By Art Huckabee
Spring has sprung. It’s time to get back in tune with nature. It’s time to get healthy. What say we do both by having a burger and fries?
Never has the classic all-American combo made one feel so environmentally friendly and downright healthy, than does the one at Farm Burger, the local chain that combines the everlasting gourmet burger craze with the ever trendy farm-to-table craze. This place is craze-ee popular. Who knew that there were so many health nuts eating burgers?
There’s usually a line. You’ll need the time to scan the five or six menus that adorn the walls. Paper menus are available which make it easier to navigate the array of choices. The basic premise is build a burger. Choose from 100 percent grass-fed beef or chicken or veggie quinoa and top it with over thirty condiments ranging from roasted garlic to oxtail marmalade. If that’s too many choices there are six pre-decided “Blackboard Burgers” as well.
Order at the bar, get a number, and find a table. The food arrives quickly.
Our burger purist ordered a plain cheeseburger. He pronounced it as awesome. He’s 12. The grass-fed beef is very lean, so if you’re a medium well to well done carnivore, you might want to dial the level of doneness back a notch to avoid arid burger syndrome.
We tried the “Blackboard Burgers.” The No.1 Farm Burger had aged Vermont white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and FB sauce, a riff on thousand island dressing. The beef held up surprisingly well under the flavor bomb of cheese and sweet. Dry aged beef has a beefier slightly funky note.
The No. 6 was another beef patty adorned with bacon, a sunny side up egg, pepper jack cheese and Salsa Verde. The egg and the green sauce made the burger, adding moisture and flavor.
The No. 4 chicken burger was the hit of the meal. A juicy chicken patty was dressed with smoked Gouda, kale coleslaw, crispy onions and a sherry-date barbecue sauce. The flavors from the cheese and barbecue sauce and the textures from the slaw and onions made this a memorable dish.
The No. 2, veggie quinoa burger was a slightly dry patty, soft in texture and lacking that satisfying chew that one associates with a burger. The mixed greens, marinated beets, balsamic onions and garlic aioli helped both texture and flavor, but the letdown was palpable from the burger lover in our crowd who had gone veggie for the cause.
There are a myriad of sides, salads and soup. The fries had good crunch and the right amount of seasoning. The onion rings were more breading than onion; only three came in an order of fries ‘n rings. Thank goodness they weren’t a hit. The sweet potato fries were limp, begging for texture.
The Farm Burger Soup was an amalgam of lentils, carrots, potato, sweet potato, squash, onion, Swiss chard with a dollop of sour cream. It had a nice homey taste and would be a good choice on a cool spring day.
The Superfood Salad was lacinato kale, also known as black kale, beets, pecans, roasted carrots, caramelized onions, dried cranberries, tahini dressing and nutritional yeast which is often used as a cheese substitute. You know this dish is good for you from the first bite and it was surprisingly tasty as well needing perhaps a little more tahini dressing and a dash more acidity.
There’s an interesting beer selection and a handful of wines. Milkshakes and floats made with Morelli’s gourmet ice cream are also available. We didn’t order any as we were there for only the healthy stuff.
Farm Burger has locations in Decatur, Dunwoody and Buckhead. For more information, visit farmburger.net.
Art Huckabee is one of Yelp’s Elite Reviewers, as well as a pilot and food lover. Send feedback to TastingIntown@AtlantaINtownPaper.com.