Shut out again. None of Bon Appétit’s Top New Restaurants of 2016 has a burger on its menu. Not brunch, lunch, bar snack or dinner. The tradition here is that when a restaurant list is released from one of the major magazines, BurgerBusiness.com asks, “Yes, but can they make a good burger?” This year it’s a no.
However the list of Bon Appétit’s 50 finalists from which the top 10 were selected does include several restaurants that have the guts to offer a burger. I understand that if one of your entrees is Seared Sweet Potato with Chantarelles, Horseradish Crème Fraîche and Nasturtium, as is the case with one of the top 10, you don’t want to temp customers to pass it up for something good like a burger. But others have the courage and culinary chops to make a burger that competes.
Special mention is due to Chef-owner April Bloomfield of Superiority Burger, who has courage and culinary chops in spades. She shows that vegetarian burgers could be delicious and cool, and she deserved a spot among the final 10.
So, too, did these other finalists. Here are their burgers:
Bateau Burger: Half-pound house-ground, dry-aged, grass-fed beef, semolina bun, onion jam and aïoli ($18)
Haus Burger: House blend of strip, hanger, and tenderloin cuts; frisée; onion; pickle and boeuf-fat fries
Bread & Butterfly, Atlanta
Burger Americain (Dinner menu) Beef, brioche bun, Swiss cheese, caramelized onion, grain mustard and mayo with frites ($15)
The Durham, Durham, N.C.
Dry-Aged House-Blend Burger (Dinner & Brunch menus): House blend of brisket, chuck and short rib; shaved pickle; clothbound Cheddar; red onion; buttered potato bun, slaw and fries
Josephine Estelle, New Orleans
John T Burger (LUNCH & Brunch); Beef, onions, pickled lettuce, mustard, cheese and fries ($13)
The Perennial, SF
Corned Beef Burger $12 (Bar Menu): With cheese, aïoli and caramelized onions
Superiority Burger, New York City
Superiority Burger: A mashup of beans, nuts and grain with Muenster cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato and dill pickle
Supper at Hotel Emma, San Antonio
Local Beef Burger (Lunch menu): Beef, white Cheddar, deviled-egg mayo, bread and butter green tomato ($12)
Trois Familia, Los Angeles
Veggie Burger: With queso, pico, shredded iceberg lettuce and chips
Whitfield CheeseBurger (Dinner & Brunch menus): Jubilee Hilltop Grass-fed beef, brioche bun, pepper jam, Cheddar, fried onions and mustard mayo ($15)
Winsome, Los Angeles
The Burger (Lunch & Brunch menus): Gjusta-seeded pan de mie, grass-fed beef, Hooks aged white Cheddar, pickled shallots and mustard frills