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Local Burger and Fries - Northampton

fame da lupo Nov 15, 2008 01:20 PM

Anyone w/ any news or info on this place? I'm impatiently waiting for it to open - we could use a cheap and good burger place. I've witnessed Packard's burger go downhill over the last few years, till I could no longer justifying spending the $9+tip on them, and had an overdone burger at Les Gras that cost me $12.

  1. b
    Big Fat Moe Dec 9, 2008 04:12 PM

    I like the burgers at The Dirty Truth

    6 Replies
    1. re: Big Fat Moe
      m
      mjoyous Dec 10, 2008 10:15 AM

      Where's Dirty Truth?

      1. re: mjoyous
        Jeremy01506 Dec 10, 2008 02:32 PM

        Next door to Fitzwilly's.

        Dirty Truth
        www.dirtytruthbeerhall.com
        29 Main St
        Northampton, MA 01060
        (413) 585-5999

        1. re: Jeremy01506
          f
          fatheryod Dec 10, 2008 05:42 PM

          Had an excellent burger the other day at the smithsonian n hatfield. my daughter had an excellent bar pizza as well. i'd forgotten how solid their 1/2 LB angus burger is ($6.95 with fries).

          1. re: Jeremy01506
            m
            mjoyous Dec 11, 2008 03:17 AM

            thanks.

            1. re: mjoyous
              f
              fatheryod Dec 11, 2008 12:55 PM

              i have also had a solid burger (7.99) at johnny's in the village commons in south hadley.

              http://johnnysbarandgrille.com/

              i'm sorta more into burgers at lunch time, so i really appreciate those who serve then. i have not tried the kobe burger johnny's offers. has anyone?

              also, on weekends, the people's pint in greenfield is open for lunch. they have a very solid 1/4 LB burger for 7.75, and it's usually a bit quieter than it gets in the evening. as much as i like the place, i really have a hard time hearing anything there at night.

              for something a bit less dear, i always recommend the white hut in springfield -- classic, burger or dog lunch counter, with mounds of grilled onions on the griddle and no menu or anything. you can get either a burger (2.00), cheeseburger (2.25) or dog with raw onions, grilled onions and condiments + fries (1.30). greasy greatness and worth a visit if you've never been. more likely to pop up in the context of the roadfood board than here, but a lovekly stop when passing through springfield.

              http://www.whitehut.com/history.html

        2. re: Big Fat Moe
          x
          xaius413 Dec 14, 2008 02:41 PM

          My big frown on the Dirty Truth burger is that they put ketchup on it.. Regardless if they use homemade ketchup made with Dogfish Head 90min IPA I still feel it is sacrilege to put that stuff on a tastey burger made with fresh meat! Also I was sort of given a snobby attitude when I asked to not have it out on..

        3. s
          sneakyj Dec 13, 2008 09:00 AM

          also: does anyone know if the people behind LB&F are involved with any other eateries? i'd be curious to try 'em...

          1. s
            sneakyj Dec 16, 2008 10:38 AM

            had a burger there the other day. had the 1/2 pound, farm-of-the-week burger and french fries for 8$ and change. pretty good, but i was half asleep and couldn't really focus on it. more later when i go back.

            also: a small (but important) thing for me is having my bun toasted or warmed, and this bun seemed fresh from the fridge.

            The fried pickles were amazing. the outside was crispy, and the pickle maintained it's structural integrity and tang (as opposed to the only other one's in the valley that i've tried, ABC's flabby, grease drenched, fried pickles).

            3 Replies
            1. re: sneakyj
              fame da lupo Dec 17, 2008 07:31 AM

              I wholeheartedly agree on toasting/warming the bun! I never understand places that don't do this - cold bread does not taste as good as warm bread.

              1. re: fame da lupo
                m
                mjoyous Dec 17, 2008 08:39 AM

                And burgers are even better when served on a bun that was grilled after basting with garlic butter, although I've never found one served that way other than in my kitchen.

                1. re: fame da lupo
                  andytee Mar 29, 2009 01:17 PM

                  yes, i wish they would toast the buns too! please, local burger, please!

