By Rich Bockmann
A popular Astoria restaurant has migrated east, bringing a unique selection of organic chow to Bayside
Bareburger, the western Queens joint that has spread throughout the city by capitalizing on the recent trend in organic locavore fare, recently opened a franchise on Bell Boulevard.
“Bell Boulevard kind of died out in the past few years,” said franchisee George Dellis, a Bay Terrace resident who is also one of the company’s owners. “I felt like bringing something new and different — try to liven it up.”
All of the restaurant’s meats are free-range, pasture-raised and free of antibiotics and hormones, Dellis said. Options include beef, turkey and veggie burgers, as well as Portobello mushroom, free-range panko and grilled or Cajun chicken.
But where Bareburger really thinks outside the box is in its specialty burgers. Lamb, wild boar, elk, bison and ostrich are options that Dellis said are not only tasty, but healthier alternatives to conventional burger-joint beef.
“They’re very lean, and it’s hard to get them very rare. You’ve got to be good with the temperature of the grill. Our grillers go through a lot of training,” he said. “Anybody can give you just a burger, but not as unique and healthy as ours.”
Burgers come sandwiched inside a brioche bun, multi-grain roll, iceberg-lettuce wrap, wheat flour wrap or tapioca rice bun — gluten-free, of course. Bareburger has its own special dipping sauces that come in flavors such as curry ketchup, horseradish mayo, peppercorn steak sauce and country Dijon. The homemade ketchups and mayos are made with organic tomatoes, organic free-range eggs and non-GMO oils.
Dellis did not want to give away any juicy trade-secrets to his competitors, but he said all of the company’s meats come from local farms.
Another thing imported from those idyllic countryside locales that city-dwellers pine for these days is Bareburger’s interior decor, which matches the rustic, all-natural character of its menu.
“Everything comes from deconstructed barns and salvaged wood,” he said.
The interior walls are left a bit more natural, clad in planks from the interiors of barns. The restaurant’s counter matches several tabletops spread throughout the dining room — all made of a highly polished, handsome wood.
A group of tables in the middle of the dining room are set close enough that one can overhear diners’ conversations with their waiters about how many acres their free-range chickens had to roam while consuming a diet of local, organic hazelnuts. For those who prefer a bit more privacy or arrive with larger parties, one wall is lined with green upholstered booths.
Bareburger, at 42-38 Bell Blvd., is open from noon until 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant accepts orders online at bareburger.com. For more information, call 718-279-BARE.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.