Whether it's "fancy" or "basic," there are a few key elements in a great burger. Obviously, there is the burger itself — meaty, juicy, cooked to the correct doneness and seasoned well. But to be a great burger, there must be harmony and balance — from the bun, toppings and sauces to the accompaniments. One element shouldn't overpower the others. Interestingly, all of these "fancy burgers," marked by the finest ingredients, use the same locally baked bun from The Flour Garden.
Balliceaux's Heritage Burger
203 N. Lombardy St., 355-3008
The ultimate in "locavore" and only $10, Balliceaux's burger is simple but definitely not basic. It's made from 100 percent grass-fed local red Devon beef from Gryffon's Aerie, topped with artisan cheese (this varies) and local micro greens on a handmade bun accompanied by truffle fries. This burger is simply good.
Stronghill Dining Company's Magnvs
1200 N. Boulevard, 359-0202
The Magnvs burger at Stronghill is a house grind of filet, pork loin and lamb, each meat adding its own character to this beyond-basic burger. It's mild, juicy and full of flavor; the addition of herbs to the house grind is what makes this version distinctive. The $12, 8-ounce burger is perched atop a Flour Garden bun with your choice of cheese and accompanied by crisp sweet-potato fries.
Lemaire's House-Ground "Barnyard" Burger
101 W. Franklin St., 649-4644
A bit pricey at $18, but worth every penny! Lemaire's barnyard burger is simple and decadent. A house grind of filet, with New York strip and ribeye tossed in, make this a true "steak" burger. Succulent, juicy and decadent and weighing in at 10 ounces, it's topped with a farm-fresh sunnyside-up egg and accompanied by a foie-gras sauce that will have you debating between dipping your burger in it or eating it with a spoon. To balance all that, crisp shoestring fries with herbs arrive.
Coast's Kobe Hamburger
5806 Grove Ave., 288-8466
The Kobe burger at Coast is juicy, drip-down-your-wrists good (ask for extra napkins). Weighing in a hearty 10 ounces, this $12 burger is topped with caramelized onions and aged cheddar and accompanied by crisp fries. Kobe beef is prized for its extravagant amount of marbling. The key to this burger is the hard pan-sear that locks in the juices.
Back to: Whatta Burger!