2015-05-27 / Restaurant of the Week


Comes to Long Island City

Let me get straight to the point. Bareburger was conceived in 2009 and has already been voted Top Ten Burgers four years in a row, is Michelin-recommended, and has grown to include 27 restaurants in New York and beyond. What’s the secret? A solid management team totally committed to its Mission of offering only free-range, grass fed, pasture raised, antibiotic-, hormone-, and gluten-free burgers, and delectable sides and beverages. Simple, right? Lucky for us, we need only to come and enjoy the harvest with an improved menu of astonishingly good burgers, sandwiches, salads, greens, and more.

One of the newest Bareburgers is located on Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City, just steps from the 7 train. Here, Chris, Sergio, and John take the helm and ensure a great Bareburger experience for all, even the kids or “cubs” as they’re called. The interior decor here is so cool and fits in with the neighborhood and Bareburger’s theme of sustainability, but has whimsical touches like the framed “portraits” of cows, pigs, chickens, and goats in traditional poses. Bareburger L.I.C. opened just four months ago and features the newly designed menu with lots of new items on it as well as your old favorites. Being a veteran of Bareburger since the first location opened on 31st Avenue in Astoria, I was anxious to try some of the new additions.

My friend and I reviewed the menu over glasses of organic wines, with raves for the Malbec and Pinot Noir. The bar has an impressive selection of craft beers, many of them locally brewed, and they’ll let you have a sample before ordering. Katie our lovely server brought us a new salad called “Sweet Grazin’” which was a healthy, colorful toss of baby kale, spinach, candied pecans, apples, and pink radishes all drizzled lightly with lemon poppy dressing. The “Cali Fresh” is baby kale with cauliflower hummus, red quinoa, tomatoes, red onion and alfalfa sprouts with lemon tahini dressing. These salads, and others, come in small and large sizes and could easily be a meal in themselves.

I set my sights on the “Pickled fried chicken” sandwich, one of the new items on the menu, and was so impressed by the tender, juicy, thigh meat, and light buttermilk coating, sitting on a brioche bun with sweet pickles, lettuce, and horseradish remoulade ($8.90). The “Buttermilk Buffalo” is another great option, spicy and delicious with Amish blue cheese and buttermilk ranch dressing on a brioche bun. These new sandwiches should be part of your rotation when you go to Bareburger.

Now for the burgers, here’s how it works: First, select the type of grassfed meat you want including beef, bison, elk, wild boar, duck, or turkey, or a vegan option such as quinoa, black bean, and sweet potato and rice. There are 14 varieties of burgers and so you can mix and match the meat with the kind of burger you want. The menu offers the best combinations but it’s entirely up to you. I devoured the more traditional “County Fair” burger with bison meat, aged cheddar, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a brioche bun and thought, “Ahhh…that’s what a burger should taste like.” My companion tried the new “Southern Caviar” with your choice of meat, pimento cheese, country bacon, stout onions, and horseradish sauce on a multi-grain bun and she deemed it “awesome” ($12.85). For something truly unique, try the “Fire Quacker” burger made with organic duck, pepper jack cheese, habanero mayo, jalapeƱos, red onion, spinach and tomato on your choice of bun ($10.95).

Pair your burger or sandwich with Bareburger’s addictive, shareable onion rings and fries, hand cut from white or sweet potatoes and served with optional dipping sauces that include their famous curry ketchup, ranch, habanero mayo and more. Other sides include wasabi carrot slaw, creamy cole slaw, and spicy or sweet pickles.

You’ll be stuffed, but save room to try a creamy, frosty Bananas Foster milkshake, or root beer float. Bareburger’s ‘Sammies’ are handmade ice cream sandwiches in flavors that include baked apple sammie, snickerdoodle, and choco peanut butter with chocolate sauce drizzled on top. We heard the flourless chocolate cake is fantastic, and I have had the vegan carrot cake in the past and it’s great too! The menu clearly denotes all vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, so there is literally something for everyone and the “cubs” can choose a “grizzly, panda, polar, or koala” meal at just $7.95, a real bargain for mom and dad. Bareburger L.I.C. is open seven days a week from 11:30am to 10:30pm on weeknights and 11:30pm on weekends. They can deliver to your home or office or take your order with you and eat in nearby Gantry State Park, overlooking the Manhattan skyline. You owe it to yourself to visit Bareburger for the best burger you’ll ever have, without the guilt. This is food you can feel good about. For the whole story and their complete list of locations, visit www.bareburger.com See why Bareburger is the place so many choose to “graze” in.

48-19 Vernon Blvd., Long Island City


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