              2. smittys Dec 18, 2008 03:42 PM

                I just got home from my first Local Burger meal...YUM. We got a burger with cheddar and mushrooms and a turkey burger with bacon and cheddar, plus fries on the side. It was about $18 with a soda. It was all really tasty and my burger was made with Chicoine Farm grass fed beef (Easthampton). The "local farm" burger is $5.99 and the regular burger is a dollar cheaper. Both types of beef are hormone- and anti-biotic free, and I am so happy to be able to get that quality of meat in a restaurant.

                The onion rings looked ridiculous--obviously freshly made, not pre-made and frozen. Next time I'm getting those!

                1. h
                  homesick for food Dec 19, 2008 08:24 AM

                  Went yesterday, & had local burg & onion rings. Both were real good; I like a softer, thinner bun, however.
                  Still think Scotties in Leeds is best, tho' they're closed for the season.

                  1. e
                    edub23 Dec 19, 2008 09:59 AM

                    Can't wait to check it out. If it weren't snowing today, I'd head on up. Oh well. . .

                    The burgers at Toasted Owl aren't bad either. Local beef (so I've heard) and a double w/ bacon and cheese only sets you back about five or six bucks.

                    1. x
                      xaius413 Dec 19, 2008 12:12 PM

                      Good job guys! Burger was tastey and cooked perfectly.. I can be hard to please when it comes to the chargrilled variety (which I tend to not be a fan)! Excellent onion rings too.. my girlfriend claims they are the best she has everhad!! I'll definetly be trying the pickles next!! keep it up... i'll look forward to many tastey burgers!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: xaius413
                        c
                        caughtstars Dec 19, 2008 04:00 PM

                        My husband went to Local Burger last night and was very impressed! He had the southwest style burger with green chiles. He said it was the best burger he had since we went to Santa Fe and we had amazing green hatch chile burgers. I can't wait to try LB!

                        1. re: caughtstars
                          m
                          melbar Dec 19, 2008 04:12 PM

                          they definitely take burgers seriously and make a seriously good burger, the best I've had so far in the valley. I happen to like the bun the way it is, soft and loaded with sesame seeds. the fried pickles remind me a little bit of fried green tomatoes, which are amazing. Good prices and late hours, should be a hit when the bars close.

                      2. m
                        mjoyous Dec 30, 2008 03:14 AM

                        Made it there yesterday. Had a local burger, very good (not quite as rare as I wanted) but juicy , great quality meat, and the bun was nice. There were three of us, and we shared the o. rings. They were great, but just a hair too greasy (and I'm someone who rarely utters those words.) As it was a very early lunch, am thinking the fryolater wasn't hot enough(?) because the oil was obviously fresh.
                        The problems.....as it's a walk up and order, 2 of us got our burgers right away, the friend that ordered a portabella mushroom burger did not get served for quite a while. As we all liked our food, we hoped this was a timing glitch that would be worked out.
                        We also tried the fried pickles, which we liked but didn't love (acquired taste). Felt they could ditch the ranch dressing they came with.
                        The mushroom burger friend didn't get the added sides she'd ordered. As soon as we pointed this out it was corrected, along with a comped side of fries.
                        We left well oiled, content, and all willing to come back and try again. As with any new restaurant, it had its less than smooth spots, but everything was handled well and the quality is there. A nice addition to the valley.

                        1. fame da lupo Jan 9, 2009 07:29 AM

                          Tasty burger, right price, and I like the "pink or no-pink" question. Burger done pink (medium), as asked, which is something no other place in Northampton can seem to get right (*cough* Packard's *cough*)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fame da lupo
                            b
                            Big Fat Moe Jan 11, 2009 05:00 AM

                            Went yesterday. Pretty good, not great. Had southwestern green chili burger. I asked for "pink" and received fully cooked no pink. Ate anyway cause it took awhile to get to my table, I was real hungry and the restaurant was getting quite busy. Enjoyed the burger but could have used more chilies.
                            French fries were very tasty..like the way they do 'em, BUT way too many were over crunchy (like "chippy" or hard little scraps) making me think that they were either overcooked or there were remnants from previous batches included.
                            In any event. I'd give them a C+ to B- but will go back knowing that the potential is there for a really top grade.

                          2. fame da lupo Jan 19, 2009 12:21 PM

                            I forgot to mention that they are looking into serving poutine... oh lord, what a beautiful day that would be...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fame da lupo
                              z
                              zammdogg Aug 5, 2010 05:03 PM

                              You know, I think they're the only place who I could see doing it justice, too. Nom.

