Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bareburger: Philadelphia Review

When you enter into Bareburger, you feel as though Brooklyn came up and spat into Philly. And lo and behold, BareBurger began in a now-defunct bar from your favorite hipster borough in NY. Since then, it's expanded beyond the Tri-State region, with 23 franchises and counting.

Bareburger Philly

Bareburger is all about being as organic, lean, and as pasture-raised as can be. Regular readers know I'm all about 80/20 cuts, if not fattier. But sometimes you just need to branch out and see what else is out there in the burger world. And much to the joy of the GF, we stopped by one weekend afternoon.

The Standard [$9.85]
Beef Sweet and wild rice, stout onions, dill pickles, special sauce, brioche bun

Bareburger Philly - The Standard with Sweet and Wild Rice

The GF went with the standard, but subbed the beef for the vegan sweet and wild rice patty. This features a nicely crisp exterior, with a hearty melange within. The stout onions imparted some savory heft, with the dill pickles providing some acidic crunch. The bun to "meat" ratio was on point.

Blue Elk [$12.15]
Elk, Amish Blue cheese, country bacon, stout onions, tomato fig jam, sprout bun

Bareburger Philly - Blue Elk

I love that Bareburger offers your not-so-typical protein options. I went with the elk, which is all-natural, pasture-raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and 90% lean. All the stuff I frankly care less about than taste. But the taste was tantalizing indeed! Definitely not gamey, and featuring a slightly sweeter flavor than beef, the elk patty was well-seasoned and moist. The country bacon was crisp, but substantial and provided some salty savoriness to each bite. The Amish blue cheese provided creamy funk, with the stout onions providing depth. The balance with the fig jam was really nice as well. Delicious.

Large Rings & Fries [$8.95]Smoke sauce, special sauce, habanero mayo, curry ginger ketchup  

Bareburger Philly - Rings & Fries

We obviously had to try their rings and fries combo. The onion rings were well-seasoned, with great crunch. The fries were disappointing though, limp and almost to the point of being wet. Getting the large portion of this side nets you 4 dippers. The special sauce is what gets standardly dressed on most of the burgers here. The curry ginger had nice depth to it, while the habanero mayo had a light kick. The smoke sauce was essentially a smoky BBQ sauce. Definitely a filling side for less than $9.

With the exception of the limp fries, BareBurger hit it out of the park for me, especially considering its focus on the leaner cuts and the organic lifestyle. And while Bareburger Philly is casual, do note that if you're dining in, you don't order at the counter as servers are there to take your order at the table. Somewhat surprising for a burger joint. The menu extends far beyond just burgers, with shakes and cocktails on offer as well. Be sure to stop in for brunch which features everyone's favorite - chicken and waffles.

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