With tons of great reviews and a lot of hype about the burgers and ambiance at The Tractor Room in the Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego we had to try this place out. The Tractor Room lived up to all the hype! It had amazing food, an awesome atmosphere and excellent service (specifically by our waitress Kendra).
The Tractor Room is owned and operated by the same founders of Hash House a Go Go (a popular and unique breakfast, lunch and dinner spot featuring “farm fresh food with a twist”). It is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood on 5th Avenue between Pennsylvania Ave. and Anderson Pl. (across the street from Hash House a Go Go just a hundred or so meters away).
When we arrived at The Tractor Room we immediately noticed the outside seating in an open patio area with heat lamps to keep you warm and cozy. Parked in front of the restaurant was a very cool vintage tractor which was a sign we were at the right place.
Upon entering The Tractor Room we passed through stylish black velvet curtains which took us to the inside of the dimly lit restaurant that had some of the most eloquent ambiance we’ve seen. It was like a Hollywood club with a Nebraskan twist. The inside was uniquely decorated with rustic furnishings, a giant antler chandelier, a couple stuffed Elk heads on the wall, butch cable lines running across the ceiling, and cowhide backing on the bar stools which added to the experience and “honest cocktails and meats” theme. The Tractor Room had an exciting posh gastropub environment emphasizing night life with an upscale after hours-feel to it. The inside of The Tractor Room was not big (which added to the hole-in-the-wall experience) but had a nice size bar with inside seating that consisted of a few table and leather chair setups with some luxurious vinyl banquette seating (button-upholstered).
We ordered a Prime Beef Burger ($15) which came with criss-cross fries, a side of Smoked Wisconsin Cheddar Mac and Cheese ($6.95) and the Black Skillet Cornbread appetizer ($4). All the food we ordered was delicious and more than enough for the two of us to share. We ate the burger up but ended up taking home a lot of the fries, mac and cheese and cornbread (which by the way tasted great left over).
The Prime Beef Burger came with smoked mozzarella cheese, smoked bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. The prime beef was juicy, tasty and cooked to perfection! The smoked mozzarella melted onto the burger was also very tasty. The bacon was lean and also had a great smoked flavor that added to the deliciousness of the burger.
The Criss Cross Fries that came with the burger were delicious. They were large, seasoned, had great flavor and the outside had a perfect crisp to it. The fries were good dipped in the ketchup provided or on its own.
The Smoked Wisconsin Cheddar Mac and Cheese was to die for! It was made with smoked Wisconsin cheddar cheese, cream, fresh penne pasta and served on a black skillet. The Mac and Cheese was rich, filling and one of the best Mac and Cheese dishes we’ve had!
The Black Skillet Cornbread appetizer was ginormous! It was filled with whole corn kernels, topped with some yummy honey butter and served on a stylish black skillet. The black skillet cornbread was one of the best cornbread’s we’ve had and more than enough for two (and likely 3-4) to share for an appetizer.
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience at The Tractor Room. The food and atmosphere exceeded our expectations! While the food and drinks are definitely not cheap, the delicious food, amazing ambiance and excellent service (thanks to our waitress Kendra) were well worth the cost. While we did not order drinks, there was a large selection of popular cocktails (“cocktail library”) and wines (“wine library”) available. For delicious and high-quality gourmet burgers (prime meat or game meats) with a romantic setting that has an upscale night life feel to it we recommend giving The Tractor Room a try – You won’t be disappointed. We can see why this place has developed the buzz it has!