                            2. b
                              boris_qd Jan 19, 2009 04:31 PM

                              I have to disagree with the general consensus of this thread.

                              I ordered onion rings and although they were clearly made from scratch they were both soggy and oily. By soggy I mean undercooked and sponge-like. For almost $4 a basket (for onions!) they need to do a better job.

                              I can certainly say that it did not leave me wanting more. I was not going to try the burger after that experience but given all the positive reviews I _might_ give it a try and report back

                              Boris

                              1. o
                                OrientalLily16 Jan 26, 2009 06:54 AM

                                In making a special trip out to Northampton to visit a friend, we decided to come to Local Burger for dinner. The service was great and the food was excellent!
                                I ordered the Farmhouse Burger but substituted the Turkey Burger for the local beef burger. My boyfriend and friend both ordered the Southwest Burger and all came out juicy, hot, and were very tasty! We also ordered a side of sweet potato fries and fried pickles. The fried pickles were great and not soggy and the batter did not fall the pickles after the first bite. The sweet potato fries were great too, not too thin and not too crispy...just right!
                                Next time I'll definitely get the onion rings ( they looked great, but I didn't have enough room to order those too).
                                I also love that they use beef and other products from local vendors and farms. Its great to know that they're really trying to keep their business in the community.
                                Great place and would recommend to anyone heading out that way.

                                1. r
                                  Redrom Jan 26, 2009 05:43 PM

                                  Sorry, but my thumbs are down. A $6 burger sounds reasonable until you see how small it is, the bun is white bread, the lettuce is shredded iceberg, and it comes with nothing on the side, not even a pickle wedge. My burger was pink as ordered and didn't taste bad, but it was dry, and they forgot the cheese. My wife loved the way her Turkey Burger was seasoned. The fries were good while they were warm. We came home after spending $30 for 2 adults and 2 kids and sat down to more dinner because we were all still hungry.

                                  Personally, I'd much rather spend a couple extra bucks for a bigger, juicy Bison Burger over at Packard's that comes with fries and a pickle. At least at Packard's I can buy a beer.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Redrom
                                    fame da lupo Jan 26, 2009 08:31 PM

                                    I don't recall my burger being small. And at Local they appear to be capable of doing a burger to order, unlke Packard's. BYOB to my mind is a good thing.

                                    1. re: Redrom
                                      m
                                      mjoyous Jan 27, 2009 04:27 AM

                                      I'm confused too. The burgers I've gotten were on white based rolls (I'd love to see a whole wheat option), but the lettuce was fresh leaf lettuce, and the burger was the size advertised. As fame & grape said, more kudos to trying to get things right using fresh, local ingredients. But to each their own.

                                      1. re: Redrom
                                        h
                                        Hotachino Dec 19, 2009 06:28 AM

                                        I am perplexed by the dominant negativity thread: my opinion, shared by many, is that Local Burger is the best thing to happen to main street Noho in the past few years. I too was tiring of Packard's and finding Bistro Les Gras a bit too rich, Dirty Truth is ok, the list goes on and on- and LB is definitely the cheapest. Not cheap per se (as has been mentioned, prices in the Valley are disproportionate) but the best deal around that I have found. The maple mayo is AWESOME, as are the Hadley potato fries. Onion rings aren't my favorite. Milkshakes are great. The guys who own it have always been good to their customers, too- a rarity in the valley. Rock on, LB!

                                        1. re: Hotachino
                                          fame da lupo Jan 5, 2010 06:21 PM

                                          100% agreed.

                                          1. re: fame da lupo
                                            andytee Jan 5, 2010 06:57 PM

                                            thirded - there is a degree of inconsistency, but i'm really glad these guys are around, definitely one of the better things to open in northampton in recent memory.

                                      2. fame da lupo Jan 30, 2009 04:59 AM

                                        Second time around. Friend and I ordered the burgers pink, mine came out pink and his not. Onion rings are very tasty, but ours were underfried and didn't have much crunch. Spongy. This was noted by another reviewer here, maybe a common problem.

                                        Love the BYOB policy. They should keep it even after they get their license (which I assume they are procuring). Local should stay a place friendly to those of an economical mind, considering the college town we live in and grad students like myself!

