The holidays are over, and I’m happy. That’s not because I dislike the year-end festivities but because the Burger of the Month specials can be so relentlessly holiday-themed that they don’t feel fresh or exciting. Ah, but now comes January and the BOTM specials once again have names like The MOOberry, The Lotsa Lobsta Blucy, The Alabama Burger, The Chorizo Breakfast Burger, The Groovy Cowboy, The Kickin’ Pig and The West Philly Burger. Now those are burger names, and this month’s list of more than 60 specials is a great beginning to 2016.
There are a few thematic builds, of course. Bucket List Burgers in Riverside, Calif., has its New Year’s Resolution Burger, which is a turkey patty topped with a citrus-corn salsa and honey-chipotle sauce with lettuce and tomato on an oat-wheat bun. However, Burger Fusion in LaCrosse, Wis., counters with The Resolution Destroyer, an Angus beef patty topped with shredded BBQ beef, jalapeño cheese curds, pepper-Jack cheese, and fire roasted corn & peppers on a potato bun. I’d violate a diet for either of them.
Getting away from holiday themes means getting back to basics, especially some of the top burger bars in London and environs. The Byron chain has introduced what it says is its take on the perfect cheeseburger, which its eponymously calling “Byron: Home of the Byron.” That’s simply top-quality beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese and bacon.
Honest Burgers is featuring a Tribute to Bacon Burger this month, and it’s a worthy tribute. The build is beef, thick-cut smoked bacon, bacon ketchup, smoked Cheddar, pickles, lettuce, beef & bacon gravy; with rosemary-salted chips on the side.
London’s Haché Burgers has revived a past favorite that it labels the Southern Belle burger. The description of the burger is “a succulent 6-oz. Scottish Beef steak burger with what is known as the ‘caviar from the South,’ deliciously gooey Pimento cheese topped with lightly crisped fried onions sitting on fresh baby zucchini, crispy bacon and served on toasted brioche bun with a smokey chilli mayo.” Never mind that none of us has seen a burger with sliced zucchini served anywhere in the American South. It looks good.
I’ll call attention to the presence of two poutine burgers among the January Burger of the Month specials. Buckeye Beer Engine in Lakewood, Ohio, is featuring the Porky Poutine Burger. It tops a grass-fed beef patty with house-made pulled pork, seasoned fresh-cut-style fries, crispy onion petals, white Cheddar cheese curds and house-made zesty chipotle bourbon gravy and puts house chips and a fried pickle on the side. Another Ohio chain, Flip Side, has created The Egg Poutine Burger: A 7-oz. grass-fed beef patty topped with french fries, beef gravy, fried cheese curds and sunny-side-up egg.
Welcome 2016 and welcome back, crazy, wonderful and unexpected burger creations! Thank you to Reinhart Foodservice, which sponsors the Burger of the Month feature (please click on its ad at the top of this page). Check out all 60+ BOTM specials by clicking here and find some ideas for your menu.