Columbus >Food & Dining > The Thurman Cafe
183 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH | Directions 4320639.939541 -82.991111
11:00 AM - 2:30 AM
11:00 AM - Midnight
11:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Neighborhoods: German Village, South Columbus
Ignore the Man vs. Food hype. – Went here for my son's birthday since we had all heard all the hype about it, primarily from Man vs. Food. Must say though, I was not impressed. It was very hot, they said their air was not working. The service was not good, took forever to get drink refills. After we ordered it took about 45 minutes to get our food. We all got burgers. I really couldn't figure out what made these "special". I can make a much, much better burger than this one. I ordered mine well-done, it wasn't. The tomatoes were soggy, the bun was soggy and falling apart. My husband's burger didn't even have a bottom bun. The "onion straws" they serve with the bacon cheddar burger were not "straws" and they were gross. I had a stomach ache the rest of the night. It was a fun atmosphere, but I need more than that when I go out to EAT. I won't go back.
Rude service, excruciating wait – I would loved to have tried the burgers, but I never got the chance. Arriving at 5 PM with tickets for a 7 PM Clippers game, my family and I were told that there would be a 30 minute wait. Satisfied that we could still eat there and get to the game, we waited. And waited, and waited, and waited. 30 minutes turned into 60, and after they started seating people who arrived after us (and who put their names on the list after us), we had to leave. I don't expect I'll ever be going back.
where's the beef – I ate one of the thurmanators. I'm full, but I could have eaten more. Great burger. Victor the bartender/server has been with the place for 20 years had a great personality, great restaurant employee. I asked the same question that everyone ask, why not expand the restaurant? I guess the problem is a zoning problem because the restaurant is located in a residential neighborhood. I brought my wife and only waited 15 minutes for a 2 top table on a Friday after 3PM. As far as seating, there are basically eight 4 -6 people booths, four 2 tops and about ten bar seats. The bigger the party, the longer the wait. I suggest larger groups (larger than six) be willing to use multiple tables throughout the little dining area.
Fact – I have worked in hotels for many years now, I always recommend Thurman's for the simple fact that I hear great things and its part of our History here in Columbus. However I have never been there until today.. Service was okay, my waitress or waiter or my hostess whoever was helping me I couldn’t keep track ... Anywho I could have easily walked out with out paying my food tab. I stood there, moved out of my table because I could tell they were getting busy and I was at a two setter, since I understand how its important to service your guest in a timely manner I got up.. anywho stood there and waited and waited and waited, on my third waited I was ready to walk out, Clearly I was trying to pay had my card out and my to go box in hand which I got by myself. Then I was asked if I was ready for my tab and I said yes, the guy was like just a beer and started walking away and I said and a Thurman burger... then the waitress who had started to help me said SHE HAD A BEER AND A THURMAN BURGER, then gave me a nasty look... I could have hit the cracked out looking b**ch right then... I got my bill and asked for some to go silverware, it took nearly 10 mins to get that.. I had to ask three diff people finally the third lady I asked I said, Excuse me I have asked two others for to go silver where and its been nearly 10 min and I still don’t have any so she said okay and went and got me some, which took about 5 mins... sooo lets do the math 10+5=15min!! FOR SOME DAMN SILVERWARE! I went in-between lunch and dinner shift, so I didn’t have to wait at all to be seated which was nice.. However it took about 25 to 30 mins just to get my burger.. It doesn’t take that long to make a damn burger.. When I got it, it was bigger than I thought it would be so I asked for a real knife, and they brought me a kitchen knife that very easily half the size of my arm, I didn’t really care but it thought it was odd... Anywho had to get up and get my own to go box from behind the bar because once I got my burger I didn’t hear one more thing from the multiple people asking me if I had ordered when I first sat down, it was over kill at first but then I got nothing.. The burger wasn’t as good as I hoped it to be, it was alright... Nothing like they are made out to be... Overall I wouldn’t go back unless I was down in that area and I was with a friend and they wanted to go.. Will I send my guest there anymore.. Eh only if they ask for something that is historic to Columbus itself, but I will stick to recommending Schmidt’s and Ohio Deli before I blurt Thurman’s out.... I was really hoping it would be something great, but It just wasn’t.. Oh and I think its ridiculous that you have to pay extra for fries... Burger+Fries=Normal, but nothing is normal about this place so its a loss... Also on last thing the beer was not cold!! YUCK!
Under cooked food and terrible mangagement – I saw Thurmans cafe on Man vs Food, and I have lived in this city all my life and have never been there; after watching the program I decided to try Thurmans out when I got some free time. On Saturday 06/12 around 5p I went to Thurmans and ordered the Jonnie burger, an italion sub and two orders of fried brownies. I pull up and parking is awful, then I go into the facility and it took me 15 mins to find someone who could tell me where to go get my pick up at; I then finally go into the middle of the crowded bar to get my food, I paid a God awful amount for those 4 items and left, I live on the other side of town. I get home anticipating this great burger I saw on T.V. I took one bite, and saw the burger was severly under cooked, and the fries were just awful, the sub was more lettuce and onion than anything the best part of the meal was the brownies. Forgetting about calling on saturday, I attempted to call on 06/15 just to let the manager know what my experience was, he did not want to hear anything I had to say, I was not looking nor asked for compensation, he just wanted nothing to do with anything I had to say. I will never recommend this dirty hole in the wall with the under cooked food to anyone.
