859 W. Eisenhower Pkwy
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone: 734-994-DAVE (3283)
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am – 10pm
Fri-Sat 11am – 11pm
Sun noon – 10pm
The train won them over. The moment my kids, ages 6 and 2, saw that model train steaming around the inside of Bagger Dave’s, they were stoked to try the restaurant.
Decorated with both train and Ann Arbor memorabilia from the last century, Bagger Dave’s is a casual restaurant specializing in burgers and fries. There are a smattering of sandwiches and salads offered, too, but burgers are the focus. You can create your own burger, selecting a patty (beef, veggie, turkey), bun, and toppings such as cheese, sauce, and assorted vegetables, spices, or condiments. Or choose from a selection of “Legends” burgers, served with preselected condiments and toppings.
I selected the popular Bacon BBQ Burger, with Applewood bacon, BBQ sauce and iceberg lettuce. My husband chose the Train Wreck Burger, topped with French fries, a fried egg, cheddar, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, and Railhouse Burger Sauce.
“How do you NOT get the Train Wreck?” he asked. “You gotta write a story about something, right?”
Meanwhile, our kids were oblivious to our desire to place our order. Our 6- year-old son was engaged in the word search and maze on the children’s menu while our 2-year-old daughter kept watching the train. Every time—and I mean every time—that train came by, she hollered, “Hi, train! Chugga-chugga choo choo!”
Eventually, my son ordered a cheeseburger and fries while my toddler selected grilled cheese and fries. She considered getting a banana instead of fries, but she saw her brother shaking his head at the thought of fruit so she stuck with fries.
Our burgers were delicious. Soft, fresh buns surrounded meat that was cooked medium well. The “Legends” burgers boast two patties while the kids’ meal cheeseburger has one. I found the toppings in good proportion to the patties, with the right amount of sauce or bacon in each bite. On the other hand, and on purpose, my husband’s Train Wreck burger was heavy with toppings, which he plowed through without complaint.
My son loved his kids’ cheeseburger. “This is the best burger ever. I want to come here again and get a burger. Awesome burgers!”
When our server checked on us, our son motioned him closer, advising him, “You make the best burgers!” Our toddler, meanwhile, was pithy with her compliments. My husband inquire if she liked her grilled cheese.
We found the French fries and sweet potato chips satisfying. The fries are cut in-house every day and cooked using a 7-step Belgian fry process. I don’t know what those 7 steps are, but the end result is tasty fries that are neither too oily nor too thick. The sweet potato chips were thin cut, fried and sweet, even sweeter when dipped in a side of honey cinnamon sauce. I would have thought the sweetness would be too much with a burger, but they complemented each other just fine.
I was full and passed on dessert. I tried to convince my family that the Tootsie Rolls coming with the check would suffice as dessert, but they laughed at me. To them, the lure of hand-dipped Oreo cookie shakes was too powerful. I watched in amusement while the three of them puckered up to suck the thick shakes through their straws.
At first, the model train won my kids over to Bagger Dave’s. After eating there, though, I know it is the food that will bring us back again.
THE SHORT COURSE
To avoid wait Fridays and Tuesdays ($1.00 off burgers) are busiest
Noise level Moderate to high, depending on how crowded
Bathroom amenities Clean; changing table in women’s and men’s
High chairs Yes
Got milk Yes
Kids’ menu Yes
Anything healthy for kids Order a banana as a side instead of French fries
Food allergy concerns A couple; peanut butter sandwiches are available for kids. Peanut butter sandwhiches are available for kids. peanut butter only comes in contact with
the Panini press and workers change gloves before and after coming into contact with PB.