Mugshots offers creative takes on burgers

Mugshots Grill & Bar is a big, comfortable place, with loads of TVs on the walls, a large bar area and a private room for parties.

Things are on a big scale, including the hamburgers, so bring an appetite.

The menu is mostly devoted to burgers, although sandwiches, salads and pastas are offered, and has a lot of amazingly creative takes on the humble hamburger.

There’s the “Anthony’s peanut butter burger” that serves a beef patty “slathered with your choice of smooth or crunchy peanut butter.” Another one, which I can more easily imagine the nice taste of, is the “huevos rancheros,” a burger with guacamole, fresh fried egg and salsa.

All of the hamburgers have what the chain describes as its “signature sandwich detail” and that’s the toasted sourdough hamburger bun. And that not insignificant part of the meal may very well divide diners into two groups, fans and others.

Our dining party fell into the “others” camp. We thought the soft, very buttery-tasting bread would make a delicious dinner roll, but seemed a little perplexing as a hamburger bun.

That said, the three hamburgers we tried made for a filling meal — one of those huge burgers you can’t decide how best to attack — but next time, we might try a sandwich or pasta.

The Comeback Burger ($8.99) is served with a special sauce, bacon, pepperjack cheese, onions, lettuce and tomato and topped with a fried onion ring.

Stu’s Magic Mushroom burger ($8.99) had perhaps the most pleasing combination of flavors, with sauteĆ©d mushrooms, melted Swiss cheese and all the trimmings.

Finally, Da’ Big Kahuna ($8.79) had the most unexpected flavor combinations, with teriyaki sauce, strips of bacon and a grilled pineapple slice, along with the usual dressings. We deemed it interesting.

Another item, Missy’s Grill Shrimp Caesar Salad was disappointing. The garlic grilled shrimp were good, but I could have forgone the salad they topped. The Caesar dressing was barely in evidence.

Actually, our favorites were the appetizers. The Pow-Pow shrimp ($8.99), fried shrimp tossed in a sweet-and-spicy Thai sauce, was absolutely delicious.

Also good were the three items we chose for the Mombo Combo ($9.99) that serves up a portion of three of the appetizer choices: Spencer’s nachos, tortilla chips topped with beef chili, cheese and sour cream; Southwest egg rolls that were a tasty surprise, with grilled chicken breast, cheese, corn and other vegetables wrapped in a flour tortilla and lightly fried; and Blankenshrooms, fresh mushroom buttons battered and fried and served with homemade ranch dipping sauce.

We didn’t do dessert this day; it didn’t seem possible. But the choices, in the range of $2.99 to $4.99, sound good: a “mug shake” in flavors of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or peanut butter; a chocolate brownie sundae and New York cheesecake.