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Local Burger in Lawrence, KS

Has anyone had a chance to eat at Local Burger in Lawrence? I have wanted to try it and I am putting it on my list of things to do for this weekend. It is an interesting concept and it is getting lots of media attention (Vanity Fair and on the Sundance Channel's The Green...and, of course the local media).

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  1. I tried them last year sometime, maybe a few months after they first opened. I really wanted to like them, and will probably give them another try if in Lawrence when hunger strikes, but was underwhelmed. I had bison, and I don't remember what the person with me ordered, but my bison was overcooked, and the bun a tad dry. Bison's a lot drier than beef to begin with, and my burger suffered on the grill too long. The "air fries" were flabby and bland, and I wouldn't opt for them again, but they had lots of other side dishes from what I recall. It's a great concept. Sorry I don't have more positive to say, or more than one experience to comment on, as I'm not sure that's fair.

    1. Oh man....How I wish I could say I love Local Burger. I do love the idea and intent of what is attempted, but the food we've had has been less than stellar. Except for the veggie burger, which was great, all the other food has been sub par. The bison burger was extremely overcooked, all the other burgers were extremely overcooked and the potatoes were just mediocre. If the meat is raised in such a healthful way it shouldn't be necessary to cook it to death. Especially since we specifically have asked that it not be cooked well done.
      We do like the organic ketchup, mustard and pickles. The bread products are good, too. The concept is good and the intent is noble, they maybe should hire a real chef or real cooks.

      1. I've only been there once, but it was one of those places that I liked more in theory than in practice. I had a pretty good hot dog and the worst hummus I've ever had -- ever had -- the one time I was there. You'd think that a place like that would make good hummus -- I know a lot of vegetarians, and vegetarians eat a LOT of hummus. It had no flavor. Not even chickpea flavor. It was antiflavor. It was a good thing I wasn't trying to drink my Boulevard been or eat my hot dog while I was eating the hummus or Lawrence would have been annihilated.

        1. Wow... I have to add to the general consensus here... it was okay. I had the beef burger, which was also overcooked and dry, so it's not just the bison! There is nothing I hate more than an overcooked burger... ick! I tried the fries too, and they were pretty bland. The cous cous salad was okay, but again, bland. I probably wouldn't go back either, which is disappointing, because my husband was looking forward to the wild game selections.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Katie Nell

            With foodie friends in Lawrence, I also have heard and experienced the same thing as all of you. Which is "great concept, but I wouldn't want to eat there." I think my friend in Lawrence said it best: "If you are really into only eating and supporting that concept or kind of food it is one of the few options you have, but if you are interested in eating there strictly for the food, there are other places serving much better burgers in town." I also heard that the owner was really a much better marketer than a restaurant owner. The fun ads, the articles and press she is getting and her mentions in the movie on Sundance (which friends who went to the opening of the movie in Lawrence said that it ran a little long) and now our conversation would all lead me to believe that is probably true.

            1. re: jvergara

              Okay, I lived in Lawrence ages ago (Larry Brown era!) but I couldn't resist reading this thread. Could anyone explain the concept behind this resto?

              1. re: shannoninstlouis

                Shannon--Here's their site: http://www.localburger.com/index.php The home page describes the concept pretty well.

          2. I think they have gotten better. I don't like the Elk or Bison Burgers, but they have the best veggie burgers anywhere. I also like the combo plate which is a choice of three sides. Most of the sides are pretty interesting. Potatoes are ok.

            If you haven't tried the veggie burger, go back and give it a try.

            3 Replies
            1. re: TexasIndia

              Any new updates on this place? Is it doing well?

              For those of you that have not liked the burgers do you think it's because they use grass fed beef? Which has a different taste then burgers we are used to?

              I think it's a great concept but sounds like something is missing in the execusion. I'm interested in everyones thoughts.

              1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                grass-fed only makes the protein taste better and doesn't change the fat content - it must be execution.

                this will sound totally subversive, but if you're an omnivore ordering a veggie burger get bacon and cheese on it...

                1. you'll get an amusing weird look from the waitstaffer and 2. it's really good and (well only) a few less cholesterol points than a regular.

                nothing should EVER be over-cooked. if it's not rancid, I would prefer it raw thank you.

                1. re: hill food

                  Grass-fed beef definately has a different taste. Whether it tastes better is a matter of opinion. Personally I like it but have come across a lot of people that simply are not used to the taste and therefore dislike it.

                  I love your idea of ordering a veggie burger with bacon and cheese. Very cool. I also totally agree with you that nothing should be overcooked.

            2. I had the best turkey burger of my life there. My boyfriend had beef I think, and he had the same complaint as everyone else- OVERCOOKED. It was also horrendously overpriced, I think we each paid like $10 for our meals. A burger that expensive either needs to be REALLY good or have a LOT of stuff on it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lpflaum

                interesting. based on the website it looked like the burger was over $5.

              2. You know what I adored at Local burger?

                The Quinoa.
                It's a side dish. And i always get 2 servings, and skip the burgers completely.
                Hopefully it will still be on the menu the next time i make the trek.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ehadley

                  That doesn't say much if you skip the burgers at a burger place. Are they that bad?

                  1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                    I prefer to think of it as the quinoa was just that good. ;)

                2. I worked at Local Burger for quit awhile. I do my best to eat local/organic/healthy. I will not eat there and I'll leave it at that. The owner does so have a brilliant *marketing* scheme I must say. There are much, much better local places that support local people.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Agent No. 9

                    What are the better local places that support local people?

                    1. re: amy_rc

                      Don't know how much they cover Lawrence, but for KC try this site:


                      1. re: amy_rc

                        I have relatives in Lawrence and we go to Free State Brewery Co. and Quinton's..it seems a lot of the locals really enjoy and support these places..plus the food and beer is good!

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Free State Brewery is excellent. My first experience there was taking a party of ten very diverse folk. The age range was 8-63 with natives of Mauritius and South Africa includes. Everyone - male, female, young, less young, etc. - ate everything ordered. That, in itself, is rare. We have returned several times and have always enjoyed whatever we have ordered.

                          1. re: Milt

                            Free State is, IMHO, one of the greatest places to go eat/drink in the Midwest. And, it's all the better now that it's completely non-smoking. And, again IMHO, they have the best bread pudding on the planet.

                            1. re: Nata Harli

                              So, it had been at least a couple of years since I last ate at the Free State Brewery. I had clearly forgotten how great the food is at that place. After the family unit and I watched the Championship Parade last Sunday, we stopped in there to grab a bite and a brew. The food was really terrific, creative and tasty. It's like bar food to the 10th power. Everything we ordered was delicious - Chorizo Meatloaf with Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Avocado Chimichurri Wrap, even my son's Grilled Cheese rocked. Check out the photos.

                              They have always had great food, beer and atmosphere - and the good news is . . .they haven't changed a thing.

                              1. re: Nata Harli

                                I agree. I love Free State. Their food is always well prepared, tasty and not over-priced. I tried Local Burger again recently and was disappointed again. The potatoes used to be good. They were greasy and not tasty. I paid close to $9 for burger and potatoes. I used to put barbecue sauce on the burger. Now they charge an extra $0.25 for the sauce. I don't think I'll go back. Too many other good places to eat in Lawrence.