“It is the Americans who have managed to crown minced beef as hamburger, and to send it round the world so that even the fussy French have taken to le boeuf hache, le hambourgaire.” – Julia Child
Forget the fish, hold the pasta, toss the vegetables to the side…May is National Burger Month, thirty-one days dedicated to one of my favorite culinary creations …the hamburger. And in honor of this great event, CTbites is please to highlight both the places that were included in the two Recommended Hamburger Lists from 2011 plus additional establishments from my continuous search for scrumptious hamburgers.
Here (in alphabetical order) is a list of recommended hamburgers from Greenwich to Westport to enjoy during National Hamburger Month.
Beach Burger (Norwalk) –The duo of Anthony Luciani and “Chopped” winner Marc Anthony Byrum delivers a 6-ounce grass-fed all natural beef hamburger. Their toppings include traditional cheese, bacon and sautéed onions, plus non-traditional toppings such as pulled pork (on the recommended Bynum), guacamole and fried oysters. Beach Burger also offers some very uniquely flavored milk shakes, including Banana Foster, Twinkie and PB&J.
- 1st Street & Cove Avenue, Norwalk, CT (203) 956-5767 -
Black Duck (Westport) – Tucked under I-95 off Exit 17 sits a reconstructed 1840’s barge overlooking the Saugatuck River, and the hamburgers are unquestionably one of the best in Fairfield County. The hamburger is a full 8-ounces 80-20 Angus beef patty (a 12 ounce variety is also available), perfectly cooked and delivered encased in a plain bun that allows the meat to shine.
- 605 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT, (203) 227-7978 -
Blue Cactus Grill (Norwalk) – This hidden-gem of owner Vic Amereno serves hamburgers with meat from Omaha Beef Company in Danbury using a 75 year old recipe. The 8-ounce 70/30 blend burgers are hand formed on site each day and then grilled to perfection. The hamburger is served on a plain grilled bun from the New York Bakery in Norwalk, based on a recipe that Amereno developed.
- 51 Stevens Street, Norwalk, CT, (203) 838-8800 -
Boulevard 18 (New Canaan) & Strada 18 (SONO) new for 2012 – A full 8 ounces of a combination of in-house ground and blended Wagyu and black Angus beef cooked to a perfect medium-rare. Add some gruyere cheese (other choices available), a few rashers of applewood smoked bacon and a delicious brioche from New Wave Bakery and you have Chef David Raymer’s Strada 18 Burger served at both locations. The French fries are also some of the best in the area with a multi-stage process developed by Chef Raymer.
- 62 Main Street, New Canaan, CT, 203 594 9900 –
- 122 Washington St., South Norwalk, CT, (203) 853-4546 –
Burgers Shakes and Fries (Greenwich / Darien) – Considered by many as the best hamburger in Fairfield County, owner Kory Wollins combines delectable beef from Master Purveyors with his signature butter grilled bread at the original location in Byrum as well as the BSF restaurant in Darien. Customers choose from numerous toppings, such as cheese or fried eggs to complement the great flavor of the meat. For side choices, customers choose from the perfectly prepared fries or delicious sweet potato tots. To complete the meal, BSF offers several delicious shakes made with house made syrups.
- 302 Delavan Ave, Greenwich, CT, (203) 531-7433 –
- 800 Post Road, Darien, CT, (203) 202-9401 -
Cherry Street East (New Canaan) – When I envision the perfect bar hamburger, Cherry Street East ranks as one of the best. Each day, CSE hand forms their hamburgers for local business and town’s people. My favorite is the Vermonster, a single hamburger with bacon and cheddar on an English muffin. To accompany the hamburger, the French fries and the daily hand cut onion rings (my favorite onion rings in Fairfield County) add to the perfect lunch or dinner in combination with a large beer or soda.
