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RI Archives: Food

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Berkshire Coop

Guido's Marketplace

Hotel on North

Haven Cafe & Bakery

Baba Louie's

Windy Hill Farm

[See more Food News articles]

RI’s Hamburger Helper

When we came up with the idea of doing a hamburger roundup similar to the one we did on egg sandwiches,we wondered not if we could gather enough really great hamburgers in our region, but if enough people would be willing to do the reviewing. Turns out it wasn’t a problem finding burger tasters; most people seem to have their favorite go-to place for the classic American item.

This is not anywhere near a complete list; it’s just our small staff and some readers’ picks for their preferred hamburger spot. In the end, the “best burger” is often the one nearest wherever you happen to be when hunger strikes.


The Brick House Pub

Full disclosure: I go to The Brick House in Housatonic at least once a week. Everything is locally sourced and super fresh. The burger buns are from literally a mile down the road at Berkshire Mountain Bakery, the greens on top from Equinox Farms in Sheffield and desserts are house-made. The pizzas here are wildly popular but I always order a burger. It’s a steal at $13 because you get huge portions and I always customize it to suit my mood. Sometimes it’s avocados or jalapeños, or I switch out the meat for their awesome house-made veggie burger. This time, I got the farmer’s burger with bacon, cheddar and a perfectly prepared sunny-side egg on top. It comes on the aforementioned Berkshire Mountain Bakery bread and your choice of salad or the fries, but you can up-charge for truffle fries. And you should get the truffle fries. Seriously. The great food, combined with the relaxed atmosphere and spot-on service always makes for a good time at the Brick House.  —Rachel Louchen

The Brick House Pub
425 Park Street, Housatonic, MA; 413.274.0020
Related story: Brick House Pub: A Nirvana for Hungry Beer Geeks

The Lantern

I don’t eat hamburgers all that often, but when I do, I go for the one people called the best long before hamburgers became a gourmet food. The Big Beef, six ounces of chopped sirloin broiled over an actual flame, mightily satisfies, with a charred crispness on the outside, and juicy with a smoky flavor inside. The basic burger is only $5 (I added lettuce and tomato for an extra quarter). A plain cheeseburger is $5.25 and $6 if you add bacon; traditional thin French fries are $3.35. The Lantern offers not just the best burger, but the best deal in town.  —Paul Verdi

The Lantern Bar & Grill
455 North Street, Pittsfield
(413) 448-2717

Public Eat + Drink

I’ve always been a big fan of buns (all kinds). But since I’ve gone gluten-free, my burger options have been severely limited unless I want to order one sans bun. But that’s no fun, and not very filling, either. That’s why I was “over the moon” to find out that Public in North Adams was serving burgers with a gluten-free bun option. They offer four kinds of burger, but my favorite is their BBQ version with house bbq sauce, cheddar, onion rings, and bacon, served with fries and a pickle (11.90 + 1.50 for the g.f. bun). You can also add a fried egg to any burger for an additional $1.50, but the BBQ burger is enough for me, what with the huge, sweet fried onion ring that comes on top of it. Be sure to let them know if you are severely gluten intolerant, though, as the fries and onion ring might not be a good bet for you if you are.  —Amy Krzanik

Public Eat + Drink
34 Holden Street
North Adams, MA
(413) 664-4444
Related story: Getting Comfy in PUBLIC

The Marketplace Café

As a vegetarian, I know that anything that calls itself a veggie burger is a far cry from actual ground beef. But here’s the good news:  the “Not a Hippie” veggie burger ($7.75) at The Marketplace Café is so much better! With its almost innumerable ingredients, it’s not something I would ever replicate at home. Here’s a partial list: chia seed, onion, carrot, basmati rice, lentil, bulgar and black bean, rendered into an oversized patty topped with tomatillo salsa and chipotle aioli, and slid between dense and slightly grilled ciabatta bread. The sauce gives it a kick, and the lettuce, tomato and onion makes it feel like anybody else’s hamburger. It’s as filling as a beef version, but (dare I say this) probably a lot healthier, and it’s vegan, too.  —Lisa Green