                                        1. j
                                          joth68 Jan 30, 2009 06:24 AM

                                          Went here two weeks ago and while I didn't try the burger, I can speak very positvely towards the onion rings, fried pickles, and french fries. The onion rings were *slightly* undercooked but the flavor of them was seriously out of this world. The fries were handcut and just about perfect. I'd never had fried pickles before so there was no basis for comparison but I would definitely get them again.

                                          1. andytee Jan 31, 2009 08:54 PM

                                            i'm really looking forward to trying this place, love being able to get a good burger from good quality local grass fed beef.

                                            1. f
                                              FOODCCRITIC Feb 11, 2009 03:07 PM

                                              Okay. I've been to Local Burger four times and i'd have to say right now the biggest problem is consistency. Twice my order was perfect and twice my burger and fries were overcooked. The place has an oliy smell but i do think they mean well. It's hard to swallow when you order pink and it comes out very well done.

                                              I also think the counter guy is a bit strange but that doesn't affect my decision to go there. It's the food. If they can get it right...all the time (not too much to ask) then i'll be a frequent diner. I'm also wondering why no girls work there..seems kind of odd.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: FOODCCRITIC
                                                j
                                                jdi2345 Feb 11, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                We have 2 female employees. Three brothers and their father run the restaurant that's why you see mostly male employees

                                                1. re: jdi2345
                                                  fame da lupo Feb 11, 2009 07:38 PM

                                                  I recall the one female employee I interacted with as being very nice.

                                              2. b
                                                boris_qd Feb 11, 2009 04:20 PM

                                                I decided to go back and give local burger a try again. Some things to note:

                                                They DO NOT server local meat by default. the "Local" in local burger refers to the cute names they have for the burgers "The Amherst Burger", "The Northampton Burger etc. When I went there they have added the option of getting a burger made with some local beef choices (it seemed to me this was in response to people asking them about where the beef comes from - not something they intended to do). You do pay extra for local beef (as opposed to the regular beef they serve that comes from who knows where).

                                                The burger I ordered was disappointing as well. I paid extra to order one of the actually local beef options and ordered it pink. It came overcooked and somewhat dry. Unfortunately it didn't even have any nice browning on the outside to compensate for the overcooking. I think the beef they're using doesn't have a high enough fat content to make a juicy burger or they are pressing/cooking too long.

                                                The overall impression of the burger was that it was quite "bready". The meat/bun balance was off. The meat was overcooked and dry. The lettuce was otherwise fresh and fine. The bun itself also seemed fresh.

                                                I got the onion rings again just to be sure I was right the first time. I was. Their onion rings are undercooked with a spongy greasy dough. Although i agree the dough _could_ perhaps taste good if done thinner and crisper as it stands right not these are the worst possible onion rings. Greasy _and_ spongy.

                                                I wonder about a place like this. There are tons of sites online to research how to make a good "local" burger. I would recommend the owners (and anybody for that matter interesting in opening a burger joint) spend some time on "A Hamburger Today" ( http://aht.seriouseats.com/ ) to see both what is out there in terms of burger styles as well as read somewhat detailed instructions on how to make a great burger. I've been thinking of calling the owner to clue him/her in but am trying to come up with a way that doesn't make me seem like a jerk.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: boris_qd
                                                  fame da lupo Feb 11, 2009 04:38 PM

                                                  Well, the owner appears to be reading this thread closely. So hopefully he'll take away the golden rule of burger making: cooking the burger to the customer's desired doneness.

                                                  And also, the general refrain that their onion rings are spongy rather than crisp.

                                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                                    b
                                                    belcherveggie Feb 11, 2009 06:49 PM

                                                    Tried it the other day (Friday early evening) Almost every seat was taken, which is a good sign. The veggie burger was good, not great, but not bad. They use a thick batter for the onion rings that were a bit undercooked. Maybe the oil needs to be hotter or??? Not that I'm a fried pickle expert (I have had them as spears and chips in a variety of batters) Local uses sliced pickles in a cornmeal type batter with ranch dressing. The batter was a little loose on some of the slices (usually a result of the pickle being too wet when dipped) but overall they were quite tasty. The portions of all the sides I saw were quite generous. I will try it again (the sweet potatoe fries are on my radar) Hopefully the few shortcomings are just a matter of working the kinks out of a new operation.

