Summer brings some surprising Burger of the Month creations, none more unexpected than Burger Revolution’s water buffalo burger. The Belleville, Ont., burger bar even manages to source its water buffalo from a local Ontario supplier. What goes on its ground water buffalo burger? Local pepper cheese, jerk mayo, strawberry and mango salsa and plantain chips.
That jerk mayo is part of another trend evident this month. Hot weather pairs well with hot spices and Jamaican jerk spices are popular. Blue Door Pub in St. Paul, Minn., combines jerk-seasoned shredded chicken, mango-pineapple slaw and habanero chili sauce as a topping for a beef patty stuffed with Cheddar and Muenster cheeses. A grilled chicken breast dry-rubbed with a house blend of jerk spices is the beginning of Seattle’s Blue Moon Burgers’ Jerk Club Burger. Toppings are mango relish, grilled onion, bacon, lettuce and tomato with mayo all served on freshly grilled brioche bun. The Burger 21 chain this month salutes the king of reggae music with The Marley Meltdown burger. It’s house jerk-seasoned chicken burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese, crispy plantain chips, and house-made Caribbean ketchup; all on a bed of fresh mango salsa and served on a toasted brioche bun.
If you’re not interested in jerk spices, how about duck? The June special at Farmhaus Burger in Augusta, Ga., is a Maple Leaf Farms ground-duck patty topped with an Asian cabbage with green apples and sesame seeds, and a hoisin BBQ sauce. Drama Burger in Tampa, Fla., is thinking duck, too, but its June BOTM isn’t a burger; it’s Duck Pastrami. The duck meat is brined with juniper berries, cinnamon sticks, star anise and coriander seeds for five days, cured in house pastrami seasoning, cheery-wood smoked in house for a couple of hours and boiled at a low temperature. It’s served on a golden brioche bun with caramelized onions, house-made baconnaise and spinach.
Also influencing this month’s June LTOs is the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project. This initiative encourages restaurants to create burgers with patties blending mushrooms with ground meat. The thinking is that such patties are healthier and more sustainable. The five blend burgers that receive the most online votes will win their chef a trip to the James Beard House in New York City, where they will cook their Blended Burgers at the welcome reception for the annual JBF Food Conference, taking place October 17 and 18, 2016.
Three Burger of the Month entries are participating in the Blended Burger challenge. Burger Republic in Nashville uses a blend of 25% mushrooms and garlic with its Certified Angus Beef and tops it simply with a double thick-cut tomato slice, red onion and arugula on a fresh baked wheat bun with garlic aïoli available on the side for free. The protein needn’t be beef. TAG Burger Bar in Denver blends pork shoulder and mushroom-quinoa burger and tops it with crispy onions, caramel glazed avocado, lemongrass slaw and tofu sriracha aïoli. The Umami Burger chain’s Negroni BBQ Burger is a blended beef/mushroom patty with Campari-and-cola barbecue sauce, melted Gouda cheese and a slaw of kale, cabbage, green apple and diced bacon, all in a bacon vinaigrette.
These are just a few of the nearly 70 Burger of the Month specials for June gathered here, thanks to the support of sponsor Reinhart Foodservice. Take a look at the list of all June Burgers of the Month and find ideas you can use.