragrant. My only suggestion, besides rethinking the burger doneness is seasoning the meat a little more. With all of the toppings and sauce flavors, the beef disappears a bit. The Local Burger at Fido stands up to complex flavors from its toppings, and the PM burger has an Asian bent in its seasoning that makes it unique. Just a thought.
I’m sure The Pharmacy will become a regular for many Nashvillians especially when it’s warm enough to open the beer garden. Go get that caramel porter, too.