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POINTS

Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers

Cheeseburger

Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers is a popular restaurant with 2 locations in Coeur d’Alene, and has won the Inlander’s Best Of Reader’s Poll for Best Ice Cream in North Idaho in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Reading reviews online, it’s clear people like Roger’s for more than just their frozen treats. Rave reviews often mention their burgers, and especially their fries.

With a name like, “Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers,” my expectations were high walking in the door. But is the food worthy of all the praise it receives online?

The Burger

Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers claims their burgers are made with 100% fresh ground beef, topped with fresh cut lettuce, tomato, raw onions, and a homemade burger sauce.

Before I ordered, I asked if there were pickles on the burger, and was told no. While it’s true there aren’t pickle slices on the burger, the homemade burger sauce uses pickle relish as a core ingredient. I didn’t need to take a bite to figure this out, either—I could see pickle chunks in the sauce. Take a look at the photo, and you’ll see them too.

The cheeseburger I was given didn’t look too bad, but it was clear that presentation wasn’t given much consideration. The white paper wrapper gave the burger a classic look, but the pieces of lettuce stuck to the outside of the bun, combined with the fact my burger was touching the tray, didn’t exactly boost my eagerness to eat it. Take a look at the closeup photo of the burger and tell me seeing your food on that tray would make you excited to put it on your mouth.

The standard white bun was toasted, supposedly with butter, but I neither saw nor tasted any evidence of that. Despite being toasted, the bun was markedly cold to the touch. It was pleasantly soft and fluffy, until I found the edge that was severely stale. I don’t just mean it was a bit crumbly; this was quite hard and dry.

The patty was very thin, and somehow still managed to have pink in it. Considering how thin the patty was, and how long I had to wait for it (more on that later), I can’t believe it still wasn’t cooked through.

I don’t know if the diameter of the patty was smaller than that of the bun, or if it was just assembled in a way that caused the patty and bun to be misaligned, but whatever the reason, the patty disappeared before I finished eating the burger. The last few bites I took had no meat or cheese, only veggies, the pickle-flavored burger sauce I didn’t like, and the crunchy stale bun.

Thankfully, the veggies all seemed quite fresh. In fact, the onion was the best part of the burger.

The Fries

The standard cut fries at Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers are apparently cut fresh daily with locally grown potatoes.

They didn’t look amazing when I first saw them. The fries appeared small, limp, and brown, a description that didn’t really change as I ate them. They look like the fries you’d find at the bottom of the batch. They were inconsistently crunchy, and mostly soft. They lacked enough salt, which was highlighted by the few bites I got that did have enough salt on them.

The fries were moderately greasy, although they thankfully didn’t taste too much like grease.

They weren’t as hot as I would have liked them to be, but they were far from cold, and frankly the temperature is probably the most positive thing I can mention about them.

The Price

Considering how much food you get for less than $7 (the cheeseburger meal comes with fries and a drink), the value seems pretty good.

Considering the food you get isn’t that amazing, maybe the value isn’t so good after all.

So, low price but low value?

The Restaurant

Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers has 2 locations; a cool little burger shack in downtown Coeur d’Alene, and a typical-looking restaurant North of the I-90, just off of Highway 95. I visited the latter location.

It was a dingy little building that smelled of greasy burgers upon entering. The menu was large and included photos of the food, which made ordering a breeze.

Many of the tables, chairs, and parts of the floor were all dirty. I saw one of the line cooks trying to kill a fly with his gloved hands before continuing to assemble burgers with those same gloves (thankfully he failed to catch the fly). Oddly, the bathroom was cleaner than the dining room.

I liked the music they were playing, and the volume was at a good level. There was a ton of natural light thanks to the many large windows surrounding the dining room. The décor seemed apt for a small, local burger joint.

The staff seemed generally apathetic, and the wait time for my food seemed much longer than it should have been, considering how few customers there were (at what was arguably dinner time). I honestly can’t fathom why my food was undercooked when it took as long as it did to prepare my meal.

Business started picking up after I had my food, and it seemed like everyone’s wait times were equally long.

For the first time since I started this project, I almost didn’t bother to finish everything I was served. Both the fries and the burger were pretty disappointing, and this meal had a memorable finish for all the wrong reasons.

If you were to ask me whether or not you should eat at Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers, I would have to say no. People obviously like the ice cream, and maybe that part of their menu is worthy of the trip, but from my perspective, nothing about the restaurant deserves your attention.

Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers
155 W Neider Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815
(208) 664-0696

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Disagree with my review? That's cool, people have different tastes. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me why you think I got this one wrong. But keep your comments civil or they'll get deleted.

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