I've heard tons of good reviews about the relatively new burger place in town called Burger Bach, and finally had a chance to try it this past weekend. Burger Bach (pronounced "batch") is a "New Zealand inspired gastronomical public house," aka nice burger joint right on the edge of Carytown. When we walked into the restaurant on Sunday night, it was very full but did not feel overwhelmingly packed and had a comfortable atmosphere. The space is not very big; it has a bar with seating, one long bar-height table that spans the length of the restaurant and is community type seating (meaning you will be seated right next to other parties) and booths lining the rest of the free wall space in the restaurant. It is not your typical layout; it almost promotes a sense of community.
Our waitress was young and fun and acted as if she was one of our friends. She was really helpful when choosing what to order and accommodated all of our needs. The cocktail menu and beer list looked very interesting with lots of signature drinks and craft beers but I did not have a chance to try any.
Burger Bach has the regular menu, which contains burgers, fries and salads, and they also have a seafood menu, which varies daily with the various types of oysters, mussels and clams they have in stock. We did not try anything from the seafood menu but it seemed like everyone was getting oysters that were fresh and delicious. The regular menu looked wonderful as well and almost all of the seafood, meat and cheese were from New Zealand!
At the top of the menu they explain their story of how this restaurant came to be. Long story short, they traveled extensively to find the most humanely processed and best-tasting meat and came across a farm in New Zealand that sustainably raises their animals with plenty of care. Since the animals they use are grass-fed and treated well and the environment of the restaurant is supposed to help you relax, they call their guilt-free dining experience "intelligent indulgence." At first I was concerned about meat being shipped halfway across the world...but then I figured they knew what they were doing.
They also use buns from Ellwood Thompson's (the market across the parking lot); buying locally...love it.
Although the salads looked great...we decided to order burgers and fries. One of my friends got the original burger; it was a beef burger with the works including uncured bacon, New Zealand cheddar cheese and their original sauce, which is ketchup, mayonnaise and their homemade relish. The waitress recommended the Wellington burger to us and told us that some customers recently declared it the best burger on the menu, which to me said it was a "must try!" It is a beef burger with blue cheese, HP sauce (British A1 sauce), sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, brown sauce and garlic aioli. The burger was delicious but very salty. Someone else ordered the South Lamb burger, which has a lamb patty, Manuka Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, spinach, goat cheese and cilantro sauce. It was fantastic, the meat was very flavorful and perfectly balanced by the freshness of the spinach and goat cheese.
Another friend ordered the Kiwi Chick, a chicken burger that was not what I was expecting. Normally when you order chicken for a burger they give you a chicken breast to replace the patty but here they had a real non-breaded chicken patty and it was a much better option. The Kiwi Chick was free-range chicken, chipotle BBQ sauce, turkey bacon, organic cheddar, caramelized onions and jalapeno remoulade. The turkey bacon was not like normal turkey bacon, it was much softer and gamier than I am used to but the burger was great.
A burger simply can not be eaten without fries. We ordered fries for the table with a sauce sampler. We chose jalapeno remoulade, original sauce, fresh tarragon sauce, roasted onion dip and blueberry BBQ sauce. The blueberry BBQ sauce was not an option on the sauce menu, but we saw that it was on one of the burgers and there was no problem getting that for one of our sauces. All of the sauces were great, and the jalapeno remoulade was my favorite, but the fries were not crispy and pretty disappointing.
They also didn't have a dessert menu, which was doubly disappointing. I couldn't believe it. Our waitress recommended other dessert places in the area but we were all so full, we did not want dessert anyway.
Our burgers were so delicious and the service was so good that I am willing to excuse the soggy fries and lack of dessert menu. The salad and seafood options also looked fantastic, and it is definitely possible to have a healthy meal here. I would absolutely go back and would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a delicious burger with "intelligent indulgence."
Contact contributor Sarah Stewart at email@example.com
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