The best way to start a new year is with fresh burger ideas, and there are a slew of them here. Several of our old favorites appear to have slept late and not announced their specials yet but that just means we can spotlight some first-time contributors that we hope will become regulars.
One is Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago. One of Levy Restaurants’ portfolio of great restaurants, Jake Melnick’s starts the year with a Patty Melt (a 9-oz. hand-packed Angus patty draped with Swiss and American cheese, grilled onion, mushrooms and bacon, and served with Russian dressing). Bucket List Burgers in Riverside, Calif., is new for 2014, too. Its January special is the appropriately named New Year’s Resolution Burger. That’s a hand-pattied turkey with citrus-corn salsa on top of iceberg lettuce and tomato with light sun-dried-tomato-and-spinach aïoli.
Burger Shack in Whitehall, Pa., makes a memorably debut on the BOTM list with The Hut for January. That’s ground beef “stuffed” with mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers, topped with more mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers and a balsamic vinegar glaze. I’d be foolish if I didn’t offer shout outs to two regulars for their particularly creative January specials. Lakewood, Ohio’s Buckeye Beer Engine starts 2014 with two inventive burgers (the Yaxi’s Relleno de Papa and Croque My Burger). And Slater’s 50/50 in California doesn’t let us down: Its Excesstasy Burger may prove to be the year’s most over-the-top burger creation. And it’s only Jan. 3. Do check out both of them below. 5 Napkin Burger, East Coast locations Cheddar Chili Burger An 8-oz freshly ground beef patty topped with beef chili, red onions, cilantro, pickled jalapeňos, crema and Cheddar cheese with tortilla strips and barbecue fries 5 Star Burgers, multiple locations, Southwest Nacho Mamma ($10) Our Harris Ranch beef burger topped with red chile sauce. Pepper-Jack and provolone cheeses, jalapeňos and tortilla chips
8 Oz. Burger Bar, Seattle Ham Burger House blend patty, bourbon-poached apples, shaved ham, Brie cheese, sweet potato chips and sage mustard The Avenue, St. Petersburg, Fla. I’m Ribbin’ It ($12) Kansas City coffee BBQ boneless ribs topped with spicy collard greens and Cheddar with Southern slaw B Spot Burger, Cleveland Breakfast Burger Sausage gravy, Cheddar, green onion and fried egg, served open face on sourdough
Blue Moon Burgers, Seattle Frito Pie Burger We pile up a toasted brioche bun with sour cream chive mayo, a third-pound premium beef patty, melty Cheddar, smother it in our house-made chili and top it with Frito chips BGR: The Burger Joint, multiple locations The Tracy Our Legendary Burger with the works, spice it up, bacon, french fries and BBQ sauce! Bobby’s Burger Palace, multiple locations Koreatown Burger Soy-glazed beef patty with Korean “ketchup,” kimchee and a fried egg Buckeye Beer Engine, Lakewood, Ohio ‘Yaxi’s Relleno de Papa’ ($10.50) Combines our half-pound burger with a Puerto Rican classic…the Relleno De Papa, a deep-fried mashed potato dumpling filled with a beef, pepper and adobo mixture. All of this is topped with pepper-Jack cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, chile threads, and fresh jalapeno slices. Served with house-made chips and a fried pickle. ‘Croque My Burger’ ($13) Our half-pound burger topped with sliced ham, Gruyère cheese, green onion and a sunny-side-up egg, all atop two pieces of egg-battered Texas Toast. Served with a side of sage-Dijon mayo, house-made chips and fried pickle.
Burger 55, Penicton, British Columbia Homer’s Delight ($9.75) Our beef patty, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard, relish, Buddha sauce and a Kraft single jammed between halves of a glazed doughnut! Only $9.75 Burger Boss, Elmwood Park, Ill. Banh Mi Burger The classic Angus beef patty fits in-house pickled carrots and radishes, fresh cucumber slices, jalapeño peppers, cilantro and Sriracha-hoisin mayo all between two perfectly toasted brioche buns Burger Revolution, Belleville, Ont. The Pollo Zapata! Grilled chicken breast, avocado slices, pico de gallo, roasted-poblano mayo, red onion, lettuce and a feta fritter DMK Burger Bar, Chicago The Monte Cristo Sausage patty, ham steak, Gruyère cheese and fruit jam between French toast slices.
