In a neighborhood where burgers come in virtually every shape and size, two new contenders throw their versions into the mix this week, offering even more options in the ever-expanding gamut of variations that include ostrich or bison (Bareburger), west-coast-style fast food (Petey's), $2 happy hour sliders to $18 monsters for two (Five Napkin Burger).
Just Burgers officially opened its doors this week at the corner of 33rd & Ditmars. Community message boards are buzzing about the opening lines extending outside the door, but at lunchtime yesterday we were able to snag one of the few tables in the small dining room at this fast-food style burger joint.
The menu features a BYOB section (Build Your Own Burger) starting at $4.15, a selection of $7.25 specialty burgers, as well as hot dogs, fries (sea salt, cajun, or sweet potato), onion rings, and shakes. Pictured above is the "regular" cheeseburger, simply meaning that it comes with two patties--extremely thin, and unavailable at any temperature lower than medium well. The "mini" burger is not a slider, but rather a single patty sandwich--which is particularly unclear on the menu board...
The free topping options are extensive, as well, with cheese available for $0.90 and premium toppings for $1. Pictured at the top of this post is the "Caramel Burger" with applewood smoked bacon, maple caramelized onions, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, and horseradish aioli.
We also sampled the regular dog with basil pesto aioli... they were not yet serving the 1/4-lb angus beef dog.
The fries and onion rings were surprisingly served in styrofoam containers, quite the opposite extreme of the more eco-friendly competitors (Bareburger even features paperless ordering with touch screen handheld server pads). While I absolutely hope Just Burgers finds success, it would be nice to see recyclable baskets for those who dine in (every burger is wrapped in foil) and greener packaging options for carryout and (soon-to-come) delivery.
I will refrain from evaluation until Just Burgers has been open more than just a few days and finally settled into its rhythm. In the meanwhile, I'd love to hear your feedback/experiences in the comments at the end of this post! How do you think Just Burgers stacks up?
A burger that is already 100% crave-worthy and a serious contender for top burger is the new Queens Classic that arrived on the menu this week at Queens Comfort. Last weekend, the comfort food hot spot transformed into a burger and shake joint, showcasing several variations on the American classic. Fortunately, this champion survived the weekend and made it to the weekday menu. This extremely flavorsome and juicy patty consists of ground beef, andouille sausage, and bacon. On a buttery roll, it is stacked with leafy green lettuce, melted cheddar, and a savory "special sauce". Served with fries, be sure to ask for a side of their homemade ketchup for addictive delicious dunking. Wash it all down with a mason jar of homemade pink lemonade...
And though they now feature Robicelli's cupcakes on the dessert menu (blueberry port wine & caramel machiato, to name a few), the homemade treats are some tempting sweet endings, like the strawberry shortcake biscuit and this ice cream sandwich that sent me spiraling back to childhood. What better simple pleasure than two chewy oatmeal cookies with vanilla ice cream rolled in rainbow sprinkles?