Not the best

Best Bison promises half the calories, delivers half the enjoyment


Evan Vaslow

Best Bison’s menu includes many traditional dishes, with the meat replaced by bison.

Evan Vaslow, MWHS Wildcat News co-Editor-in-Chief

Bison has been one of my favorite meats for nearly a decade, ever since a mind-blowing experience in South Dakota. Since that trip, I’ve searched menus at every restaurant I’ve been to in hopes of finding another bison burger, each time to no avail. So, when I learned of an entire restaurant dedicated to bison, my family and I eagerly made the trip to Best Bison at 78th and Cass.

The restaurant was tastefully decorated with a clean, modern vibe. Upon entering we were immediately greeted with a giant menu on the wall and a handful of kiosks to place orders. The menu offered a variety of traditional dishes, from burgers and hot dogs to Reubens and salads, all with a twist: almost all of the meat is replaced with bison, which, according to the signs plastered throughout the restaurant, cuts the calories in half. It took me about three seconds to decide I wanted the BBQ Bison Brisket Burger. My family also got the Pork Belly Burger and the classic Best Bison Burger, which I sampled as well. We also tried both the Cajun and Parmesan Herb fries.

When our food came, the first thing I reached for was the Cajun fries. The seasoning was a great way for me (someone who often gets bored of plain fries) to spice up my side dish. Unfortunately, everything went downhill from there.

The Parmesan Herb fries were quite disappointing. I wouldn’t consider myself a top chef in the kitchen, but even I know that when it comes to herbs, less is more. The fries were so over-herbed that it tasted more like I was eating a salad than French fries. To make matters worse, I never received the Best Bison Sauce that I paid an extra fifty cents for (and it wasn’t until I’d finished all my food that I noticed the missing condiment).

As soon as I bit into my burger, I knew something was wrong. I wasn’t biting into the juicy, slightly sweet meat I had expected. Instead, my burger was dry and chewy. Further inspection confirmed the tragedy: well-done. As a medium-rare type of guy, I was appalled. Thankfully, the toppings on my burger were better. The bison brisket was actually enjoyable, and the barbecue sauce provided just enough moisture that I could barely get my burger down. The Best Bison Burger and Pork Belly Burger weren’t as lucky; there wasn’t enough moisture on either. If those would have been my burgers, I’m not sure I could have finished them.

I feel like a medium burger would have been a fair compromise: something that both ends of the doneness spectrum could enjoy. Instead, Best Bison made a move that lost them half of the spectrum and went well-done. 

The prices for everything were agreeable ($8-12 for the burgers and $3 for the fries), aside from the fifty cents for the no-show sauce, but I could find much cheaper — and better-tasting — burgers and fries from quite a few chains (Five Guys comes to mind). The prices certainly weren’t low enough for me to give Best Bison another chance anytime soon. ⅖