Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Hankering for an organic hamburger in New York City?
You can find the largest variety of organic burgers in New York at BareBurger, with two locations in Manhattan, one in Queens and one opening in Brooklyn this summer. BareBurger's generous menu includes many foods that are 100% organic and they are good about making the appropriate distinctions between organic, natural and grass-fed. BareBurger serves meat, vegetarian and vegan burgers, as well as other dishes. 100% organic meats are beef, bison, sausage, and the vegetarian burger and vegan portobello mushroom burgers are 100% organic. Pasture-raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats are elk, ostrich, lamb, chicken, and bacon. All the cheeses served are rBGH-free (growth hormone-free), three of which are 100% organic. All the milk, butter, eggs and ice cream are 100% organic as well, making for some fine old-fashioned tasting milkshakes. The meats at BareBurger come from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the exception of the bison and elk which come from Montana. They offer a few bun options and for people needing to avoid gluten, they offer a lettuce-wrap (100% organic!). Peanut allergy sufferers take note: the french fries are cooked in peanut oil.
The Green Table, tucked in the middle of Chelsea Market, the renovated former Nabisco biscuit factory on West 15th Street, specializes in organic and local foods from area farmers. They serve organic meat as well as organic vegetables and beverages. The farms they purchase from include Hawthorne Valley Farm, a biodynamic farm in upstate New York, Flying Pigs Farm, Old Chatham Sheepherding, and many others. The beef for Green Table's burgers comes from Wrighteous Organics in Schoharie NY about 175 miles north of the city and is distributed by Dickson's Farmstand Meats, an organic and natural butcher a few doors down from The Green Table in Chelsea Market.
Local Food Lesson Learned: one of my traveling companions wanted to trade out the spicy tomato chutney and fresh kim chi served with the burger for lettuce and tomato—not possible, at least not in April. Since The Green Table specializes in local and seasonal fare, fresh tomatoes are not available this time of year in New York. Even though it made my companion a little grumpy, I was delighted at this clear ideological line. As consumers we have gotten used to having what we want, whenever we want it (like an organic hamburger in New York City). Fresh, young spring greens were served with the burger and my friend had the chutney on the side. The rest of us enjoyed the kim chi (crunchy and fresh, not long-fermented) and the tomato chutney slathered over our burgers resulting in savory, spicy, perfectly cooked burgers. Vegetarians can find a number of organic dishes at The Green Table too.
And while we are talking about organic milkshakes, if you are visiting the Metropolitan Museum (5th Avenue and 82nd Street), you will be delighted at the relatively new food concession stand/van parked outside. Cake and Shake serves up cupcakes, savory cakes and milkshakes made with organic ingredients (if you can not eat cow-dairy or wheat/gluten, I am afraid there is nothing for you to enjoy), open seven days a week.
The Green Table, Chelsea Market, 9th Avenue between 15th & 16th Streets, New York; Tel: 212 741 6623; open Monday to Wednesday 11:30 to 9:00 pm, Thursday & Friday 11:30 to 10:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
BareBurger, 535 Laguardia Pl. (south of Washington Square Park between Bleeker and W. 3rd St. on the edge of NYU) Manhattan; and 514 Third Avenue (between 34 & 35th Streets), Manhattan; open 11 am to 11 pm, till midnight on Friday and Saturday and open at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday; and 33-21 31st Ave, Astoria, Queens; and coming in the summer of 2011—Park Slope, Brooklyn.