Yesterday’s post shared disheartening data from The NPD Group showing a decline in the number of independent restaurants. This collection counters with burgers from three recently opened independent burger restaurants. All is not lost, despite the data. The first two come from well-known, well-respected chefs April Bloomfield and John Tesar, respectively. The third, Ground Burger Bar, is a burger joint with a great menu created by Grant Buckley, who returned from Toronto to open a place in his hometown. The others on this eclectic list hail from Croatia, France, England, Australia, and Thailand, as well as Houston and New York City. Independent operators drive the burger business, and I don’t see that changing.
⇑ British chef April Bloomfield is the queen of New York City, where her The Spotted Pig and The Breslin Bar & Dining Room each sport a Michelin star. This month she opened Salvation Burger, where the beef is dry-aged and ground in-house. Her Classic Burger is made with two 3.5-ounce patties, house-made American cheese, secret special sauce and pickles on a sesame-potato bun.
⇑ John Tesar has been a “Top Chef” contestant, exec chef at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and chef-owner of steakhouse The Knife. Now he tackles burgers at The Royale Magnificent Burgers in Plano, Texas. The Lamb Delight burger is a 6-oz. patty of ground Colorado lamb with arugula, picked red onion, feta cheese and lemon aïoli.
⇑ Grant Buckley was born in Newmarket, Ont., where he has opened Ground Burger Bar, which he describes as “A New Twist on a Traditional Burger Joint and Bar.” One twist is the What’s Up Doc burger, a ground rabbit patty topped with pickled carrot, oven-dried tomatoes, pea tendrils, lettuce and onion with fresh basil aïoli.
⇑ The motto at Tough Burger in Boulogne, France, is “On prend soin de nos burgers et ils prennent soin de vous” or “We take care of our burgers and they take care of you.” Tough Burger has taken good care of its Primal Burger with its stone-colored bun, kale, tomatoes, aged white Cheddar, jalapeňo sauce and lettuce with fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, chervil).
⇑ From Rocket Burger Cafe in Zagreb, Croatia, comes a very American burger, the Carolina King, which ownership proudly describes as “the only burger in town with shredded baked pork roast and BBQ sauce.”
⇑ Talk stuffed burgers and I think Juicy Lucys and St. Paul, but Bill’s Bar & Burger in New York City created a Chile and Monterey Jack Cheese Stuffed Burger. The build: a 6-oz. patty stuffed with green chiles and Monterey Jack, served on a toasted English muffin with lettuce, tomato and raw onion slices.
⇑ Boss Burger in Leeds, England, does the monetary conversion itself, calling its The Yankee burger “$11 of pure dirty decadence.” How could you not order it? The build: Grass-fed beef patty, streaky bacon, American cheese, American mustard, optional gherkin or jalapeňos, lettuce and Boss mayo. Add Boss Slaw for £2.50.
⇑ Local Burger Co. in Melbourne, Australia says its Land, Sea & Air burger is “one is for the brave and extreme burger lovers. The build: Premium beef, American cheese, corn-crumbed chicken, tempura-battered fish all covered in local special sauce and finished with shredded lettuce.
⇑ Houston’s Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers prepares food that’s “organic when possible, local when available and always fresh.” The Outlaw burger brings together all-natural Angus beef plus pulled pork, batter-fried bacon, Ghost Pepper-Jack cheese, smoky BBQ sauce, lettuce, onions, pickles and mayo
⇑ The best burger in Bangkok, Thailand, may come from the Daniel Thaiger Food Truck. A recent LTO, the Guilty Pleasure burger tops its signature burger patty with foie gras, red onion and orange marmalade with a hint of fresh Thai basil.