Murad’s at 35th Street – Kanawha City, Charleston, WV
I have no clue how long Murad’s has been in business in the Kanawha City neighborhood of Charleston. It has been a decade or two, at least. I read somewhere that if a restaurant makes it through its first year it has a greater than 90% chance of being open 10 years. Murad’s has stood the test of time and with a recent interior facelift it will last a couple more decades. If you haven’t been to Murad’s in the last year, because it felt quite worn you will be happy with the changes. It has been refreshed with new carpet, new paint, and recovered seats. The old pool hall area now has more family friendly games like DDR and air hockey. Murad’s is also smoke-free. 🙂
The menu has a large appetizer section for the bar crowd. The standout for me is the basket of homemade chips for $3.95. The salad section starts off with a Charleston classic – the “Sterling” salad, which is shredded ice berg lettuce, tomato wedge, cucumber, black olives, blue cheese crumbles and a russian dressing. Next is the sandwiches. The Buffalo Chicken sandwich is always good and spicy. The pièce de résistance are the burgers. Easily one of the top burgers in Charleston. You can make it your way or their way. I always get the “Blue and Gold Burger”, which is their 4-5 ounce burger topped with bacon, bleu cheese, american cheese, lettuce, tomato and bleu cheese sauce on a sesame seed bun for $6.25. The mix of flavors is just awesome. The smoky bacon, sharp bleu cheese, and tender beef have to get a Yum-O! The burgers are served with fresh cut fries, which on this visit were cold. 😦 A selection of Mediterranean items are sprinkled throughout the menu, such as tabbouleh and hummus (I think?).
Service is always somewhat sketchy. On our last visit we had exceptional service and hot food. This time our service was just OK and our fries where cold. Other times it has been awful. I think they have two servers for lunch, period and if they get “in the weeds” the management is not going to help them out. Since I mentioned the management I’ll say that they do a good job keeping their food cost down (Susan will have more to say on this…) , which is probably why they have been in business so long.
Since we don’t have half forks I rate Murad’s FOUR FORKS.
When I have a hankerin’ for a burger, I go to Murad’s. They have real honest-to-goodness hand-pattied fresh burgers. Their homemade fries are awesome and the homemade potato chips are so good I have a terrible time deciding which to get. At least in the days before the Carb Deprivation Torture Diet, that is.
I was dining with another low-carber and had brought low-carb double fiber wheat buns to swap out the large bun they would bring our burgers on. My friend tried to order a substitute for her fries (which are included in the price of the burger, $6.25) but they had nothing of the low-carb variety. When she asked about a side salad, I informed her “been there, done that, paid a fortune for it”. You see, if you want a small side salad consisting of a handful of iceberg lettuce leaves and a tomato wedge, you get charged extra even though you aare not getting fries. I got charged extra even when all they brought me on my plate was a plain hamburger patty. That day my lunch cost me $12. Ridiculous. Live and learn, thus the bun in my purse.
My burger was just as tasty as I had expected – juicy and cooked to the perfect doneness. I went ahead and accepted the fries and let my coworkers fight over them.
Soda price is good here at $1.65 with free refills, but the bad thing is they serve that inferior brand of soda instead of Diet Coke.
I also have experienced very slow service here on occasion but today it was just fine. If you are lucky, vintage bowling will be showing on one of the twenty-five televisions they have scattered around the dining area.
When you want a great burger, go to Murad’s. I give them THREE FORKS.
Hamburger: I always get the Blue and Gold Hamburger when we go to Murad’s. I tried it my first visit, fell in love with it, and have not strayed. Today, it was just as great. It has a sesame seed bun (which I love), bacon, American cheese, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Everything was just the way I like it…Hot bun, crispy bacon, melty cheese, lots of lettuce and mayo (because you can’t choke down a dry sandwich) and a nice slice of tomato.
French Fries: They were a bit skimpy on the homemade French fries. But it turned out to be OK as they were old, lukewarm, and chewy.
Drink: I am always happy to hear when a restaurant is serving Pepsi. It is my favorite beverage of choice (unlike others I dine with). However, on the first try, the server brought me a Diet. And for those who don’t know me, diet makes me gag. The server thought the problem was the fountain mix*, so I decided on Dr. Pepper- my second favorite beverage of choice. The server seemed very concerned about my Diet soda issue and the Dr. Pepper was quickly at the table.
Based on the price, service and food quality, I give Murads: FOUR FORKS.
*Warning Useless Food Knowledge from Dan – The fountain drink Brix is the measurement of the mass ratio of dissolved sugar to water in a liquid. If the Brix is off then your drink will taste like Perrier. Yuck, must be an European thing.
Another non-chain restaurant which generally appeals to me. It’s also gotten better since it’s gone smoke free. It used to be one of those places, where you remembered where you were every time you put on the fumigated jacket you were wearing during lunch. Anyway, on to the food . . .
I generally order a hamburger here, because they are yummy; however, Daniel and I had been there within the week, so I rotated to my second favorite item on their menu, the ham and cheese, substituting their homemade fries instead of the homemade chips. (Sidebar, other favorite hamburger places in Charleston include The Grill and Romeo’s). It is also somewhat of a smaller portion than the burger, which also met my needs for that particular day, as I wasn’t super hungry. The beauty of the ham and cheese lies in their Thousand Island dressing. Although it’s not anything special, it does give the sandwich that tangy taste which I like. I washed it all down with a sweet tea. The sandwich was slightly less tasty than it usually is–maybe there was too much cheese or not enough salt. However, it wasn’t bad, just not as it usually tastes. Total cost of my meal was $9 plus some change, eleven after tips.
I will comment that the service here can be all over the board. Usually, its on the slow side. However, last week when we went, it was exceptional, which is not the norm for the facility. This week, it seemed to be sliding to their normal range, but they were very busy and maybe it was just due to the size of our party or the number of full booths in the restaurant. I did notice the owner assisting in delivery of food to the tables. So I’ll hold judgement on the improved service until next time.
In closing, will say this is one of those ‘nickel and dime’ you places, so if you ask for something extra, expect to be charged for it. In all, my rating is a solid THREE FORKS.
200 35th St SE