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“A MUST IN DES MOINES!”

Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Ranked #6 of 573 Restaurants in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $13
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Moline, IL
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A MUST IN DES MOINES!”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

What a great place! Atmosphere, food and service....EXCELLENT! GET A SHAKE THAT IS ALL!!!!!!
One tip, they have a full service side and a counter service side. So if you want to sit down with a menu go to the full service side, if you want a quick bite go to the counter side :)

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Melissa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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  • Any
English first
West Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Level Contributor
152 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Hype might be better than reality”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Went here on a recent weekday night after hearing a lot of buzz. One thing to note of importance: the restaurant offers both full service and counter service and trying to figure out which is where is confusing. There is only one entrance and it opens immediately into a counter service area with several tables, chairs and bar-type seating to your right. To your left are more booths and two-seater tables flanking a long walkway that will, if followed, lead to the full service area. This is not made clear anywhere but on a small sign near the counter service area with not real helpful directional arrows. It’s difficult to tell if the full service area is the booth/two seater area or the dark area way at the end of the walkway. It’s not immediately clear if the counter service area is just the seating to your right or if it includes the booth area. So, helpful note for all who have yet to experience the trap of undead misdirection: if you want full service, follow the long walkway with booths to your left when you enter. You’ll find a small hostess station and “Please Wait to be Seated” sign and know you’ve arrived. If you want counter service, well, it’s right there in your face. And those booths? They’re for counter service so don’t sit there for 10 minutes waiting on a server as we saw several confused patrons do.

Another small note-if there’s a wait for tables in the full service area, the line backs out through that same walkway, into the counter service seating area. While we were there, we had, at various points through the meal, 5-15 people standing in the walkway next to us, waiting to be seated. All around them were people eating, trying to maneuver around them to get to the drink/condiment station, bathroom, etc. It was equally awkward and uncomfortable for both those waiting in line and those eating.

Logistics aside, this place offers quite a few burger options. I won’t go into a ton of detail as Googling “Zombie Burger” will give you reviews and images galore. The menu is partly informative and partly entertainment and can be found here: http://www.zombieburgerdm.com/

The basics are you can choose a regular beef patty, chicken patty or, for us vegetarians, faux meat patty, tofu/nut/bean patty or fried/grilled portabella as well as something called a cheese and mushroom croquette. I was fairly impressed with the vegetarian options as usually I’m limited to variations of a portabella sandwich. You can also have deep fried hot dogs, salads or appetizers that could easily double as meals. Though the burger and hot dog options are given as a preset concoction (i.e. the “Dawn of the Dead” with bacon, egg, American cheese, red onion, mayo) they will gladly leave off or substitute things for you. For the burgers, you can get a single, double or triple.

As it happens, my fiancé had the Dawn of the Dead with beef patty while I had the Planet Terror, hold the bacon. I ordered a Nilbog Veggie patty but I’m 99% certain I got a ZB Veggie patty as the teenager working the counter got a few other things wrong with my order as well. To be fair, the counter area was packed with loud teenagers (thank you state wrestling tournament!) and it was difficult to hear while we were ordering. While the BBQ sauce was truly one of the best I’ve ever tasted and the bun was a buttery delight, the caramelized onions had barely any taste and the cheese was still half cold. The patty itself didn’t taste like much of anything-it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. My fiancé loved his burger, though, and there were several other vegetarian options so I’m not going to write Zombie Burger off yet. Plus, the fries were really good-thin like McDonald’s but obviously fresh cut and not processed like McDonald’s. They came with a very tasty dipping sauce made of I don’t know what.

Many people rave about the shakes here but we didn’t try them this visit. It’s on the list for next time. Prices were very good and while there are clearly some logistical kinks to work out, I like that they offer both full and counter service. The décor is witty-various riffs on a Zombie-dominated society and, if you’re a local, you’ll spot several local celebrities who have been turned into zombies on the wall murals.

All in all, I was not wowed, but I definitely found enough good stuff to give it another try. I think the hype is probably better than the reality, but it’s worth a second look and, if nothing else, better than any chain fast food place you can think of.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Melindalou7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
118 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Great burgers, fun atmosphere”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Favorites so far: The Dead Moines burger, Fulci burger, Hamityville Horror (special burger) and garlic fries with blue cheese. Will keep going back to try more. Yum!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank IowaGirl-in-Germany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Unique, creative tribute to vintage horror flicks!”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This popular East Village eatery deserves its popularity. It's divided into Zombie Burger (the sit-down portion with waitstaff service) and the Drink Lab (counter/to-go orders). Of course, you can order from the entire menu from either section of the place. Great sandwiches, and virtually any burger can be made 'veggie'. I especially like the offerings with the mushroom/cheese croquettes. Interesting milkshakes (the cake batter-based shakes are so thick, you'll think you're eating straight cake batter). Friendly service and basically a lot of fun.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jaco71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
198 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“George does it again”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Our local chef/restauranteur George Formaro, has another hit on his hands here. Zombie Burger is a fun place with good service and delicious food. Although the theme might be more attractive to the under 40 crowd, my 90-year-old mother loved it. Just reading the menu is entertaining, but, if you can resist piling too many things on your sandwich, you'll find the sandwiches very good and the fries, EXCELLENT!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jred922
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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