The Grog Burger
When Greg Bates, creator of Burger Master of the North Shore facebook group, agreed to chat with us about the ins and outs of local burgers, I was truly excited. Any time a new restaurant opens in town, my go-to selection is the house burger. Perhaps my favorite Newburyport burger is from Andiamo. Simply called “The Burger,” it is dressed up with hazelnut butter and pork belly, so it’s best accompanied by lots of napkins. (The Grog’s burger is a very, very close second.) At home we make burgers using grass fed beef from Tendercrop Farm. But enough about me. Let’s hear what Greg has to say about burgers on the North Shore.
ND: What made you start a facebook page dedicated to Burgers on the North Shore?
My favorite food has always been the burger, I just never out grew it. I googled where to find great burgers and everything seemed to be ad based, or perhaps in Boston. But I don’t travel to Boston, and I wanted to know where to get a great burger in the local towns. I created the group Burger Master of the North Shore and would ask the townie group pages: Where are the best burgers? Two months later we have over 1,000 members, and we’re adding about a hundred members a week. The members love to talk about their favorite hometown place, and their “destination” burger—you know, the one you’re willing to drive for. No matter what town you are in on the North Shore, just ask the group about the best burger, and you will know right away!
ND: What are your top five places to get a burger on the North Shore?
The Blue Ox, Lynn
Fibber McGee’s, Beverly
The Barrelman, Marblehead
Bunz Burger, Ipswich
Lexie’s on State, Newburyport
ND: What is the most unique topping you’ve had on a burger, and where was it?
The Reuben Burger at The Lazy Dog Sports Bar in Lynn. It’s layered with lean corned beef, thousand island dressing, swiss cheese, and saeurkraut. This seemed just a bit much to me, and also I’m not a fan of overloaded burgers. But the chef layers the cheese to hold it all together, so it doesnt make a mess. The flavors together are just a home run. Highly recommended!
ND: BBQ season is nearly upon us. Where would you recommend buying meat needed for the perfect home-grilled burger?
Your local butcher, hands down. In Beverly I recommend The Corner Butcher Shop. They 100% all natural meat—so no hormones, no antibiotics and raised with high animal welfare standards. You wont find that in the big box chain grocery stores. You have some amazing choices in your neighborhood. There are very few places where you can get fresh 100% grass fed beef, but at Tendercrop you can pick it up all day long! Don’t forget Fowles and The Butchery! Spend extra money on the quality. You will taste the difference. I also have a Meat CSA delivered once a month from Walden Local Meat and love it.
ND: I have dreams one day of reviewing the best poutine of the North Shore. I’ve already checked a couple places off my list, but do you have any suggestions where one might get a nice plate of this Canadian speciality locally? Or any great fries I should know about?
I didnt even know what poutine was, I had to google it! Best fries in the north shore are at Bunz Burgers in Ipswich, no one even close!
(ND NOTE: For all you poutine fans, check out the poutine and duck confit at Black Birch in Kittery, Maine. Worth the drive, but arrive early—the place is always busy!)
ND: Where would you stop for a burger in Newburyport?
Newburyport is a burger town! I might even say the Burger Capitol of the North Shore. You’re short changing yourself if you only visit once. Lexi’s on State is a must. If you’re looking for one of the best grass-fed burgers in the North Shore, go to Loretta’s! How can you not go to The Grog and get one of their awesome burgers? I still need to visit and order burgers at The Poynt, 17 State Street, and Ceia! These are all heavy weight contenders. There is no other town that offers so many power house options for burgers. In the next few days, the best burger poll for Newburyport will be live, and we will see who wins.
Thanks again to Greg for the scoop on burgers in the North Shore. Have a burger you love? Let us know in the comments, or visit Burger Masters of the North Shore to get in on the conversation.