HARTSDALE, N.Y. -- Elk and bison and ostrich, oh my! Hartsdale's newest burger restaurant offers more than your garden variety patty between two buns.
Bareburger opened its first Westchester location in Hartsdale this week. The small chain, which has been rated "Best Burger in NYC," by Zagat for three years running, has 16 locations.
Steve Dimopoulos of Bedford, manager of the Westchester location, began his affiliation with the restaurant as a "counter guy."
After hopping from restaurant to restaurant and managing the flagship in Astoria, he decided to move back to Westchester and open his own.
"I love everything about the concept of these restaurants," Dimopoulos said, "One of the coolest things is that everything in our restaurants is recycled."
He is referring to, quite literally, everything, including the floors, tables, seats, light fixtures, decor and bar fixtures, which are made from materials like reclaimed wood, recycled laundry detergent bottles, old C02 tanks and more.
"The owners of these restaurants are the coolest guys I know," he said.
He is referring, in part, to Euripides Pelekanos, who started the restaurant in the kitchen of a music venue in Brooklyn called Sputnik.
Pelekanos decided to open a chain of restaurants and came up with the name “Bareburger,” as a nod to the choice to use organic ingredients free of hormones and pesticides.
The menu is all-organic with gluten-free and vegan options. The restaurant receives even their most exotic meats from brokers, who they contract out to raise the animals free of hormones, antibiotics and gluten.
Misha Levin, corporate chef for the franchise, designed the menu, including a running list of signature topping combinations.
Each topping combo comes with a recommendation of which meat to pair it with, though you can use any of their options: beef, chicken, boar, elk, turkey, bison, ostrich, lamb, veggie, black bean and portabella mushroom.
The "Roadhouse" comes with pepperjack cheese, country bacon, hass avocado, fire roasted red peppers,
sweet apple grilled onions and smoked paprika mayo ($12.15, recommended with bison).
The "Habanero Express" comes with pepperjack, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, poblano pepper relish, raw red onions, spicy pickle chips and habanero chipotle mayo ($10.45, recommended with elk).
You can also build your own. According to Levin, customers will come in and try the beef first to be safe. In time, they'll get a little adventurous. Ostrich, anyone?
"People like the bison because it's leaner than beef. But ostrich is also a red meat, and it's even leaner," he said.
If you're leaning towards the biggest of birds, Levin advises it can taste a little peppery.
For lighter fare, the restaurant also serves a variety of salads and appetizers - along with breakfast options.
Top it all off with a milkshake or candied bacon ice cream sandwich, and you're good to go.
Bareburger has a full bar (constructed of recycled utensils, of course).
Along with your standard drink options, Bareburger serves organic sodas and craft beer on draught, including: Six Point Brooklyn, Wolavers Organic, Ommegang, Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada, Blue Point, Lionshead and Abita.
Additionally, they serve ten white and red wines.
Bareburger is open for delivery and dine-in Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. It is located at 265 North Central Avenue. Plaza parking available.
Check back with The Daily Voice every Friday for our features on restaurants.