When a neighborhood restaurant closes, you want to see another dining venue move in so ample nearby lunchtime food options remain. Those of us who toil in downtown Columbus therefore were happy to see that when Oliver’s on Lynn Alley closed its doors, it wasn’t long before another restaurant took its place.
The new restaurant is called Belly Burger, and the B.A. Jersey Girl and I paid it a visit on its opening day. I’m not sure that Belly Burger is the greatest name — it definitely made me wonder whether, from a fitness, weight, and waistline perspective, I should really be gobbling down another lunchtime burger — but if Pot Belly Sandwiches can be a thriving business, having “Belly” in the name clearly is not a barrier to restaurant success.
Belly Burger offers a limited menu, so you’re not overwhelmed with choices. There are burgers, and there is a chicken sandwich, and you can get fries — and that’s about it in the food category. You can also order a Cheerwine slushee (Cheerwine being a southern soft drink that tastes somewhat like a Dr. Pepper), milkshakes, or soft drinks in the beverage category, and Belly Burger has a full bar, too. In fact, you can combine the slushee or milkshakes with a liquor of your choice to make them “boozy.”
The BAJG and I passed on any boozy beverages and went straight for the burgers and fries. The Belly Burger burger was large, juicy, cheesy, and excellent in every respect. I particularly want to give B.B. a hat tip on the bun, which was buttery and soft on top, well-toasted and crunchy next to the meat, and very flavorful in its own right. The fries similarly were crunchy and well-textured and in a reasonable portion. And the friendly bartender offered us a taste of the Cheerwine slushee, in its unboozy form, so we could toast Belly Burger’s grand opening. I’m not a fan of slushees generally, but if you like them I’d guess you’d enjoy the B.B. Cheerwine version.
Welcome to the ‘hood, Belly Burger! The burger fans among us are glad you’re here.