Vignettes’ Bob’s Burgers pop-up is a colorful ode to Seymour’s Bay, featuring burgers and black-out booze
From May 5 through June 17, Vignettes has transformed into “Bob’s Bargers,” a celebration of the 13-season, 258-episode show (plus a movie) starring H. Jon Benjamin—a truly blended comfort-show littered with uncomfortable situations that lends itself well as the quirky venue’s newest theme.
With Delaney Rose taking creative control as she had for the top-tier offering that was last year’s “Stranger Drinks” plus Scott Helling mixing the cocktail menu, the interior of 2376 Armour Blvd. was perhaps the most colorful it’s been since last December’s “Fetch the Halls,” bolstered by a few snazzy original paintings from Rose and Colleen King.
“Essentially, everything in here is something that I’ve painted by hand,” Rose says. “I’ve been working on it from the planning stages for like a month. I’m really meticulous, a bit of a perfectionist. I try to make it all as true to the show as possible.”
Rose and Helling are, of course, dressed like Bob and Linda—and they are just delightful. Several costumed guests are scattered about as well, with the expected high number of pink bunny ears peeking out from behind booths.
Areas of the space resemble parts of the alley and the wharf off Ocean Avenue in the show, while the obvious titular burger stand itself takes front and center. On the far side of the bar, in the little hallway nook closest to the exit, the wall of framed animal buttholes from S1E8 “Art Crawl” makes a full-fledged appearance. Other crafty shoutouts and references surely eluded me.
I begin my night with “Lance” (Wild Turkey, Luxardo, absinthe, and syrups), and it will be one of those nights where my first drink does most of the damage. My guest goes with the “Phone Call With Ginger” (whipped cream vodka, pinot noir, orange juice, and ginger beer) that treats the less-trained pallet just a little bit better.
Next, we tried the “Beefsquatch” (Beefeater Gin, yellow mustard, pickle juice, with a salted rim). Both of us love pickles and it ended up being one of the favorites of the night. This round also brought out the “Blueberry Girl” (vodka, blueberry puree, lemonade, CBD soda). I didn’t even know there was CBD soda in there, as I was already adequately under THC’s legal and officially defined influence upon walking in.
For some reason, we decided to order a burger before shots. A criticism you might hear or even make after attending some of the earlier popups has been in regard to the quality of its food offerings. But, to do Bob’s Burgers is to admit that one needs to get the latter correct if the pop-up is to thrive.
Impartial judgment seemed to stem best from a standard order of “The Classic,” a regular ass burger with tomato, lettuce, onions (a favorable amount of them), pickles, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. The other two options are “Nacho Average Burger” (nacho cheese, white cheddar, jalapenos, tortilla chips, hot sauce) and “Never Been Cheddar” (white cheddar, crispy onions, bacon, BBQ sauce, mayo).
Honestly, I’m no food critic. I was hungry. I needed something to soak up the booze, and this burger was there for me. I’d say it was probably better than anything else I’ve had there, food-wise, but my word is probably as good as that of Andy and Ollie Pesto in unison at this point.
I look for the shot that is always worse than the other two—as has become the norm—and dial in on the potent conglomeration of vodka and fish sauce nastiness that is the “Fischoeder.” My guest, less inclined for this sort of novelty, ordered the “Horse Medicine” (apple, grenadine, caramel cream). “Bottoms up,” she says as we down them like champs. My face winces. I truly think I’d rather have Malort—and I do want that on my tombstone.
As we continue to sip and mingle, Maggie Boone (Miss Maggie Moon) is strumming her guitar over at the corner stage. Dressed as a burger, she’s as lively as always and played a few numbers, including “Somebody Who Loves Me,” “Goodbye Earl,” and something or another by Avril Lavine. On other nights, I hope, someone will dress up like Gene and make an alternating ruckus on a Casio SK-5 keyboard and megaphone setup.
Weary from a particularly strong series of drinks, we got the “Mortini” (whipped cream vodka, chocolate vodka, espresso) to bring it home. It was a pleasant outro for an evening of strong drinks and even stronger friendships.
As Tina would say, “I’ve never been more awake and dirty in my entire life.”