- 45 East Avenue, New Canaan, CT, (203) 594-1515 -
Chocopologie (South Norwalk) new for 2012 – Known for his delectable chocolate creations, Owner / Chef Fritz Knipschildt’s newest addition to his menu is the Chocolate BBQ Burger. The 6-8 ounce hamburger includes a slice of cheese and is encased in a delicious brioche. But the star of this hamburger is the sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, which is infused with a combination of 70% dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
- 12 S. Main Street, Norwalk, CT, (203) 854-4754 –
Farmer’s Table (New Canaan) – Robert Ubaldo and his fiancée, Lucia, deliver an incredible hamburger. The meat is sourced from John Boy’s Farm in New York, and the hamburger is served with two slices of delicious cheese and thin slices of cornichon. The Farmer’s Table delivers their signature French fries perfectly prepared with just a touch of salt.
- 21 Forest Street, New Canaan, CT, (203) 594-7890 -
Harvest Supper (New Canaan) – Harvest Supper’s hamburger begins with superbly prepared American Wagyu beef. Owner Grace Lamb maintains the recipe from former chef Dan Kardos and complements the meat’s deliciously rich flavor with a melted slice of Beemster XO cheese, a few slices of bread and butter pickles, a thin slice of red onion and the Harvest Supper “Special Sauce” all encased in a wonderful sesame seed bun.
- 15 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT, (203) 966-5502 -
Le Farm (Westport) – Chef Bill Taibe serves his vision of an incredibly delicious high end hamburger beginning with Pat LaFrieda’s single grind shoulder meat which is cooked to perfection. He next complements the rich flavors of the meat with several slices of delicious bacon, melted mild cheddar cheese, a few thick slices of bread & butter pickles and housemade pepper mayonnaise. He serves this flavorful combination encased in a poppy seed bun from SONO Baking Company and Café.
- 256 Post Rd E., Westport, CT, (203) 557-3701 -
The Lime (Norwalk) – Hidden among the vegetarian options is the Lime’s “California Burger.” This delicious carnivorian alternative includes strips of beef with white cheddar cheese, cucumber, avocado, shredded carrots and red pepper, all complemented by a simple dressing of mayonnaise and salsa and encased within a spinach wrap.
- 168 Main St., Norwalk, CT, (203) 846-9240 -
MATCH (South Norwalk) – The Thursday Burger Special is a great success. The MATCH burger includes fantastic local meat, a house made cheddar-bacon béchamel sauce, caramelized onions with a touch of balsamic vinegar all encased in an onion brioche. Add a huge portion of Chef Matt Storch’s perfect (could be the best) French fries and this combination is a Fairfield County Elite Hamburger.
- 98 Washington St., Norwalk, CT, (203) 852-1088 -
Napa & Company (Stamford) – Chef Arik Bensimon’s delivers the quintessential high end hamburger, which begins with delectably seasoned American Wagyu beef. Chef Arik pan fries this incredibly flavorful and succulent meat to perfection and then serves with red onion jam, aged Gouda and black pepper mayo encased in a brioche bun. On the side Chef Arik serves mouth-watering fries, currently featuring a touch of rosemary.
- 75 Broad Street, Stamford, CT, (203) 353-3319 –
Nicholas Roberts (Norwalk) – With Owner / Chef Robert Troilo overseeing the kitchen, Nicholas Roberts, produces another delicious hamburger in Norwalk. He begins with D’Artagnan natural beef and then pan-fries the hamburger to its perfect doneness, plus a few slices of aged Vermont cheddar cheese, soft and sweet caramelized onions, a few slices of bacon, sautéed mushrooms and fries.
- 5 Main Street, Norwalk, CT, (203) 229-0035 –
Shake Shack (Westport) – I very much enjoyed the Shack Burger, the Shack-gago Dog and several Shake Shack Shakes (affectionately named Concretes). All were delicious.
- 1849 Post Rd. East, Westport, CT, (203) 255-0617 –
Spotted Horse Tavern (Westport) new for 2012 – This new Westport hot spot features several choices for their guests. The bacon cheeseburger is served perfectly grilled to medium-rare, with excellent flavor, the bacon was a delicious complement and the cheese was nicely melted. All of this was encased in a delicious brioche roll.
- 26 Church Lane, Westport, CT, (203) 557-9393 –
So enjoy a hamburger-a-day and report back any of your favorites and we will sample and see if they should be included on the 2012 Recommended Hamburger List.