A good friend told me that the WC Burger served at Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport near the Fairfield border was the best burger in the area. Those are strong words from someone I trust so I drove one evening and grabbed an outside table.
The menu is divided into several categories and each reads like a who’s who of comfort food. I was pleasantly impressed when I saw that the chef gave top billing in the Large Plates section to “WC Burger + Fries - Smoked mayo, bacon, bourbon onions, cheddar.” It was a simple decision and I ordered the burger medium-rare.
The burger was served on a metal tray accompanied by fries and small mound of pickle slices. There was a crisp char on the exterior and the texture of the interior was soft. I sampled the meat; it was rich in flavor, reminiscent of grass fed, the medium grind was still loose and it was moist without being overly juicy. It was an excellent patty. The first topping I tasted was the Bourbon onions. W+C slowly caramelized the sliced onions until they were sweet and soft, added bourbon, and reduced until the bourbon was thick and concentrated. The end result was incredibly complex onion mixture; the sweetness of the onions interplayed with the condensed bourbon. These were some of the most delicious caramelized onions I have ever tasted. There were several strips of bacon, each mildly salty, allowing the pork to complement the onions and beef. The melted Cheddar cheese was creamy and added just a touch of nuttiness; and the mayo a smidgen of smokiness. The toasted brioche bun was the perfect choice for this combination. It was sweet, buttery and the slight crispiness from grilling was a bonus. One bite of this entire combination...it was outstanding and delivered great balance. This burger is highly recommended.
The fries were excellent, crispy on the exterior and soft on the interior, with just a dusting of salt.
From the meat to the toppings to the bun to the fries, my friend was correct, the W+C Burger is one of the best in Fairfield County. There is now another serious contender for best bar burger in southwest Connecticut.
2895 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06605
(This “WC Burger” is on the Dinner menu. There is a different combination that is served during Brunch and Lunch, a “Bacon, Egg and Cheeseburger”)