2016-06-29 / Restaurant of the Week

BareBurger

Declare independence from cooking this holiday weekend by eating at Bareburger, and declare independence from unhealthy food with hormones, chemicals, and transfats. Bareburger built its business around serving organic burgers and sandwiches made with the finest quality meats and poultry. With 31 locations in the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Germany, they must be doing something right.

It all started seven years ago at “Bareburger Zero” right here on 31st Avenue in Astoria, when a group of friends from Astoria had the ambition to offer a healthy, socially responsible version of fast food. What resulted is a growing franchise of shops throughout the tri-state area and abroad, and I’m proud to have been there from day one. Bareburger has always been my go to place for delicious burgers, sandwiches, salads, and ice cream shakes and I’m not alone in my passion for this eatery.

Start with one of their inventive cocktails, wine or beer, served swiftly. The Moscow Mule is made with organic ginger beer and spirits, while the Mai Tai Your Tai is a crowd-pleasing concoction that makes any hour a Happy Hour. Summer is the perfect time for a slushy frozen blood orange margarita or piña colada served cold and frosty at your table which might be inside or outdoors, to enjoy the cross breezes from the ideal corner location. Bareburger proudly serves Queens Lager, Singlecut, and Rockaway Da Beach beers brewed for local consumption.

Katie, our friendly waitress, brought us our appetizers which included crispy Brussel sprouts, grilled to caramelized perfection and topped with Manchego cheese and lemon ($6.85). We devoured the short rib sliders, so juicy and crunchy at the same time with kimchi slaw. With three to an order, these delectable sliders could be your main course ($11.85). The Buffalo chicken bites are white meat chicken morsels in buttermilk batter, fried to golden awesomeness, served with spicy Buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dressing ($8.95). Panko chicken tenders are a hit with the kids and adults too, thanks to their light, crunchy buttermilk coating and horseradish remoulade sauce. “Seasons Grazins” are seasonal salads offered to reflect what’s fresh, like our Brussels sprouts, tender greens and cucumbers. The wheat berry chick pea salad is a winner, with tender, green chick peas, toasted buckwheat, feta cheese and grape tomatoes. I could enjoy this hearty, healthy salad as a meal alone, but what about the burgers?

Their “secret sauce” of success starts with organic, grass-fed beef, bison, elk, turkey, duck, and wild boar meat, complimented by all organic toppings such as beer-braised bacon, wild mushrooms, pickled jalapeños, pickles, cheese and more. Choose your bun too with brioche, sprout bun, and rice bun options for gluten-free folks. Vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy a black bean burger, sweet potato and wild rice patty, or farmer’s quinoa topped with vegan cheddar or vegetables. My beau chose the Supreme Burger with beef, Colby cheese, country bacon, and special sauce on a brioche bun and deemed it delicious as the juices ran down his chin. I tried the Hog Wild, a wild boar burger with pimento cheese, chickpeas, and pickled green tomatoes on a sprout bun, which required both hands and focus to enjoy the multiple flavors and textures ($11.25). The Fire Quacker is a duck meat burger, savory and delicious, topped with pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, spinach and tomatoes on a brioche bun ($10.95). Of course there’s a traditional “Standard” burger or you can build your own, any way you like.

The list of sandwiches at Bareburger is growing and includes my favorite Buttermilk Buffalo chicken sandwich made with buttermilk fried chicken breast, Amish blue cheese, lettuce, tomato and Buffalo ranch sauce ($9.55). Falafelwraptor is a new item made with fava falafel, feta, spicy sauce, sprouts and cucumber with lemon tahini dressing. The Classic California BLT is a popular item too. Order Bareburger’s addictive french fries, sweet potato fries, and onion rings separately, but I’m warning you, they’re irresistible, especially when dipped into their chipotle sauce or curry ketchup. If you love pickles, Bareburger has several varieties, along with Brussels slaw and kimchi slaw for a healthy crunch on the side.

You can even feel good about desserts at Bareburger where fine, organic dairy ice cream goes into their awesome shakes and ice cream sandwiches called “Sammies.” The bananas Foster shake blends quality vanilla ice cream with bananas and caramel sauce, and is served in two sizes, both of which can be shared. The hot honey shake blends vanilla ice cream with, yes, hot honey, for a delightfuly, naturally sweet treat. My favorite “Sammie” is the baked apple Sammie which has creamy ice cream nestled between apple oatmeal cookies, topped with caramel sauce. The flourless chocolate cake should be illegal and the vegan carrot cake is moist and delicious.

Needless to say, Bareburger is for people of all ages and the kids’ menu keeps things simple for parents. Visit on a Wednesday evening when there’s live jazz and blues to soothe you while you dine, which we enjoyed on a lovely summer evening. They’ll deliver to your home or office via easy on-line ordering through their website. Sure, you could visit Bareburger in Tokyo or Frankfurt, but there’s sure to be a Bareburger much closer to home. Find it and discover the secret sauce that is Bareburger.

33-21 31st Avenue
Astoria  718.777.7011

(and 30 other locations)

www.bareburger.com

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