The Marketplace Café
53 North Street, Pittsfield
(413) 358-4777


Grazin’ Diner

Grazin’ is an all American neighborhood diner whose specialty is cheeseburgers, along with offering the complete farm to table experience in an iconic diner on the main street of a town notorious for its serious historic aesthetic. Grazin’ doesn’t simply buy from local farms,; they actually farm their own beef, and the chickens who provide the eggs for a slew of gorgeous omelets wander their 400 acre farm also. The night we ate at Grazin’, my compatriot was especially hungry so went for the big ‘ol burger, the “BOB,”  ($18.75), a 10 oz-er, dressed with pawlette cheese (one of their favorites and while similar to cheddar is creamy and delicious) and onions sautéed in bacon lard, an arresting and mouthwatering detail. My “Uncle Dude” ($15.80)came with Hawthorne Valley Cheddar, Grazin’s own bacon, chipotle mayo and jalapeno relish, towered with fresh tomato and lettuce on a perfectly toasted fluffy bun. It was a rainy Friday night, and I was already planning a Sunday brunch back at Grazin’, for omelets and maybe a coffee milkshake.  —Mary Vaughn Williams

Grazin’ Diner
717 Warren Street, Hudson
(518) 822-9323

Old Chatham Country Store & Café

The cheeseburger at the Old Chatham Country Store is 8 ounces of USDA prime (80% lean), comes on a superior brioche bun with lettuce, a couple of slices of tomato, a crispy spear of dill pickle, and a generous side of freshly cut shoestring fries. It’s a bargain at $10.99 (or $10.25 without the cheese). Also on the menu: a turkey or vegetarian option for your non-meat eating companion.  —Marilyn Bethany

Old Chatham Country Store & Café
639 Albany Turnpike, Old Chatham
(518) 794-6227
Related story: Old Chatham Country Store & Café


Millbrook Café

Enjoying a meal at the Millbrook Café is similar to being spoiled at your neighbor’s dinner party. The family operated restaurant is run by Polish husband and wife team Alex and Dominika Kowalczyk. Chef Alex cooks using a 19th-century-style fired brick oven and grill while Dominika assists in the kitchen and provides attentive service. The Angus Beef Burger from Walbridge Farm (also located in Millbrook) is smoky and savory served on a ciabatta roll and layered with the usual fixings of onions, tomato and lettuce. In place of fries, you get your choice rice pilaf or potato salad , and the fresh fruit and dark chocolate fondue are part of the deal. The Angus Burger starts at $10; add cheese for $1 and bacon for $2.  —Arvolyn Hill

The Millbrook Cafe
3288 Franklin Ave, Millbrook
(845) 677-6956


White Horse Country Pub and Restaurant

The White Horse in Marbledale came highly recommended by Litchfield County foodies and the jam-packed crowd of guests who filled the restaurant on a sunny Saturday afternoon gave a good indication of the quality food that awaited. Everything here was across-the-board great: decor, service and of course, the delicious burgers.  I went with the Akaushi burger which for $13.75 gets you a generously portioned kobe-style beef patty with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, poblano chillies and sriracha ketchup. It was unique burger with a bite (just one recommendation from the professional chef I was dining:: order them closer on the rare side). The plate presentation is also worth noting — a charming horse symbol comes seared on top of the brioche roll, just in case you could possibly forget where you were dining.  —Rachel Louchen

White Horse Country Pub and Restaurant
Rt 202, Marbledale
(860) 868-1496  

The Village Restaurant

The Village’s Classic burger is just that: perfect in its simplicity. For $9 you get a choice patty of savory ground beef cooked to your preference, complete with lettuce, tomato and onion upon request and sandwiched between two halves of a golden-brown hard roll (crispy on the outside and malleable on the inside). Pick either the fries, fresh greens, or cole as your side order. Sticking to the basics isn’t always this rewarding, which makes this hamburger even more satisfying.  —Taylor Cannon

The Village Restaurant
25 West Street, Litchfield
(860) 587-8307

Kingsley Tavern

As the Kingsley Tavern reaches its first birthday, it is hard to believe the restaurant is still a newbie in Kent’s eatery scene. Residents and visitors instantly fell for owner Anna Gowan’s offerings of diverse entrees and eclectic draft beers. However nothing stands out quite like its staple sandwich — their very own Kingsley Burger. Made with local beef and pork from Truelove Farm in Morris, CT, it’s coated with sharp cheddar, bacon jam, (yes, bacon jam) and a fried egg that will leave you buoyant, plus a side of fresh-cut fries, $16. If you’re looking for a more traditional burger, Kingsley Tavern offers a Hurlburt Farm grassfed burger with fries, starting at $10.50; add cheese $1, add bacon $2, and a fried egg, $2.  —Arvolyn Hill

Kingsley Tavern
14 N Main Street, Kent
(860) 592-0261


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