First bites at Sellers Eatery: Serious burgers with a side of potatoes you’ve not seen before.

First bites at Sellers Eatery: Serious burgers with a side of potatoes you’ve not seen before.

 

This photo, from Sellers Eatery in Calhoun, mirrored the burgers and sidewinder fries we tried Friday night.

 

Burgers are serious business on Broad Street.

Rome City Brewing Co. (Brewhouse) has built a reputation around 14 burgers ranging in price from $7.95 to $9.95 with a side included (check our the burger specials on Thursdays especially). You go from a classic all the way to your favorite burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches (the Widow Maker!)

Harvest Moon offers five burgers at lunch, with the wicked pimina cheese and red headed stranger being among the best of the bunch. ($8 to $11)

Seasons is proud of its two burgers, New South and Bacon Bleu ($9 or $10), and with good reason.

There are others — including relative new offerings at Mellow Mushroom, Jefferson’s, etc. — but for the biggest burger bang, the independents seem to have the top end of the market.

The indies have more competition these days from Sellers Eatery now open at 315 Broad St. in a building that once housed The Greener Burger. David Sellers, a restaurant veteran with another “eatery” in Calhoun — is serving paninis, sandwiches, a rare salad bar and some pretty nice spins on potatoes, from French fries to loaded sidewinder fries. And burgers. And they’re good burgers.

You’re going to pay, on average, $10-$12 but you’ll leave satisfied. We tried two last Friday night, just a few days after Sellers soft opening. We expected a crowd but found seats (and a few old friends also experimenting with the menu).

What we ate

We were expecting something a bit different, perhaps a more formal entree, but we went with the borrowed menus from the Calhoun location (with some hand-written updates to boot). Order no. 1 was a pimento cheese burger with a fat onion ring. It was perfect, right down to the lava-like flow of the ample cheese. Order no. 2 was a mushroom, swiss and onion burger — again much like the picture above. We upsized the French fries to the sidewinders, expecting to get the “loaded” variety. What we got instead were a new spin on potatoes — very tasty but sans bacon and other add-ons. Next time.

Any “fixings” for the burgers (lettuce, tomato, etc.) meant a quick trip to the salad bar, about the size of those at Fuddruckers but with more choices for toppings.

We drank tap water but soft drinks, tea and related options were available (self-serve at that). It was a little odd drinking out of “Braves” plastic cups but again, it was fine. No beer, wine or liquor served.

All in all, a good meal for around $28 with tip included.

What to know

The trend of customer involvement (i.e, you order at the cash register on the way in, serve-yourself drinks, serve-yourself salad bar) is alive and well at Sellers. Much like Moe’s Original Barbecue or Fuddruckers or Shane’s,  you place the order and they bring it to you. Plus you pay up front (tip included unless you want to leave cash).

What’s different inside

We missed the stools that had lined one side of The Greener Burger. We always had a vision of someone doing a wine bar there with a tasting room on the stool side and small plates served in the main dining room. Not these days. A wall of comfortable family sized booths are in their place. Some other cosmetic changes have been made (much more has been done but that’s not visible to a customer) but all in all, the dining room was similar to The Greener Burger — including a table setup we had used seven or more years ago.

The bathrooms were modernized and we didn’t get a chance to check on the back porch that overlooks Town Green. David Sellers says an ice cream bar could be destined for that spot. This is about as close as it gets to waterfront dining in Rome so we hope there are expanded options.

Bottom line

The burgers are solid and we’ve heard good reports on the sandwiches. The potatoes are a draw of their own. If you’re looking for a casual lunch or dinner spot — especially with your family as we saw four groups with toddlers on up — you’ll like it. We’re anxious to see the finished product — its own menus, perhaps its own plastic drinking cups and a stronger digital presence to share menus, for example. But this is a good start and David Sellers has bona fide contenders in the Broad Street burger wars and for the attention of the surprisingly large downtown sandwich crowd.

We’ll try it again — and sooner than you think. Our burger-loving teens want to give it a try later in the week. We’ll have updates as warranted as these two are tough customers.

Sellers is open 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday. You’ll find some updates on the Sellers Eatery Facebook page from Calhoun by clicking here. No reviews to share yet on Facebook, Yelp! or Trip Advisor.

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