Tag Archive for hamburgers

Farm Burger

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Christina of East Bay Dish invited me out on this media lunch to try Farm Burger in Berkeley. Obligatory disclaimer: Our meal was comped. Non-obligatory disclaimer: Our eyes may have been bigger than our stomachs as we pretty much tried two or more items from every section of their menu.

Farm Burger is a small hamburger chain, and the Berkeley store is their first on the West Coast. They are committed to using grass-fed beef, sourcing it from BN Ranch and Stemple Creek Ranch for this location. They also grind their patty meat in-house daily. Local farms provide their veggies.

The rest of Farm Burger’s stores are in the South, and those Southern roots are just as present on their Berkeley menu, with side offerings like collard greens and boiled peanuts. I don’t think this joint is going to have any problem keeping busy—it was swamped midday on a Saturday, and it’s been open since November in West Berkeley’s Gilman District development, which looked to be quite popular! The crowd only started to thin around 3 pm.

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In addition to sides and burgers, there are salads, several varieties of fries, shakes, and boozy and standard floats.

The Young's Chocolate Stout float

The Young’s Chocolate Stout float

I could taste the quality of their ingredients, always a plus, but a few dishes rested too firmly on those all-natural laurels—in other words, they were bland. The fried chicken livers, in particular, are a dish I would not order again.

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I’m not a fan of liver in general, but the usual reasons why were not on display here: the taste of iron and the silky texture of pâtés. These livers were dry, which is better than silky for me but not by much. The breading was rubbery and barely salted, if at all. That salt must have abandoned ship for the cheesy grits.

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Those weren’t up to snuff for me, either, but maybe I’m spoiled from all those fluffy, stone-ground grits served up by the chefs of North Carolina’s Research Triangle. These were more, well, gritty. Did I mention the salt? Waaay too much of that for me. But the cheese flavor was robust, and when I bit into a warm, gushy tomato at the same time as the grits, it was more appealing overall.

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Nonfiction Bragging: WRAL Village Burgers Review

I’m a little slow this time in letting you all know I have another review up at WRAL’s Out and About. Forgive me? This one was on Village Burgers, the hamburger joint inside the University Mall in Chapel Hill. Was it worth reviewing? You bet your brioche bun. Here’s your teaser:

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The mall is rarely my choice when I’m craving a burger, but one of our local chefs, Giorgios Bakatsias, opened a joint in Chapel Hill’s University Mall that is likely to change my tune. The Giorgios Group owns a string of fine-dining restaurants in the area, including Bin 54 and Parizade, so I was intrigued to see what would happen when this upscale, internationally trained chef took on the quintessential American meal…

You can read the rest of that review at WRAL here. And because a photo makes everything more exciting, here you go.

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Lumpy’s Ice Cream

Lumpy’s
306 East Wait Avenue
Wake Forest
Website
$3 a scoop

Lumpy’s is a new restaurant in Wake Forest offering ice cream and easy eats like hamburgers and frankfurters. Their grand opening is tomorrow from 11 to 7, but that’s just for the storefront. Lumpy’s owner and ice cream creator, Buck Buchanan, has been serving up his scoops since 2001 by cart at farmers’ markets, Highland games, and anywhere ice cream is welcomed. He studied ice cream making techniques for three years before going into the business.

Buck and me. Yes, he’s that sort of guy. I suppose that makes me that sort of girl.

Over 200 flavors have come from his culinary mind, and the store offers 14 at any one time.

To spread the word about the storefront opening, Lumpy’s put on a blogger preview night, inviting us out to try their wares. Who am I to say no to ice cream? We started by learning about the company providing the beef for Lumpy’s hamburgers and frankfurters—and yes, a big deal was made about calling them frankfurters and not hot dogs! That company is Harris-Robinette farms, and they raise all of their 4,000 heads of cattle on grass and also process the beef in NC. We learned all this from Patrick Robinette, who was deservingly proud of his operations.

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