Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Better Burger?

Lately, I've been confronted with all kinds of ethical eating issues. I've stopped eating beef and chicken without first knowing their provenance. Michael Pollan scared me, and I'm not interested in being one of the huddled masses who unthinkingly consumes chickens that have been standing around in their own waste, pecking at their own waste, yearning to breathe free. Cutting most commercial chicken and beef from my diet has some consequences. Fewer burgers, for one, not that I ate too many to begin with. But, I must confess, I've always loved a traditional American burger with the traditional American accoutrement. And these days, McDonald's just won't cut it.

On a bus ride home from the city last week, I met a fellow food liberator who happens to live in my neighborhood. She gardens, blogs, and seems to live the perfect sustainable lifestyle. I'm teeming with jealousy. She also happens to be an excellent resource for where to find local and organic stuff here in Astoria, which is, most of the time, a locavore's nightmare.

Which is how I found out about Bare Burger.

Actually, I had walked by it before, but I really just thought it was another faddy burger joint, selling patties for ten bucks. Truth be told, it's kind of an eden. The decor--including awesome light fixtures made from those metal spoons that so often disappear in restaurants--comes entirely from recycled things. The burgers (take your pick of elk, ostrich, turkey, chicken, or beef) are all organic. Instead of Heinz ketchup, which contains High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS is not organic because the corn used to produce it is genetically-modified. FYI), Bare Burger serves Annie's organic. Instead of store-bought burger buns, they offer a choice of brioche or multi-grain, both baked locally. Fries are done in peanut oil. Onion rings appear to come from real onions. The list goes on.

I had a turkey burger on multi-grain with a touch of mayo and some Annie's. Okay, it tasted like turkey, but I'm not expecting miracles here. I also had a tiny cob of corn, grilled to almost-burnt, which is how I prefer it. My lunch date had a beef bacon-cheeseburger on brioche and panko-dipped onion rings. He's a tough customer, so when he deemed his burger "delicious," I had to trust that it was.

Sodas are Boylan's and coffee is direct-trade. What more could someone like me ask for in a place like this?

Bare Burger
3321 31st Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106

No comments: