When Burger Bach (pronounced Batch) moved into Ellwood Cafe’s old digs last February, it triggered a buzz that this Carytown newbie was not just a burger joint but a gastropub that’d be serving up quality New Zealand grass fed burgers. Like the procrastinator that I am, I waited almost a year to grab dinner here. Shame on me.
The word, “Bach” is New Zealand’s term for vacation home so it’s no surprise the interior is small, airy, and laid back. The decor is practical with walnut colored woods, exposed ductwork, corrugated tin, and exposed brick. Aim to get here early, the dining room slowly begins to fill around 6 with hungry energy, by 7 there’s a wait.
The West Coast burger ($11), a recommendation from my server, was wonderful. The jalapeno remouale, bbq sauce, cheddar, bacon, and caramelized onions housed with a savory grass-fed beef patty is a kick in the mouth. Burgers are served alongside a simple mixed green salad with a tangy vinaigrette.
On my next visit, I ordered up the North Lamb ($11) – a lamb burger with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, onion, and garlic aioli. Similar to the flavors of a lamb gyro but 100% better. Burger Bach steers clear of plain ingredients – everything here’s high quality and fresh, resulting in something (much) greater than any fast food crap. My girlfriend made an outstanding selection with the French Chick ($11) piled high with honey mustard, brie, grilled green apple (yes, grilled), turkey bacon, and caramelized onion. The combination of these flavors in this chicken sandwich are incredibly rich and unforgettable … this is something you’d crave. It’s a must try.
Being a bun enthusiast (take that any way you’d like), I was pleased that Burger Bach does their buns right. Fresh (baked next door at Ellwood’s) and perfectly doughy, these buns fit the burger in a simple, complementary way unlike some that overpower in size.
Besides delicious burgers (around 14, including lamb, chicken, and veggie), Burger Bach serves up mussels, shrimp, and oysters served traditional or jazzed up with exotic additions like red curry, ginger, green chile, lemongrass, coconut, lime, & cilantro. Sexy, right? Fries are just as enticing as they’re served with an lineup of dipping sauces like cilantro, roasted onion, and spicy dijon.
Being the foodie I am, I’ve grazed other reviews and comments. I haven’t seen one that disliked the food however, the only negative comments came from the folks that thought Burger Bach was a pretentious “burger boutique” established nickel and dime customers for some organic-smorganic food. Go ahead and nickel and dime me … I’d rather feast upon a delicious burger that than force myself to order a Hardee’s Hot Mess (no, this is not on the menu).
My first time here was pretty damn perfect, I was so impressed that I went again (3 days later) and had the same experience. Burger Bach didn’t let me down … it’s consistently good and straightforward with crowd pleasing grub and burgers that are done unbelievably right.
Overall … 4
Price: $3 – $18 (pricey burgers but so worth it)
Ambiance: no-nonsense and busy
Mentions: From 4-6 p.m. daily, they serve up half-price mussels, oysters, and shrimp
Address: 10 S. Thompson St. (Carytown)