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Winner of New York Post's Best Burger Competition Opens Its First Restaurant in Westchester County

The competition in hamburgers in Westchester County has intensified with the arrival ofBareburger, winner of a New York Post taste-test burger face-off (it beat out eight rivals as reported in a Post article that appeared in a May 2013 issue). 

The first Bareburger restaurant in Westchester County opened during the first week of December, 2013 in Hartsdale on North Central Avenue at the shopping mall anchored by the Trader Joe's grocery. The dining area has about 70 seats.

The Bareburger menu includes an impressive array of organic burgers with many kinds of accoutrements, eleven tempting salads, sandwiches, sliders, and lots of snack food including onion rings and crispy zucchini sticks. Burgers can be purchased as wraps on request. Brunch will also be available soon at this restaurant.

What can be found on the menu
  • Game. A surprising amount of game—including wild boar, elk, bison and ostrich. An extra charge applies for substituting lamb or game for beef
  • Burgers. Choose the patty (protein) first. Beef will be the selection for most customers but other burger patties available are turkey, quinoa veggie, mushroom, black bean, lamb, game, plus fried, grilled or jerk chicken
  • Bread. Brioche bun, multi-grain roll, iceberg lettuce wrap, wheat flour wrap, tapioca rice bun
  • Gluten-free and vegan selections. Gluten-free items: tapioca rice bun, salads including Mexican, cranberry, poached pear, Italian, Cobb and walnut apple and more. Guests with celiac disease should see the disclaimer below which is posted on the menu
  • Salads. Prices start at $5.95 for a small Farmer's salad or $10.95 for a larger size. Same prices apply for a Caesar salad or a cranberry and Wisconsin blue cheese salad. Other salads are slightly more expensive
  • Desserts. Caramel pecan cheesecake ($7.95), flourless chocolate cake ($7.95), banana fritters with ice cream ($7.95), kid's sundaes ($3.95) and more
  • Beverages. Shakes ($4.95 and up), sodas, house-made lemonade, organic beer, wine and more
Most popular dishes

A company representative said that high on the list of burger best sellers are the following:
  1. California burger. With sharp cheddar, Hass avocado, watercress, tomatoes, raw red onions, (salsa verde is recommended if ordering a farmers quinoa veggie burger). $11.95 (beef) 
  2. Classic burger. With garlic dill pickle chips, sweet apple grilled onions, ketchup (recommended for a beef burger). $8.95 (beef)
  3. Black bean vegan burger. With vegan cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, raw red onions, cilantro lime dressing, on a multi-grain roll. $10.45 (beef)
For the above burgers, if a protein different than beef is desired the following additional costs apply: lamb, $1.25; wild boar, $1.45; Elk, $1.65; bison, $2.55; ostrich, market price. 

One of the most popular non-burger items on the menu according to Bareburger is the Hass avocado bacon chicken sandwich. It has jerk chicken (gluten-free), Hass avocado, country bacon, raw red onions, smoked paprika mayo on a ciabatta panini and is priced at $12.15.

Weekend brunch is not available yet but breakfast is served on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.

Brunch items will come with free extras—fruit cup, sweet potato parsley wedges, toast, choice of juice or mimosa and coffee or tea (free refills provided for coffee and tea).  

The brunch menu will include French toast, waffles, eggs with bacon or sausage and brisket accompanied by two fried eggs, sharp cheddar cheese and sweet apple grilled onions. 

Brunch prices range from $11.95 for two fried eggs with colby jack cheese, sweet potato croquette, and tomatoes to $15.95 for crab cake, two sunny side eggs, bacon, crusted fried goat cheese and smoked paprika butter.

Bareburger's background

In the early 2000's, 37-year-old Euripides Pelekanos, the Chief Executive Officer at Bareburger's, was a part-owner of a nightspot called Sputnik located in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. "It had a bar, live music and occasionally a poet recited," he said. "About the last thing on our minds was offering food."

"But one day we decided to try serving burgers and snacks and our customers loved them," he said.

Looking to repeat Sputnick's earlier success with burgers, Pelekanos, along with a few boyhood friends as partners, leased a location in their home neighborhood, Astoria, Queens, that had been vacated five years earlier by a bakery.

Helped by friends, the group went to work constructing tabletops out of reclaimed wood and fixtures from silverware stored for years in a garage; they recycled tin to line the ceiling. 

In June, 2009, the first Bareburger opened. Two years later, its seating capacity was doubled and a second location was introduced near New York University at 535 LaGuardia Place. A franchising effort followed with the number of Bareburger restaurants growing to its present 17. Twelve more are in the construction or planning stage. The franchising fee is $50,000; royalty and branding fees also apply.

Bareburger restaurants are now in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, and New Jersey. More are coming to Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago, Illinois.

The first Connecticut Bareburger will open soon in Ridgefield at 38 Danbury Road, formerly the site of an Army & Navy store. See"Bareburger Coming to Old Chambers Army & Navy," Ridgefield Patch, September 25, 2013. 

A second Connecticut location is scheduled for completion in Stamford during the summer of 2014. 

Metropolitan New York area openings are also scheduled in 2014 for New York City's Upper West Side and Wall Street, Long Island's Plainview, and Hoboken, New Jersey.

The name "Bareburger" was chosen because of the restaurant's use of organic ingredients free of hormones and pesticides.

#TweetandEat@Bareburger deals (such as free onion rings with the purchase of as burger) are available and change weekly. 

The menu carries the following disclaimer: "Bareburger foods that are labeled Gluten-free are prepared in a common kitchen with the risk of gluten exposure. Therefore, Bareburger DOES NOT recommend these items for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment in consuming those foods."

Burgers are big business. Global sales for the top seven American burger chains topped $124 billion in 2012 according to BurgerBusiness, a food industry publication. 

Pelekanos, his wife and their sons Joules, age 2 years, and Jean-Luc, age six months, live in Bayside.

Bareburger, 265 N. Central Avenue, Hartsdale, 949-2900, www.bareburger.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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