Bareburger, Rye New York

Fire Quacker Burger

I am always ready to welcome a new addition to downtown Rye, NY. When I spotted that Bareburger was open, I was eager to give it a try. Upon entry, the vibe here is quirky, friendly and upbeat- unique amongst the stale restaurant neighbors that surround it. I saddled up to bar and was thrilled with the locally and organic sourced menu, in addition to a notable beer selection on tap, as well as all wine being served on tap–all the rage now in case you missed the memo.

A little Inexperienced?

Then… I looked to right to find a child at the bar having lunch with her dad. ‘Hey there- bars are kid free zones. No exceptions.’ Then I looked to the bartender to find she wasn’t much older. Then to the staff. Same. It became clear quickly that it’s a young crew at Bareburger. I’m not hating on the youth here, but it means inexperience and that can make or break a dining experience. Usually the later.

 

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In addition to an extensive Burger menu, Bareburger offers a wide variety of salads, appetizers and sandwiches.

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The burger port of the menu includes options for beef, elk, bison, duck, veggie burgers and more. Or, you can build your own.

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Traceable Ingredients

Here is what really sets Bareburger apart from other small chains–all the ingredients are traceable and responsibly sourced. The sources of each ingredient are published on a separate card for your review. An example of this is seen in the image below- the Duck is clearly marked to be from Maple Leaf Farms. It is listed as hormone free, antibiotic free, cage free and 88% lean. The details for many other ingredients are available including vegetables and even soda. This makes it much easier to order with confidence especially if you are someone with allergies, such as Gluten.

 

 

So, what did I decide on? Having come off a recent elk encounter, I jumped at the chance to have an organic elk burger, while my dining companion went for the duck burger. So we placed our orders and we waited. And waited. And waited some more. And then some more after that.

While waiting, multiple individuals asked about the status of their order. While our order was not asked about, it was obvious it was taking too long and the manager came up to us before we could get to him.

We couldn’t help but wonder what the wait must be like when the place is packed on a Friday night- this was the middle of the day.

 

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Restrooms?

With only 2 Single person bathrooms in the family friendly joint, the wait for the restroom was also long. Considering that I was still waiting on the food, this was not too much of an issue. However, I can see how it can quickly become an issue, especially on a busy kids night like a Friday night.

Finally our burgers arrived, mine with a side of Grillo’s Dill Pickles. I ordered my elk burger medium-rare and it was more medium-well, but still very tasty. The duck burger was also quite good, but too spicy for my liking, but I believe it is meant to be that way.

 

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The Grindhouse burger: Elk, manchego, country bacon, piquante relish, green leaf, paprika mayo, brioche bun

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The Fire Quacker Burger: Duck, pepper jack, pickled jalapeño, red onions, spinach, tomato, habanero mayo on a biochemist bun

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The food was delicious

Overall, we enjoyed the burgers themselves. But we were quite bored from waiting and eager to move on with our day that it did somewhat spoil the enjoyment of eating lunch. It was more of an eat and run by the time our food was set down in front of us.

I’m confident that with time, the kitchen and staff will find their grove. I don’t think they’ll ever get away from the family friendly craziness feeling inside that promotes a feeling of loud chaos, but I do think Rye needed a place like this and we’ll be seeing Bareburger bustling for a long time to come.

Lilly’s, White Plains NY

Bloody Mary at Lilly's White Plains NY

Lilly’s is one of the newest additions in White Plains, NY and we welcomed them with open arms! In a long line of pretty terrible bars along Mamaroneck Avenue geared towards the Westchester college crowd, Lilly’s finally gave those of us pretending to act like grown ups and seeking a proper cocktail, a place to escape at the end of the work day.

Not long after our first visit to Lilly’s, Westchester magazine featured Lilly’s as a “must try” for brunch, so we knew we had to try it and were happy to head back there and order another Bloody.

This is where we have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is the Breakfast Pizza featured in Westchester Magazine did not disappoint. Aren’t you just drooling looking at this picture?

Brunch at Lilly's in White Plains, NY
The Morning Lilly Pizza features Mozzarella, Fontina, Creme Fraiche, Corned Beef Hash, Truffle Oil and a Fried Egg

The bad news is that their Bloody Marys are inconsistent. Usually this indicates they do not have a solid recipe in place, but this caliber of a restaurant should- especially when offering Brunch on both Saturday and Sundays including a complimentary Bloody Mary or Mimosa with each Brunch entree- making it a soon to be Brunch hot spot. My hope is that Lilly’s focuses on developing a solid and consistent recipe for their Bloody Mary.

Lilly’s delivered a fantastic Bloody Mary the first time we tried it which was in late June 2015. It was savory- flavored for certain with Worcestershire and we felt the recipe reflected the ambiance of Lilly’s. It was a sophisticated Bloody Mary and echoed the exposed brick and dark red leather featured in the decor. We gave that Bloody Mary a thumbs up.

Hudson House

Hudson House, Nyack NY

Sure, I like Bloody Marys. Well, lets face it- it’s more like a love affair. But the truth is, I rarely have more than one and usually I drink them in the daytime. The flavor of a Bloody Mary is bold and tends to overpower the palate so they don’t go well with many meals, making them less desirable during the dinner hour. However, this evening was a different story.

We had ended up a in Nyack, NY- just over the Tappan Zee bridge which spans over the Hudson river connecting Westchester and Rockland counties- just outside of Manhattan. It’s not far from us- about 20 minutes. We found ourselves at a bustling, higher end establishment called The Hudson House. The gent behind the bar was either obnoxious or highly amusing- I’m still not sure about which. But it was clear by his infused concoctions of Rosemary vodka and Chocolate Rum that he was a quality mixologist. In deciding what to order, I hadn’t considered a Bloody Mary for even a second. We were so impressed with the homemade chocolate rum cocktail  that we sat at the bar and spent our time helping the bartender brainstorm names for it. Our favorite, if we do say so ourselves was ‘The Wonka.’ We are still waiting to see if it makes it to the menu.

And then a Bloody Mary went by. After witnessing first hand how much care was put into the cocktails at The Hudson House, and seeing the tantalizing amount of fresh horseradish floating in the cocktail that passed before me… I just had to have one.

The garnish was of the classic nature and it was served in a mason jar, which is always a nice touch.  But really, this Bloody Mary was all about the flavor. And the flavor was spot on. It was, by far, one of the best Bloody Marys I have ever tasted. It tasted fresh and was bursting with high quality horseradish that blended into the drink harmoniously. The consistency was not thin, but it wasn’t too thick. The heat level was just right- some might say it could use more heat, but I disagree. I thought it was perfect and purposeful, allowing the flavors to come through rather than be disguised by Tabasco or hot sauce.

This Bloody Mary left me wanting more. And unlike most establishments, I would bet my money that they care about this house recipe and that it will taste just the same. I have no doubt that Hudson House cocktail creationist, Andrew Barrett, produced this 5 star recipe and cares about the quality control and consistency of delivering that recipe time and time again. Bloody fans everywhere can tell you – this is not usually the case.

I appreciated this Bloody Mary. I enjoyed this Bloody Mary. I will go back over the bridge for this Bloody Mary.