300 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Parking: Lot, Free
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Cuisines: Burgers, American, Hot Dogs
Alcohol: Beer, Full Bar, Wine
Price Range : Below Average
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When you have three boys and a restaurant named Zombie Burger opens up nearby, you're automatically required to check it out. So I was excited when the opportunity arose to take my 10-year-old and his friend there before an arena football game. Needless to say, they were dying to go (insert drum and cymbal crash here). We arrived about 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday and weren't surprised when the host said we'd have about a 20-minute wait. Although the lobby was extremely crowded with other waiting guests, there were plenty of seats and tables available outside. Instead of getting one of those annoying buzzers that always make me jump out of my skin when they go off, I gave the host my cell phone number, and I received a text when our table was ready, which was about 10 minutes earlier than they'd anticipated. Bonus.
We were seated at a table on the patio, and I was a little bit bummed that we wouldn't be able to check out all of the fun and gory zombie murals inside. But we could still see some of them through the window, and the menu and children's activity menu provided enough fodder for our zombie fix. The "Eat burgers, not brains" slogan, zombie jokes (What is a zombie's favorite street? A dead end!) and draw-your-own-zombie-hand-coming-out-of-the-ground activity made the children's menu the coolest one I'd ever seen. The boys were in bloody heaven.
Deciding what to order was next. Known for their burgers, I didn't want to order a salad or sandwich, and I perused the list of choices, including the Juan of the Dead, T-Virus and They're Coming to Get You Barbara burgers. I ordered the "La Horde," a burger with goat cheese, bacon, caramelized onion and mayo, and my son chose the restaurant's namesake, the Zombie Burger, which comes with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and Zombie Sauce. The burgers came with their house hand-cut fries. My burger was cooked exactly the way I like it, and the flavors of the goat cheese, bacon and carmalized onion enhanced the delicious beef burger. We were so full, we didn't have room for one of their Brain Freeze shakes. We'll have to save that for next time.
The prices were similar to other upscale burger joints in Des Moines, and for us the atmosphere and fun added even more to the value. As soon as we left, I received another text thanking us for eating there and offering to add us to the text list for coupons and specials. Those zombies may be ugly, but they sure know how to run a restaurant.