Flip Burger Boutique, Atlanta The New Mexico Burger Flip beef patty, poblano chile relleno, avocado puree, queso fresco, green tomatillo ketchup and cilantro Giant Orange, Sacramento, Calif. Buddha’s Delight Start the New Year off with our Asian fusion turkey burger! Freshly ground, all-natural, moist and flavorful hand-crafted turkey patty seasoned with green onion, cilantro, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, curry and cumin topped with shredded Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, cilantro and sliced tomato with a dollop of Sweet Chili Mayo all on a freshly baked, slightly toasted sesame bun. Served with hand-cut fries and zippy Wasabi Ketchup for dipping. The Grafton Irish Bar & Grill, Chicago Macon Me Hungry ($9) Our delicious Angus patty topped with bacon & mac & cheese. Served on a pretzel roll with choice of side Grill ‘Em All, Alhambra, Calif. “His Hero is Gone AKA Chris Hero” Our take on the classic Mr. Hero Romanburger. Two quarter-pound burgers topped with melted Swiss cheese, grilled Genoa salami, mortadella, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, Italian Oil’n’Spice and our garlic aïoli, served on a baked Italian roll! It’s a rolling elbow of flavors. Jake’s Uptown, Texas locations Hamdawg Double beef patties, double chees, sliced hot dog and chili Jake’s Wayback Burgers, multiple locations Breakfast Burger Fried egg, Frank’ Red Hot sauce, lettuce, tomato and American cheese
Kooper’s Tavern, Baltimore Venison Burger Grilled to perfection and served with Gorgonzola cheese, Upland Cress lettuce and pomegranate reduction Kuma’s Corner, Chicago The Indian Burger, bourbon-braised spinach, corn and sun-dried-tomato gravy, deep-fried Johnny Cake Fritter, fresh chives Kuma’s Too, Chicago Sourvein Our 10-oz patty topped off with a maple raspberry aïoli, blackened fried chicken tenders, applewood-smoked bacon, sharp Cheddar cheese, waffle strips and finished off with a maple syrup drizzle Milwaukee Burger Company, Eau Claire, Wis. Kevin Leshko’s Taco Burger Half-pound grilled patty, salsa, chipotle mayo, tomato, chopped cilantro, red onion, pepper-Jack cheese
My Burger, Minneapolis Elvis Freshly (in honor of the King’s Jan. 8 birthday) $7.45 Quarter-pound Angus patty, peanut butter and fried panko-breaded bananas The Oinkster, Los Angeles The Pig Skin Burger House-made pork patty topped with pork and chicharron chile verde, avocado, pinto bean purée, nopales and pickled jalapeños served on a torta roll Romers Burger Bar, Vancouver, BC Chili Chili Palmer ($13) Our brioche bun layered with chipotle aïoli, yellow mustard and shredded lettuce, topped with our famous burger patty, green chili sauce, spicy black bean chili, Cheddar, minced red onion, Diablo Sauce and fresh cilantro Slater’s 50/50, Southern California The Excesstasy Burger A 100% natural beef patty on a bed of arugula and garlic tomato confit plus a 100% ground-bacon burger soaked in bone-marrow butter separated by a white Cheddar-and-bacon grilled cheese sandwich on brioche. We top this beast with Southern Comfort drunken onions, a sunny-side-up duck egg and house-made Thousand Island aïoli, all on a brioche bun Stack’d Burger Bar, Milwaukee
Bleu Cheese Burger ( $13) Our own grass-fed burger topped with blue cheese walnut spread and red onion jam Stuft: A Burger Bar, Windsor, Colo. Sloppy Jose Third-pound USDA Choice Chuck mixed with our blend of spices, Chipotle Peppers, Fresh Jalapeños, and Diced Onions. Topped with melted American Cheese. The Rail, Fairlawn, Ohio Bruschetta Burger ($10.50) Spinach, fresh mozzarella and house-made bruschetta topping Village Whiskey, Philadelphia VW Chinese New Year Burger Char-Sui-glazed beef, shaved Chinese bacon, Asian slaw and spicy cucumber aïoli