Thursday, January 30, 2014

Farm Burger - we finally made it to a very unique burger experience

Farm Burger is a burger joint … or is it?  Certainly you can get a burger there but they are so much more than just a sandwich, they are a concept, an idea and a way of life.  Bringing talented people together from the farm, the butcher, the kitchen and the dining room to create a new, yet very old, way of providing food.  Farm to Table is a new fad only in that it brings us back to our country’s roots but this takes it a step further to what these folks call “Farm & Table” including the whole process.

At the base of the operation are two farms; Moonshine Meats, for the proteins, and Full Moon Farms, for the veggies, providing the source for the food.  Moonshine Meats actually sources from several farms and Farm Burger uses additional farms in the area to round out its local food needs.  Grass-fed beef is the requirement for the cattle used along with no hormones or antibiotics to provide a nutrient rich beef for the eventual burgers.

Asheville Farm Burger interior
The next step in this concept is using a butcher they trust.  West Georgia Processing in Carrollton, Georgia is the trusted partner for Farm Burger.  The animals are slaughtered in a quick and clean humane practice.  They liken it to the butcher our parents used 50 years ago.  I remember going into the country with my parents to visit the butcher and pick out that week’s meat demands for our family.  We butchered a hog and a cow every fall but with nine kids, our parents needed to supplement our own butchering.  So I relate to this step a lot and truly appreciate the artisan character of the butcher.

The next partners of the Farm Burger concept are the Chefs / restaurateurs and you will need to head to the Farm Burger website to read the credentials.  They have incredible and impressive résumés that you really should check out – so click here, but remember to come back and finish this post.  Sorry guys for not taking the time here, but you provide a lot of material and I didn’t want to leave any of it out.

Sitting with a street view of Patton Avenue in Asheville
I’m about out of breath with all of that and I haven’t even talked about the restaurant itself yet.  I did want you to know about their background because it is remarkable and inspiring what can happen when some people with passion get together.

The concept is not just about the food but the presentation as well, so the Farm Burger restaurant looks the rustic part that you would expect from an idea that brings together the restaurant, the farm and the butcher.  It looks the part.  Walking in you are corralled into a line toward the order taker and on the way you can decide what to drink and eat via a handy menu provided or looking up at the chalk board menu.  Either way, you’ll see a lot of interesting choices for your burger.  Take your time and choose what your tummy is telling you that it needs. 

Our Farm Burger No. 1 basket
Since it was my first time in I wanted to see what they had to offer and chose the ‘standard’ No. 1 ‘The Farm Burger’ ($8.).  It is a grass-fed burger with aged Vermont white cheddar, caramelized onions and FB sauce.  My wife ordered the same and we both asked for a basket that includes fries.  I noticed that one of the sides to build your burger with was roasted bone marrow ($3.) which is more of an item along-side of the burger but I had to order it.  We ordered our drinks and were given the option of water glasses to take with us as well.  So we gathered our drinks, our water glasses and our number to put on our table so they knew where to bring our food and we were off to find a seat.

We went with the bar style seat along the window facing the street so we could watch the night-life walk by in front of us.  Yes, we enjoy people watching.  It didn’t take long to wait before our brown paper lined baskets of food arrived.  It all looked so good!  Before I continue though I’ll have to talk about a negative aspect we encountered.  You are asked at what temperature you want your burger cooked and while my wife choose medium-well, I went with medium.  Both burgers were under cooked.  Her medium well was more like medium-rare and my medium-rare was more like rare.  The burgers are very greasy and not everyone will like that - we don't mind so much to be honest we love a greasy burger.  We did not tell the staff and ate it rather than make a fuss or wait for a recook (we were in a little bit of a hurry).  For the record, I’ve talked to several folks who have eaten there previously who did not have undercooked burgers.  So if that makes you nervous just mention to them that you don’t want to see any red and you should be fine.

Roasted bone marrow - who's a happy camper now!?
The burgers did taste good and would have been even better at the right temperatures and the buns were outstanding.  The house-cut fries tasted fantastic.  The bone marrow was loaded down with butter, garlic and parsley – yum, it was good as well.  I look forward to going back and trying them again but next time I’ll build my own burger and be specific about how I want it cooked.

By the way, the menu offers some other very cool items.  Snack items like boiled peanuts ($2.50), fried chicken livers ($3.) and FB deviled eggs ($3.) will have to wait until I visit again. 

Head downtown Asheville and try Farm Burger, I’d love to hear what you think.

Contact Information
Farm Burger - Asheville
(828) 348-8540
10 Patton Avenue
Asheville, North Carolina 28801

Farm Burger on Urbanspoon

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