The boutique burger craze shows no sign of ending. That's what we were thinking last week when we sidled up to the counter at BGR: The Burger Joint, a new burger joint in West Hartford center.
BGR The Burger Joint, a chain with around 20 U.S. locations, serves a seriously upgraded burg.
The menu isn't so encyclopedic as to cause head-spinning when it comes time to decide which type of cheese to choose. There are about 10 different main burger variations, including house-made veggie burgers, Greek burgers (with lamb), turkey, sliders, Cuban (topped with roasted pork and ham), southwestern (with lots of peppers, black bean relish, cilantro and mango), and a seasonal lobster roll. There's something called "The 9 Pounder," which, we're told, actually weighs 15.4 pounds when loaded up; it feeds 15 people and needs to be ordered a day in advance ($69.99). If you're an extreme eater — complete this solo in one sitting and it's free.
You order at the counter, from which you can see all of the grill activity, which is nice, especially if you like to take a gander at how these burgers are built. Another nice thing: The Burger Joint also has beer on tap, so you can get a pint of Long Trail with your bacon-cheeseburger (that's a happy meal!).
As McDonald's longtime spiritual leader Ray Kroc, the man who spread the gospel of the Golden Arches, wrote in his burger-centric 1977 autobiography Grinding It Out, "It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun." That may have been true 35 years ago, but the world has since come around to Kroc's aesthetic. And The Burger Joint does an admirable job in the bun department, featuring a buttery sesame seed-dusted brioche bun.
I had The Wellington ($8.99), a burger topped with roasted mushrooms in a kind of deep umami-satisfying biscuits-and-gravy-esque sauce, with caramelized onions, and crumbles of blue cheese. This was a mighty burger, perfectly cooked with some grill char, and just on the right side of almost umanageable, with hunks of mushroom, cheese and gravy tumbling onto the deli-paper-lined metal plate which was also weighted down with medium-thick-cut golden Yukon gold fries. (There are also thin fries made with sweet potatoes, and, for those needing something green, grilled asparagus spears.)
A double-chocolate shake serves nicely as a sweet exclamation point. Mine was almost too thick to pull through the straw, not quite requiring a spoon, but just about.
BGR: The Burger Joint
983 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, (860) 523-3152, bgrtheburgerjoint.com
Post Your Comment Below