I can report to you that the state of the burger is strong, creative and fun. As evidence I point to the burgers here from burger bar and chain menus in the past week or so. January has proven to be an unexpectedly busy month for menu innovation, not just by the top chains but also by independent burger bars. Here we have burgers with baked beans, house-made pastrami, deep-fried pickles and even rutabaga. There’s just no end to the number of possibilities.
Grazin’ Tribeca, New York City
A 100% grass-fed & finished beef patty with baked beans, onion rings, Cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce
Three Aces Chicago
A 4-oz. Slagel Farms beef patty with 4 oz. of house-made pastrami, fontina, braised cabbage and Dijon aïoli; served with hand-cut fries and a shot of Old Crow
Black Rebel Burger, Wood-Ridge, N.J.
LOBSTER MAC N’ CHEESE BURGER
Beef, Canadian lobster and house-made four-cheese mac n’ cheese on a scratch-baked bun
Eden Burger Bar, Glendale, Calif.
Our house-blend patty topped with four-white-cheese truffle mac, bacon bits and chives
Victory Burger, Oakland, Calif.
Our Five Dot Ranch burger with spicy chili made with roasted tomatoes, rutabagas, crimini mushrooms, ancho and cascabel chilies, melted Cheddar cheese, pickled red onion and wild arugula on an Acme kaiser roll
Boom Burger Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania
THE GOLDEN PICKLE BURGER
Black Angus beef patty, Cheddar, fried egg, deep-fried breaded pickles, aïoli, lettuce, tomato and red onion
THE PURGATORY BURGER
An 8-oz. burger patty seasoned with Nikki’s hot sauce, topped with ghost pepper-Jack cheese; roasted red peppers; green chiles; hot banana peppers; jalapeňo, habanero and Serrano chilies topped with a Carolina reaper wing sauce and a Scorpion pepper hot sauce on a toasted ciabatta bun with a side of Nikki’s hot seasoned fries
Grill Marks, Greenville, S.C.
THE HAM NEWTON
Arugula, bleu cheese-stuffed Certified Angus Beef patty topped with balsamic-marinated red onion, fig preserves and crispy pancetta
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, multiple locations
THE KURT BURGER
A beef patty topped with fried egg, hash browns, bacon and beer cheese sauce (created by Old Chicago customer Kurt Y.)