We recently checked out the new Bareburger on Walnut Street in Center City. Bareburger is a mostly NYC-based burger chain that specializes in offering meats that are organic, humanely-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free. In addition to beef, the menu features some “exotic” game meats like bison, elk, goat and wild boar. There are also turkey and chicken meats as well as veggie and vegan options.
There are many burger toppings to choose from, including 3 types of bacon, 8 types of cheeses, 13 types of veggies, and 16 types of sauces. They have “pre-made” burgers or you can build your own. Sides and snacks (larger versions of sides) go beyond your typical fries and onion rings. There are a variety of pickles, slaws, and even a baby kale salad.
If an exotic burger isn’t your thing, they also offer a few salads and sandwiches that will make both carnivores and veggies happy. Bareburger is kid-friendly as they offer meals for children – served with healthy apples!
A variety of all natural sodas, iced teas, lemonades, delicious milkshakes and scrumptious desserts round out the menu. No matter your preference or food limitation, Bareburger can accommodate. In fact, one of the first thing they asked us is if we had any food restrictions. That’s thoughtful!
For starters we enjoyed a Maine Root Sarsaparilla soda with a baby kale salad. Such a delight to have Sarsaparilla since you really don’t see that on menus much these days.
Next we enjoyed some fried goodies: sweet fries, onion rings and pickles! They nailed the breading on the rings and pickles. They also served these with a few different dipping sauces including a curry ginger ketchup, smoke sauce (like BBQ sauce), horseradish remoulade, paprika mayo and “special sauce.” All were very good!
For our main course, we enjoyed two burgers: the Supreme (beef) burger and the Grindhouse (elk) burger.
The Grindhouse comes with an elk meat patty, Manchego cheese, country bacon, piquante relish, and paprika mayo on a brioche bun. Never had elk meat before, but it was good. Not as moist as cow meat, but not tough like some other game meats can become. This was a good burger.
The Supreme burger comes with a cow patty, Colby cheese, country bacon, green leaf lettuce, onion rings, chopped fries, and special sauce on a brioche bun. Talk about over the top! It was very good. I would have preferred a bit more on the pink side, but the meat blend was well balanced and had a lot of flavor. My favorite part of it? THE BACON. I love chewy bacon. It was perfect.
We ended our feast with a black and white milkshake. Because why not? It was the perfect close to the rich, fried foods and meat we had just consumed. It’s a good old classic milkshake, not too thick, but certainly not too thin either.
Owner Daniel Kemelman explained how he decided to go into the burger business at such a young age — he’s 23 folks! After serving in the Army National Guard and taking some college classes, he wanted to do something that was more exciting than sitting in classes; plus he knew the Bareburger owners who wanted to open a franchise in Philadelphia. And so it was born.
He was gracious enough of give us a short tour of the restaurant. He explained how nearly everything in the restaurant is from recycled or reclaimed materials.
He also said they are still working on securing a liquor license so they can start serving alcoholic beverages. The bar, with six seats, is basically ready for when the license comes in.
While the prices are a bit more than your usual burger joint, the quality and taste is there and you can feel good about that. Check it out for lunch or dinner. They also promise delivery soon. Bareburger is a welcome addition to the Philadelphia burger scene.
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