Wednesday, August 5, 2009
BareBurger - An Au Naturale Experience
BareBurger - 33-21 31st Avenue, Astoria NY 11106
N/W Train to Broadway
I finally went to BareBurger last week and in spite of all the hype, it lived up to expectations--and even surpassed them. Both Dan and I agreed that we'll revisit it to try their many varieties of burgers. Yum!
As described by guest reviewer Aaron, BareBurger has a funky vibe that's casual yet a step up from a traditional fast food joint. The space feels open with a garage door window that boasts casual counter-style seating underneath. There's other seating too such as comfy booths, long communal tables and small-ish 2-seater tables. The music is cheery and uplifting and the staff is young, hip and approachable. I absolutely loved the light fixtures, made up of objects such as spoons and cups--it's all very inventive and super cool.
The best part about the food is that it's all organic and fresh. You could certainly taste the difference in the meat and the dairy products especially. Despite heavy combinations (blue cheese and bacon), the food felt light in your stomach and didn't fill you up as much as processed food would.
Swiss Turkey Bacon Burger - This was Dan's choice and he took BareBurger's recommendation and ordered it with bison meat. It looked gorgeous and the bun was fluffy but I didn't like the gamey taste of the bison. I'm probably just not used to it because Dan loved it, saying that it was one of the best bison burgers he's ever had.
Big Blue Bacon Mushroom Onion Burger - I selected this incredibly rich-sounding burger because it contained some of my favorite ingredients--caramelized onions, chunky blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon and peppercorn sauce. The flavor of all these ingredients combined was amazing and I certainly tasted the difference in the organic, grass fed beef. It had a stronger, earthier flavor that made it more appetizing and easier to digest. I also loved the 7 grain bun that enveloped this beauty--again, something new and healthy. The only aspect that I didn't love was the blue cheese, as I thought it wasn't melted enough or strong enough in flavor--I'd go without it next time.
Onion Rings - These were hands-down amongst the best onion rings I've ever had. As Aaron pointed out, they were extremely generous with the portion, but unlike in Aaron's case, we had no trouble finishing them. Can we say slobs?! I loved the batter the most, as it was super crispy and not greasy. The variety of dipping sauces was amazing and I loved alternating between all three options - steak sauce (my favorite), curry ketchup and BareBurger's special sauce.
Banana-Strawberry Milkshake - We needed to wash this yumminess down with something sweet--the banana-strawberry flavor was on special and it sounded nice and refreshing. There were these delicious chunks of banana and sweet strawberry preserves in it, not to mention the milky, super thick ice-cream. One problem was that the straws weren't wide enough to comfortably drink the thick shake--I'd recommend switching to something that'd make your sipping experience easier.
Service and Cost:
Our waitress was cheery and patient, especially when I suffered from major indecisiveness. She gave us her opinion about the different meats that were unfamiliar to us, helping to make our decision easier. She was accessible and responsive to any wishes or questions we had.
Eating at BareBurger won't hurt your wallet, yet it's more expensive than a traditional burger joint. However, this is because everything is organic and in my opinion, a good investment. Burgers range between $8.95-$11.95, sides will set you back between $4.95-$9.95 and milkshakes are in the $5.95 neighborhood. Our dinner, which included two burgers, onion rings and a shake cost $39.50 without tip.