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What Bon App Missed: 10 REALLY New Burger Joints

Filed under Advertising, Management, Marketing, Menu, Nonbeef, Upscale Burgers

I won’t quibble with any of Bon Appétit’s choices for its “Top 10 Best New Burger Spots.” All 10 look great, and DMK Burger Bar is heavenly. But eight of the 10 opened in 2009. This week we are halfway through 2010, so how can Umami Burger, which opened in February 2009, still be considered “new”?  Yes, Minetta Tavern’s great and all, but it opened a year ago March. Atlanta’s Flip Burger Boutique has already opened a second location in Birmingham, Ala. Little Bigs has three locations. The list is time warped.

Bon Appétit got The Grind in Phoenix and Foster Burger in Portland, Ore., right. They opened this year. They’re new. Here are 10 other 2010-vintage operations worth knowing that show where the burger business is headed.

Roam Artisan Burgers, San Francisco
This is the future. Grass-fed beef burgers; house-made veggie patties and pickles. They make their own soft drinks, sweetened with agave nectar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Shakes are made with locally sourced organic ice cream and organic nonfat yogurt.
Read a review

Lettuce Entertain You's M Burger

M Burger, Chicago
Rich Melman opened R.J. Grunt’s, one of the first upscale burger joints, in the early ‘70s. Now his Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises operates more than 40 restaurant concepts from fine-dining Everest to the Big Bowl fast-casual Asian chain. His latest is M Burger, carved out of chef’s dining room at his ultra-high-end Tru. The menu’s limited; the quality’s high.
Read a review

500°, Philadelphia
Another post-Five Guys simple-menu concept. Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Classic (with Bibb lettuce and tomato) and The 500 (with Cheddar, bacon and signature house sauce). Not fancy; just good.
Read a review

Yeah! Burger, Atlanta
Chef Shaun Doty’s create-your-own burger concept has the good taste to know that means choosing a bun, too. I like the sauce choices because God only knows what Hot Alabama Relish, Rooster Sauce and Bacon Jam might be. But, Yeah!, I’m putting all of them on my burger.
Read a review

Burger Kitchen, Los Angeles
With its Pat LaFrieda beef, Burger Kitchen is a West Coast answer to Minetta Tavern to some burger fanciers. The “Siberia With Love” burger is topped with caviar and priced at $75, which sounds excessive, but hey, Australian-born owner Alan Saffron and son Daniel have a $10 Australian Meat Pie on the menu, too.
Reviews: A Hamburger Today’s Damon Gambuto was underwhelmed; Jay Weston was crazy, nutty happy.

Bill St. Bar & Grill, Little Rock, Ark.
When former President Bill Clinton isn’t hangin’ with Mick Jagger at the World Cup and he’s back in Little Rock selling T-shirts at the Clinton Library Store, you know he has lunch at this new burger joint next door. Bill does the Peanut Butter Bacon Burger, no doubt.
Read A Hamburger Today’s review

BRGR Kitchen's Pittsburger

BRGR Kitchen's Pittsburger

BRGR Kitchen + Bar, Prairie Village, Kan.
Alan Gaylin has worked in management for Houlihan’s and T.G.I. Friday’s. Now he and his partners have opened this classy burger joint outside Kansas City, Mo., with some serious burgers. The Tex-Az is topped queso, pickled jalapeños and blue corn chips on a corn bun; the Pittsburger is topped with American cheese, hot fries and cold slaw on a kaiser bun.
Read an interview with Alan Gaylin

J. Wellington’s, Chicago
Named of course for famed burger lover J. Wellington Wimpy, this Chicago joint goes both ways. Build your own or order from the “Fancy Schmancy” specialty burgers. These include the “Trippin’ Swede” with sautéed mushrooms, Swiss cheese and chipotle-chili-pepper ketchup, and the “One Eyed Runt” with applewood-smoked bacon, fried egg, blue cheese and spicy mayo.
Read a review

Burger Up, Nashville
From the good folks who brought us the Frothy Monkey comes another burger joint that takes local sourcing and high quality seriously. Local supplier Triple L Ranch provides the grass-fed beef, but there’s locally produced lamb, chicken and more.
Read a review

Burger Spot, Dallas
It may not look like much outside, but this unassuming little place has 14 burgers made with all-natural Harris Ranch Angus. Choices include the Alamo Burger with refried beans, Fritos, Cheddar, onions and salsa on top, and a Blue Cheese Bacon Burger with all that on a third-pound patty.
Read a review

One Response to What Bon App Missed: 10 REALLY New Burger Joints

  1. Jon Alexander

    For the record, M Burger in Chicago is terrible! It makes McDonald’s seem great. The portions are tiny and they don’t even melt the cheese on their cheeseburgers. I can’t believe burger business would call this “high quality”. Yuck!