A few years ago, right after the recession hit, gourmet burgers became a thing.
Blanc Burgers + Bottles opened in Kansas City, followed by the Burger Stand in Lawrence and BRGR Kitchen + Bar in Prairie Village. All of those restaurants put gourmet ingredients between the buns and satisfied customers who wanted really good food but couldn’t afford to spend more than, say, $15 or $20 for dinner out.
Turns out, the trend wasn’t just a flash on the commercial grill, because those restaurants are still hot — the Burger Stand was recently named to Zagat’s “Best Burgers in 25 Cities” list — and several new gourmet burger joints are opening in the Kansas City area.
Early last month, Burgers American Grill opened in Blue Springs. The fast-casual restaurant, at 770 S.W. U.S. 40, serves classics such as chili cheeseburgers and butterscotch malts alongside kettle chips, fried pickles and burgers with gourmet toppings. The Magic Mushroom ($6.45) comes stacked with thyme and roasted garlic aioli, smoked Gouda cheese, caramelized onions and sauteed portobello mushrooms.
A couple of weeks later, the Burg & Barrel opened at 7042 W. 76th St. in Overland Park. The neighborhood pub serves enormous burgers piled high with good-quality ingredients and has a surprisingly extensive craft beer and whiskey menu. We devoured the Salmon Burger ($9), a perfectly cooked fillet wedged into a buttery toasted bun with slices of avocado and smoked bacon, with matchstick sweet potato fries and, for good measure, a red velvet cupcake.
If you live up north, watch for Juicy’s Burgers and Spirits in Zona Rosa. When it opens later this month, the restaurant and bar at 8680 N.W. Prairie View Road will serve up made-from-scratch gourmet burgers, signature shakes and live music.
Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes about dining news and trends for Ink every first and third week of the month. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @sarah_gish.