Mugshots is my favorite burger place in Tuscaloosa. It is located downtown and is a good place to go for lunch if you are looking for somewhere close to campus that is not on the Strip. It is also a good place to go before catching a show at the Bama Theatre or a wine tasting at Carpe Vino. Note that if you visit Mugshots at a “peak” hour (lunch or dinner) or during a home football game weekend, you will likely have to wait a little while for a seat. As the crowd might indicate, however, it is worth the wait.
When you first walk into Mugshots, you will note the “sports bar” like atmosphere with jersey’s and, because we are in Tuscaloosa, all things Crimson Tide on the walls. You will see ESPN on televisions scattered throughout the restaurant, which is located in an old building that still houses much of its original character (like the brick walls, which hold not only sports memorabilia but also the “mugshots” of customers sent in from around the country and the world).
Mugshots is the home of the burger, serving up everything from the standard to the gourmet (peanut butter burger anyone?) including the three patty, six bacon strip, behemoth: the Mugshot (eat your meal, including beer battered fries, an onion ring, and a hand-battered pickle, in 12 minutes or less and it’s free!). If burgers aren’t your thing, there is still plenty for you to eat: from sandwiches, to pastas, to Mugshot specialties like grilled Ahi Tuna, and much more.
I make a visit to Mugshots every time I have visitors from out of town, and it is yet to disappoint them. Being a vegetarian, my natural burger choice is Brady’s Black Bean Burger. I should note that I did not ask if the black bean burger can be substituted for the beef patty in their other burgers, but I don’t see why this would be a problem. The black bean burger, like all Mugshot’s burgers, is huge. Add to it a very large “side” of beer-battered fries or onion rings (it’s hard to choose) and you’ve got a very filling meal. I can never finish the whole plate and on this trip, my dining companion, who ordered the Katie’s Kickin’ Chicken Basket appetizer, couldn’t finish theirs either. My advice if you plan on eating at Mugshots: come hungry or plan to take food home.
The black bean burger itself is handmade and better (and thicker) than most black bean burgers I’ve had before. It is certainly better than any of the frozen brands available. The burger sits on a large sourdough bun, which is a good thing because these patties are hard to contain. The black bean burger includes a combination of items that at first seem odd, but the red onions and mayo create an interesting blend with the mildness of the burger. Add pickle, tomato, lettuce, sautéed mushrooms and Swiss and cheddar cheeses, and you get a burger in which every bite is filled with different flavor combinations—none of which are disappointing.
Mugshots has so many interesting selections, you should never be disappointed. The staff is always kind but, if they’re busy, you might have to wait longer than usual and it is sometimes a good idea to remind your waiter or waitress that you’re still there. Prices are good, especially considering the large portions you receive. Mugshots has other locations (though it remains exclusive to AL, MS, and LA), of course, but if you’re in Tuscaloosa, you have to try it. Especially that peanut butter burger…
Mugshot’s is located at 511 Greensboro Ave, just south University and across from Chuck’s Fish.