With springtime calling, we’re sampling the drinks and bites at Bumsteers

With family in town and agreeable weather, we were trying to find the perfect lunch spot for entertainment and dining al fresco. Bumsteers came to mind given its convenient location, roof patio overlooking Perkins Road, and pub games ideal for passing the afternoon.

Downstairs is an enclosed area with a large bar, casual vibe and a few tables and booths. There is a dog-friendly downstairs patio with a high-top bar overlooking the road. Since the foosball was upstairs, we headed straight to the roof.

Bumsteers’ beer selection was varied and respectable with several local and regional drafts available. We were in the mood for cocktails, and the Smokin’ Rita packed a sweet-sour-spicy punch of tequila paired with a chipotle-infused simple syrup and lime. Once we found a perch upstairs and had drinks in hand, it was time to dine.

Brisket Nachos were highly recommended and sounded outstanding. Juicy brisket was cubed and scattered over crispy chips. It was all slathered with quality queso, avocado crema and a sweet peach salsa. Every few bites we’d come across a chunk of pure beef fat that wasn’t a complete deterrent to us but could be unappetizing if you aren’t a fan of the texture. Fresh sliced jalapeños added a nice spicy touch.

The Ozark Burger has a base layer of a special garlic, mushroom and onion spread that helps elevate the flavor. Photo by Collin RIchie.

Bumsteers’ Brisket Nachos come drizzled in queso, avocado crema and roasted peach salsa.

Handhelds were the most prevalent options on the menu, with the Cabo Shrimp Tacos and Ozark Burger calling out our names. But one of my siblings was trying to lean healthier, opting instead for the Shrimp Harvest Salad.

The tacos came with a unique side of fried rice that surprised us with great soy flavor and interesting texture. It was gobbled up. The shrimp, though, were coated in a marinade that made them incredibly salty. After only a few bites, we pushed the shrimp to the side and still thoroughly enjoyed the charred corn tortillas, corn salsa, greens and queso fresco. Topping the tacos with the mild side of soupy black and pinto beans made a satisfying, albeit shrimpless, dish.

The salad size was ample yet manageable with tasty and bright pickled okra, smoky roasted peppers, cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, feta and onions. The grilled shrimp were moist but small and, like the tacos, too salty. A real surprise was the herby fresh green goddess dressing that was so good we practically drank it.

The Ozark Burger had an outstanding layer of GMO spread (garlic, mushrooms and onions) that truly made the burger. The sourdough bun was fluffy and grilled to a toasty texture. An all-beef patty was cooked to a juicy medium and not overly seasoned, allowing the beefiness to shine. Roasted red peppers, arugula and a light dollop of tart goat cheese rounded out this noteworthy burger.

After all the savory flavors, we asked about dessert options. We were shocked when told there were none. I assumed it was a given to offer sweet endings at restaurants. Apparently not here.

When it comes to atmosphere, Bumsteers has it in spades. The food, on the other hand, had some delights and a few blunders. That aside, the casual vibe and good drink selection make it at least a worthy after-work stop.

THE BASICS: When Bumsteers opened in April 2019 in the former Crispy Catch, it turned heads for growing the space vertically with a sizable rooftop patio. It’s since become a popular hangout in the Perkins Road overpass area with a full bar menu and lunch, dinner and brunch options.

WHAT’S A MUST: The Brisket Nachos are great for sharing. Handheld options like the Ozark Burger with garlic, mushroom and onion spread hit the spot. Or, opt for one of five flavorful salads. Wash it all down with a craft cocktail or draft beer.

3109 Perkins Road

Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. until late

Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years.

This article was originally published in the April 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.