Talking to Oguz Buyukbas, owner of BareBurger in Edgewater, NJ
When we talk about organic, sustainable, all-natural food we tend to devote a lot of attention to fruits and veggies while giving meat the cold shoulder. That’s because the meat found in many restaurants and grocery stores contains traces of pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics – a far cry from organic. But environmentally conscious carnivores in the tri-state area can rejoice because the restaurant micro-chain BareBurger is demonstrating that you don’t have to take meat off the menu to be sustainable.
BareBurger started back in 2009 in Astoria and has since expanded into eight restaurants with more on the way. At the invitation of BareBurger, we had the opportunity to try out their brand new Edgewater, NJ location. There’s a sophisticated, earthy vibe that fills the space with glass garage doors serving as a front facade in the tony City Place complex. The bamboo floor, tables and chairs made from reclaimed wood add to that atmosphere while driving home the fact the BareBurger is concerned with sustainability.
Our server was friendly and very knowledgeable about the menu, where the food comes from, and so on. I was particularly impressed with the sheer variety of items on BareBurger’s menu – not to mention the fact that the majority of items are organic. They proudly emphasize the fact that their meat comes from free range animals that were humanely raised without the use of pesticides or other substances. All dairy, produce and even ice cream are organic.
Carnivorous fare – with standard options like beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb along with more exotic alternatives like elk, bison, and ostrich, are the primary draw and offered up in a tantalizing array of themes and with myriad toppings. Milkshakes and root beer floats were promptly ordered (16 oz., thank you) and come with a shovel-ended straw for sipping convenience. My daughter Olivia thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate milkshake with dark chocolate chunks suspended in the rich, custardy conconction. Shakes also come in vanilla, peanut butter, strawberry, banana, and raspberry flavors ($6.95 for 16 oz.). Multiple salads are offered and dressings taste homemade and fresh. The caesar dressing went over well. Fries are hand-cut and portions are large, arriving with dipping sauces. Thick cut onion rings are freshly battered and crispy.
Burgers were cooked as ordered and nicely flavored, even if somewhat eclipsed by the brioche bun. BareBurger offers gluten-free buns. Multiple varieties of buns are available. You get the concept: start with the 6 oz. bare burger (animal of your choice) and build from there. The location is right across the street from the multiplex theater and I imagine it’s caught on quickly in its first month+ of business as a good dinner option pre- or post-movie. It’s worthy as a destination as well though and is popular with the stroller set. Large flat screens are tuned to cartoons (muted) while rock plays in the background.
Desserts are unexpectedly decadent, presented with decoration in the style of fancier eateries. The flourless chocolate cake (GF) with amarena cherries was decadently rich as was apple tart. Milk shakes are listed under desserts/sweets, and for good reason. The hot honey milk shake is on my must-have list for my next visit. Multiple options for breakfast diners are also available. Menu items are all noted with a GF for gluten-free, V for vegan and N for nuts. Numerous wrap and sandwich options are offered as well.
View their full menu and restaurant locations by visiting their website at http://www.bareburger.com/. Oguz, the owner, tells me he has plans to open several more BareBurgers in the Garden State, with Ridgewood his next stop.
Edgewater, NJ 07020
tel: 201.941.2273 (BARE)
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.