It was one fateful day last year that Joe O’Connor walked into the English Department office and explained how excited he was. One of his favorite burger joints was coming to Great Neck, the place we work. I asked him what was so amazing about Bareburger and he proceeded to expound upon the virtues of this burger joint. At the time of this news, Bareburger was only a small chain, but when you consider all the locations that they will soon be in, you’d really need to consider them to be a major chain. We’re talking about 13 restaurants in NYC, one in Great Neck, and new joints in Hartsdale, Edgewater, Columbus, the Upper West Side of NYC, Plainview, Hoboken, Rockville Centre, Boston, Philly, DC, and even Chicago. That makes 27 Bareburgers! Plus, of course, you need to remember that the Stamford location will be opening in summer 2014 and the Ridgefield location will open this fall. So, what can we expect from Bareburger? We interviewed Joey, asking him to talk about Bareburger because he truly is one of the greatest experts in the field.
Which Bareburgers have you been to?
I enjoyed delicious meals at two different Bareburger locations. The first location I went to is in Bayside, Queens NY. This specific Bareburger spot sits right on Bell Boulevard, an incredibly busy strip full of tasty restaurants and fun local bars. Although this location is relatively smaller than the other location I attended, I appreciate how the front of the store completely opens up. The Bayside location extends its space to the street so customers can eat outside as well (which I very much enjoy). The second location I ate at is in Great Neck, NY. This beautiful Long Island community certainly provides terrific places to eat and shop along Middle Neck Road. I recently took a friend there to eat and we both enjoyed the larger space and unique décor.
What do you like about Bareburger?
I truly appreciate how Bareburger works hard to create meals that are both delicious and organic. To my knowledge, every last ingredient used at Bareburger is completely natural and organic. I remember the unique experience of ordering a soda that is created from natural sugar cane. In my opinion, the food is fresh, and the meat used is a healthier choice in comparison to most chain restaurants. Overall I’m someone who likes to follow a healthy diet. However, sometimes you want a big juicy cheeseburger, and I don’t ever really feel like I’m completely cheating when I’m there. If you are an individual who cares about what you consume, I suggest you check out the Bareburger website. There is an “our story” section that provides you with information on how the business started, and reveals exactly where they get their products from. Also, if you are animal friendly there is a vegan menu too!
What’s your favorite thing to order?
The buffalo chicken sandwich is simply amazing! The chicken is always moist and tender. If you are someone who enjoys a little kick to your meal, this moderately spicy sandwich is definitely the pick for you. Also, don’t forget to order the fresh cut fries on the side! The fries can be served with multiple dipping sauces that completely satisfy your taste buds
What makes Bareburger so great?
I’ve always experienced amazing service at both Bareburger locations. The food servers seem to be incredibly knowledgeable about the menu, and delightfully answer any questions you may have. Personally, I also like the theme of bears throughout the restaurant. Although both locations uphold a trendy feel, they are both incredibly family oriented too (which I appreciate).
Ever the curious OmNomivore, I made sure to stop into the Bareburger in Great Neck to get a preview of what Joe talked about and do research. Yes, that’s OmNomCT kind of research: eating food. The decor is rustic with nice big chunky slats of wood throughout. You get a natural, relaxed kind of vibe going on. Servers take your order through iPhones, making ordering accuarate and easy. Although there were a ton of things to pick from on the menu such as salads, sandwiches, snacks, dips, Cubby meals for kids, Bareburgers, build your own burgers, sliders, sides, sodas, shakes, and sweets, I had to get a burger. In addition, they had a pretty nice draft list that featured some local brews like Brooklyn Brewery and Blue Point, so we hope to see some Half Full, Two Roads, Hooker, and New England Brewing Co on the drafts at the CT locations.
There were too many burgers to pick from, but I went with the Habanero Express. It came with pepper jack, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, poblano pepper relish, raw red onions, spicy pickle chips, and a habanero chipotle mayo. When I placed the order, my waitress recommended the elk (there was also turkey, lamb, wild boar, elk, bison, and ostrich to pick from on the more exotic side) burger to go with that. So, ever adventerous, I tried it with the elk. When it arrived, the burger was certainly a massive beast, but the 90% lean meat made it much healthier for you than other choices. There was a ton of flavor in the burger, especially coming from the bright and vibrant pepper relish. The Elk itself was fresh, but was a bit too cooked to my liking…probably the result of having such a low fat content. If it was cooked a little bit less, this would have been amazing, though the meat wasn’t dry by any means.
Before I left I felt like I had forgotten something…oh yes, the milkshakes! You get to start off with the base of either vanilla or chocolate, then add in whatever flavorings you’d like: vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, banana, strawberry, raspberry. I went with a vanilla ice cream, mixed in with peanut butter and banana. The shake came out super thick and was excellent with just the right amount of banana peeking through the peanut butter taste. A very remarkable milkshake, yes.
All around, Bareburger has a great philosophy and approach to food. It will be interesting to see how it does in Connecticut, already so burger crazy. While they might not have much competition in Ridgefield, in Stamford it’s quite a burger paradise with Plan B, Station Eats, Five Guys, and various chains. One other thing that we’re excited about is that they also are serving up killer breakfast selections at the Great Neck spot with chicken and waffles, your typical breakfast offerings, and fun sandwiches.
So, as we get closer to the opening date, get ready for another burger…a Bareburger.
Address: 38 Danbury Road
Phone: TBD (We’ll update when we get this information)
Address: TBD (We’ll update when we get this information)
Phone: TBD (We’ll update when we get this information)