Bareburger (Upper East Side)
The idea of Bareburger started in 2009 and is currently a micro-chain of organic burger restaurants. As of today, they have ten locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The restaurants are environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly. The menu features a variety of meats, including traditional beef, chicken, turkey and lamb; exotic options such as elk, bison, ostrich and boar; and mushroom, veggie and black bean burgers for our vegetarian and vegan diners.
I went for Sunday brunch with a friend at their Upper East Side location when it was one of those rare warm days that one may choose to dine outside or indoors but at least their retractable doors were open. Our main intention to eat here is to try the exotic burgers. Each burger we had were cooked to our desired temperature (all were medium rare) and juicy.
Straddling on one of those tall, backless bar stools, we started with for a thick banana raspberry shake ($4.95) that was more banana-y than having a sharp, tart raspberry flavor I was hoping for to balance that heavy banana.
We shared the usually good sweet potato croqs ($8.95). I would never thought of having balls of fried sweet potato purée mixed with sharp cheddar cheese. The hot, smooth, creamy, sweet potato with the slightly gooey salty cheese works. If I was selfish, I would have kept that basket of croquettes for myself.
Roadhouse with boar patty ($13.60 includes the boar supplement charge) on multigrain roll filled with pepperjack cheese, thick cut country bacon, creamy Hass avocado, sweet apple grilled onions, fire roasted red peppers, and smeared with smoked paprika mayonnaise. The entire burger was very good and the individual ingredients were super fresh and flavorful. To me, the boar burger was delicious. Lean, delicately nutty, deeper flavored pork. (This was our favorite of the burgers we ate.)
Habanero Express with elk burger ($12.10, includes Elk supplement charge) layered with pepperjack cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, poblano pepper relish, raw red onions, spicy pickle chips, habanero chipotle mayonnaise in a brioche roll. This burger reads very spicy but it’s actually mild and smoky from the mixture of various peppers. The elk is very dark and quite sweet, possibly it’s the reason why the burger generally tasted mildly spicy. (If you have had venison before, it’s very similar in terms of its natural sweetness and fine texture.)
Big Blue Bacon with ostrich meat ($17 includes the ostrich burger supplement charge) was composed of Wisconsin blue, thick cut country bacon, fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, smokehouse sauce, bacon marmalade set in a multigrain roll. I love how the menu reads generally, big, bold flavors of blue cheese, bacon and sweet, smokiness from the bacon marmalade and sauce but that ostrich patty kind of dominated the entire burger. The ostrich tasted like an intensely beefy turkey, if that made any sense. For trying ostrich the first time, this was pretty interesting.
Overall, the burgers were very good and I could experiment with meats I don’t normally eat – and not paying a king’s ransom for it. Though my picks for the proteins on the various burgers I ate ended up being in mixed results, this place is still worth seeking out. The service was great being attentive but casual.
To view more photos of this dinner, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
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