The Burger Bar is not your usual hamburger joint, far from it. Located in the attractive Donald Ross Village Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens, the Burger Bar is pure Florida fun…sophisticated yet funky, gourmet but casual.
With its striking black and red interior, a wall of meat grinders used as a room divider, wood topped tables with industrial looking metal chairs, a huge retro picture of a man and woman riding an antique motorcycle leaning against one of the restaurant’s walls and lots of large screen TVs mounted above the bar, you know you are in for a good time.
Sitting inside would have been nice, but after recently escaping New England’s cold and snow for the warmth of Florida, my husband and I decided to have lunch outside on their pretty courtyard. I’d call it outdoor dining at its best with tables surrounding a large gurgling fountain and tropical palms. Again the decor reflects the black and red theme. You can’t help but notice the chandeliers made from wine bottles that hang over the large bar that must be a favorite place for locals to enjoy a cocktail and watch sports on four large screen TVs on a pleasant afternoon or an evening under the stars.
Service was prompt and friendly. We ordered drinks while we looked over the large and varied “gastropub” menu. Of course, handcrafted burgers are the main feature…you will find beef, buffalo, lamb, turkey, chicken, tuna and mahi mahi listed. Vegetarians are not left out either with choices such as black bean, Portobello and even a caesar salad burger. If you are not in the mood for a burger, don’t worry, as there is a nice choice of salads, wraps, and wings. There is also an array of small dishes under the heading quick picks such as beer battered corn dog bites, lobster mac-n-cheese, and panko crusted pickle spears with mustard aioli which we couldn’t wait to try as the Burger Bar makes their own pickles…they were crispy and flavorful.
For our burgers, my husband ordered the Beach Burger with applewood smoked bacon, swiss cheese, pickles and a “beach sauce” made with mustard and mayo on a pretzel bun. I enjoy spicy food and ordered the Hot Mess Burger with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar and swiss cheese, jalapeño peppers and their “blasting sauce”, which tasted of citrus and chipotle peppers on a challah bun. Both burgers were served with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle chips. Once assembled, they were a huge mouthful of beefy goodness. The hamburgers both came with a side of fries. We tried their house cut white truffle oil and parmesan fries and the sweet potato fries which were served in a cute miniature deep fry basket…hot, crispy and good.
After our meal, executive chef Matt Miller, who is originally from our part of the world down in Weymouth, Mass., stopped by our table to see how we enjoyed our meal. He told us that he has been at the restaurant since its inception and approved of what we ordered, saying that the burgers were two of his favorites.
What can I say about the Burger Bar…it certainly isn’t like any hamburger joint in my rural area of New England. With prices ranging from $9.50 for their Great Burger to $19 for their “top shelf” Prime Steak Burger, I would say prices are about what you would expect for a gourmet burger that was so big, I couldn’t finish it. Certainly more than you would pay for a frozen beef patty that has been cooked, served on a plain bun, wrapped in paper and passed to you from a drive through window but well worth it. This was a filling meal made with quality ingredients, served on dishes and presented in a cleaver way at a fun restaurant in beautiful surroundings.