Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Food Dudes: Beauties prevail at downtown’s Burger Baby

by Daniel Patrick Murphy ‘13 and Sabastion C. Kimmel ‘13

This week in search of a new lunch spot we stumbled upon a relative newcomer to the downtown Hartford area. Every burger joint attempts to distant itself from the abundance of meat patty-serving establishments with whom it competes. Through its ability to perfect an old favorite, while adding a touch of originality, Burger Baby, a modern burger bar that opened the doors of its Asylum Street residence in early 2012, seems to have succesfully cemented itself in the local neigborhood. We headed downtown for a Monday lunch and found the dining area completely empty, meaning we got the full attention of the bar manager. It took us a while to even pick up the menus we had been given because of the dining area’s distracting modern décor. Burger Baby’s walls are filled with pop art and gave us a perfect impression of a more modern version of the ’50s diner-style.

Patrick started with the Seared Rare Tuna served over radish and carrot with wasabi sauce. The tuna was of impressive quality, with a perfect black pepper seasoning on the outside. Sabastion started the meal off with the Short Rib Sliders, which were savory slow cook beef ribs served over Kimchi with a tangy Asian spiced sauce. The portions were not too generous, but what it lacked in size it made up for in flavor. These sliders were savory to say the least, and served as a great pre-game for my stomach. We almost considered ordering an alternative dish at this burger joint, maybe the Ahi Tuna Burger, or the crispy chicken sandwich. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t take my eyes away from their signature entrée, the ‘Burger Baby Deluxe’ – an awesome combination of the classic American cheeseburger with a fusion twist. The added home-made pickles and special sauce complimented the perfectly prepared grade A beef patty. The country fried bacon that we had on our burgers was incredible: two thick slices of smoked bacon breaded and perfectly deep-fried to form a sweet and golden crispy layer of heaven. We highly recommend adding the country-fried bacon to any burger on the menu, as long as you do not mind a few more calories. What sets apart this place for us from the likes of Max Burger and Plan B is that the grilled egg-washed brioche bun was sturdy and the burgers had an incredible amount of flavor without dripping grease. No one enjoys struggling to hold together a burger with a bun that is literally disintegrating in your hands. While the fries themselves were well cooked and seasoned, the chili that came smothering them did not have much flavor or beef to speak of, and the taste was essentially just that of the beans. In hindsight, I definitely regret not ordering their duck fat fries, which our server had strongly recommended.

For anyone who enjoys a good all-American burger, a trip to Burger Baby is certainly recommended for a competitively priced menu with more bold and innovative menu options. Their happy hour offers half price on a long list of draft beers, but the food is slightly more expensive than the deals at the competitors mentioned. On Mondays & Tuesdays, those interested can enjoy an extended happy hour from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., which could be enticing for someone looking to investigate the Burger Baby for a cheap late dinner. Overall, the Food Dudes give the Burger Baby a seven out of ten. We acknowledge their creativeness and believe they could establish themselves as a superior option to Plan B and Max Burger in the future if they were to improve. Burger Baby is fit for a big mans appetite with a freshman’s pocket book. With a never ending happy hour (4-11 pm) on Monday and lunch specials every day that come in at only $10, you’re sure to leave this establishment happy and full.

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