Big, greasy burgers, terrible service. – It was 2 or 3 pm, and we had three hours before I had to head back to work. Plenty of time right? At any average restaurant with an average staff, yes. At Thurman? NO. We waited TWO HOURS. At some point we ventured into the dining area to get a drink at the bar. There were many open spots, I think the least they could have done was seat people and let them look at the menu while they waited. I watched as the barkeep drank on the job, and basically just dicked around until we actually called to him.
We were eventually seated, and I had an hour left. It took 15 minutes for the waitress to take our order. 20 minutes later, and still burger-less, I told the waitress that when the food was finally done, just to go ahead and put them into doggy bags. We left 15 minutes before I had to be in to work.
The burgers are giant, but not particularly special in terms of taste.
I hope this place reads its reviews, and corrects it's errors, because this could be a great burger joint, IF they get some staff that actually care about their customers.
Thurman Cafe is amazing – Thurmans serves the best burgers around! It's a small place so if you go during a typical lunch or dinner hours expect to wait at least and hour. Parking is also hard to find but if all else fails you can park at Schiller Park and walk, its only about a block and a half away. Believe me it is well worth the wait the food is awesome! I'm there at least twice a month and I try to avoid the rush.
My first visit to Thurmans was shortly before they were featured on the Travel Channel, they've gotten busier since then. Throughout my many visits to Thurmans I've gotten to know some of the staff and yes I agree they do take forever to get your check. But don't be afraid to speak up, if an employee walks by your table (your 'waiter' or not) ask for your bill or refill or anything else you may want, they will be happy to help.
Look at it this way, if the biggest complaint is that there's too long of a wait the must mean they are busy right? And that many people can't be completely wrong. Besides if you don't like it, fine by me, that just makes the wait shorter for the rest of us.
P.S. I strongly advise that you avoid Thurmans during the Arnold Classic, it is always full of body builders.
Best Food-WORST Service – I have been to Thurman's before and have had to wait for a while-something you just have to expect-but once we were sat, it all went downhill. We were sat before two other tables of which one got drinks first and both got meals first-even though one ordered after us. We were continuously ignored and had to wait forever for our check. We have never dined and ditched, but it was tempting just because of having to wait for an excessive amount of time. The only reason I gave them 2 stars instead of was because the food was so good and it's not the A-1 Burger's fault our service was abysmal. Recommendation -SIT AT THE BAR. Even if the bartender/servers are slow, the GM will step in and help.
Will never go back... – Lets start with the parking. There is none, it is street parking and you can expect a walk. That is fine being that is built in a neighborhood and the restaurant cannot really control the amount of street spots available. So we park and head inside, to a small area that is simply packed! We waited two hours to go into the actual eating area. Once inside we realized the issue, this is a bar! This is not a restaurant with a bar, this is a small bar that serves burgers. However, we were still very excited to eat. We had heard only good things and were wishing for the best. We ordered our burgers and began the next wait. After another 40 minutes our burgers emerged. As they brought them toward us the waitress says you can have this in a minute we need to borrow it for a picture. WHAT! They then put my food that I am going to eat in front of some other lady so that she could have her picture taken with it! No asking if it was ok. Just hold on this lady wants to touch your burger! The burgers were just simply mediocre. Comparing them to Brazenhead burgers they were bad. We saw our waiter one time, when he took our orders. We had to get refills at the bar ourselves! Nobody asked us if we could use anything, get us anything or if things were good. I have had bad service before, but not like this. Listen to the negative reviews, they are accurate. Save your money, save your time and annoyance and go somewhere that is happy to serve you. I will never go back, and I will never recommend them to anyone. There are much better places in Columbus to eat a good burger!
not worth it – Have been waiting to visit Thurmans, only to be disappointed with the entire experience. The okay burgers are not worth the wait or the bad service--trust me. I'm never going back.
Our wait time was at least two hours, but we were willing to wait for these "legendary burgers". Finally seated, served drinks and placed order -- never to see the waiter again until it came to boxes and checks. Another waitress brought us our food and after waiting a good fifteen mintues to be checked on, we went to the bar to refill our own drinks.
The burger itself was big but disappointing. The taste was not great. I had one on texas toast and the bread turned soggy. Completely agree with "Underwhelmed"'s review. I would never waste my time going back. If I'm going to wait that long for a burger, I at least want it to be good. Go to Brazenhead, at least you'll enjoy your food.
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