special to the Clarion Content
by: Amber Watson
On Monday (March 23) Durham welcomed Burger Bach (pronounced “batch,” as I continue to remind myself) to Ninth Street. Based on a sneak peak of the restaurant and the food, I expect it will become a popular hangout quickly!
Burger Bach is a Virginia-based small chain (Durham is the third location and first in NC) that specializes in grass-fed beef all the way from New Zealand. That might make you think it isn’t fresh, but that’s not the case at all—the meat is chilled, never frozen. The chicken is all free-range. The food isn’t over processed and most of it is organic.
The beef really is mouth-watering good. I tried the Aucklander burger ($12.95) because it promised two of my favorite toppings: bacon and avocado, along with free range egg mayo, New Zealand Egmont cheese, organic tomato, Dijonnaise, and mixed greens. Everything was perfectly proportioned, even the bun, which wasn’t overly fluffy or tasteless like some can be. I loved the creaminess of the egg mayo and the avocado relish, which was actually more like delicious chunky guacamole. In fact, it was so good it made me consider skipping fries (which are an add-on side) and getting guac and chips next time.
The burgers come with a mixed lettuce salad. This may seem boring at first, but the dressing it comes with will make you glad to eat your greens.
There are lots of options when it comes to fries and dipping sauces like garlic aioli, roasted onion, and buffalo ranch. A small side of fries with one sauce is reasonably priced at $3.95; the large with two sauces is $5.95. There are also other sides for $4.95, including the guacamole I mentioned above, sautéed garlic baby spinach (if you love garlic, you’ll love this one!), wild mushrooms, and kale for some healthy alternatives.
Pescetarians will be pleased that there is also a solid seafood menu, including roasted oysters, oysters on the half shell and plump sautéed shrimp in some seriously delicious sauces, ranging from spicy chipotle chile for the more adventurous eater to a traditional garlic butter-based flavorful sauce. The seafood comes in half and whole sizes, so you can decide to have it as a side, as a snack, or as your entree. As much as possible, the restaurant tries to get its seafood from local Virginia-based sources and the freshness shows.
Along with 30+ beers on tap and all kinds of cocktails (like their popular kiwi concoction), there really is something for everyone here. There’s no dessert, but don’t worry, the burgers and seafood will definitely leave you satisfied.
It’s not a huge restaurant, so I expect it to be pretty busy as word spreads. There are five big screen TVs behind the bar and some communal seating in addition to private tables. There are even a handful of tables outside under the covered entryway lit with white lights and a couple more TVs.
Burger Bach definitely has the right idea—you shouldn’t have to sacrifice good food to have a good time or vice-versa. It’s the kind of place a foodie, a picky eater, a sports fan, and a stander-by can all go to hang out and leave happy and full.