Recently, I found an article titled, “21 Restaurants You Have to Visit in Missouri Before You Die.“ My husband and I talked about taking a few road trips this year to complete this list. I have been to three of the 21 places on the list so we have some work to do! We happened to be traveling to Kansas City for a wedding this past weekend so I thought it was a perfect time to stop by one of these places. Columbia, MO is usually our pitstop on the drive to KC and Booches happened to be on the list. It was a busy day in Tiger country because they were hosting their black and gold game that day at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. Go Mizzou!
Booches has a small area for dining tables with most of the space being taken up by billiard tables. The restaurant has an 85 seat capacity so we were lucky to sit right down without a wait for a table. By the way, did you know billiards is totally different than playing pool? I did not! Jim and I did a little research on billiards while we waited for our food so it turned into a bit of a history lesson as well. We had plenty of time to learn other things and look around the restaurant as we were told there would be a 30 minute wait for our burgers.
Booches was founded in 1884 so I figured in 132 years they must have perfected the burger enough for me to stick around and check it out. In reference to a foodie joint, this is a unique place. I like their down and dirty tactics. You get no menus at the table. You will find one big menu on the wall. On this particular day we didn’t even get to choose from the menu. When our waiter seated us he said because they were so busy with the black and gold game happening, they were only offering hot dogs and burgers. Fine by us since we were there for the burgers.
They brought us a soda in a disposable cup, a bag of chips the waiter retrieved from a cardboard box sitting on the shelf behind the bar and our burger was served on a square sheet of wax paper sat directly on the table. It started making sense that operating this way allows them to move a lot of people in and out of the restaurant with minimum staff. I noticed they had a grill about 4-foot in length being manned by two guys. Two guys making probably 500+ burgers a day. I couldn’t even find remnants of an actual kitchen. I’m sure they have a storage room and sink somewhere but must be a magical door behind their massive cherry wood bar. It is obvious the place is mainly about drinks and billiards but as a side not they are offering the best burger I’ve ever tasted and they’ve become quite famous for it.