                                                    1. re: belcherveggie
                                                      b
                                                      belcherveggie Feb 13, 2009 02:50 PM

                                                      Went back today for Lunch, The sweet potatoe fries are good, but the maple mayo they serve with them is awesome. The onion rings this time were right on, cooked through, crisp, but not greasy. Had the veggie burger as a teriyaki burger with grilled pineapple and it was also tasty. I should elaborate on their veggie patty. I believe it is fresh & homemade. Certainly not boca Frozen! It tastes great, but is a little thin and tends to break apart, Other than that, I give them good ratings.

                                                      1. re: belcherveggie
                                                        fame da lupo Feb 13, 2009 03:34 PM

                                                        Was there yesterday, and my onion rings too were great. Burger done to order, all in all an excellent encounter.

                                                        1. re: fame da lupo
                                                          x
                                                          xaius413 Feb 15, 2009 11:37 AM

                                                          Over the past 2 weeks I have been very let down by theburgers I have gotten at some of my regular stand bys. I am still not completely sold on the chargrilling at Local.
                                                          I am tired of having to drive to the Hartford area for great burgers. With that said, I ate at Five Guys Burgers and Fries today! It is with out a doubt up there on my list of very good burger places. Even though they are chain which is usually a red flag for me,this place is doing somthing right!

                                                          1. re: xaius413
                                                            j
                                                            jonsull Feb 19, 2009 03:03 PM

                                                            Went to Local Burger today. Burgers were ok not great. Tasted similar to one you would get at TGIF or the like. Fries were awesome. Fresh cut and really cooked well. Rings were cooked well but very greasy. Breading was bland though. Didn't love them. We also got the deep fried pickles which had a cornmeal batter(?) that both my fellow diner and I thought was flavorless. Those must be an acquired taste but I don't see it.

                                                            All in all not as good as Hartford area burgers as the previous poster has mentioned.

                                                  2. re: boris_qd
                                                    andytee Mar 29, 2009 01:25 PM

                                                    I agree it's a bit misleading that not all the meat is local. Would be amazing if that were the case. I've now had both the Chinquoine and the River Rock burger, and by far prefer the River Rock, which I think is the local option on the weekends. Someone on this thread suggested the rest of the meat is, while not local, also held to a higher standard than typical agri-biz beef, I didn't get that impression myself and would love more info on this.

                                                  3. caravan70 Feb 21, 2009 03:51 AM

                                                    My experience at LB&F was fairly positive. My burger was cooked exactly to order (pink, medium rare), and the fries were delicious... tasty and just crispy enough. The only quibble I had was expressed as well by at least one other poster - that the burger could have been somewhat bigger. I generally like a pretty thick burger (maybe 3/4" - 1") whose circumference is slightly larger than that of the bun... perhaps there's a menu option for more meat that I just didn't see? Either way, that size should be the default, I think. But this was one of the better hamburgers I've had in some time, charred nicely and with excellent flavor, and I'll certainly be back again!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: caravan70
                                                      smittys Feb 22, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                      I disagree! Big burgers are too much for a lot of people to eat, and it is incredibly wasteful (in terms of the amunt of energy it takes to raise beef cattle) to by default give people more food than they can eat. But I agree that they could add something to the menu like "add $2 for a half-pound burger."

                                                      1. re: smittys
                                                        fame da lupo Feb 23, 2009 07:45 PM

                                                        I can barely finish their burger. But that's probably cuz I also polish off half an order of onion rings.

                                                    2. andytee Mar 10, 2009 04:42 PM

                                                      I went for the first time tonight. I'm really glad these guys are around. Not everything was perfect, but everything was good, and being able to get a local, grass-fed burger and a order of homeade onion rings for $10 is a win by me.

                                                      Service was friendly and professional, food was all very good. Onion rings were just a little too bread-y, I would have liked a bit more flaky crisp. About 1/3 of the rings were perfect, the rest on the too-doughy side. If they could tweak this just a bit they would be there. Burger was very good, and stuck out from the edges of the bun. It was a bit thin, and a bit less pink than I ordered (see too thin) but all in all it was pretty good.

                                                      I don't think it's fair to think of this place as a spot for a "steakhouse" burger, big and thick and juicy. At $5-6 it's too cheap to provide that much meat and make a profit. For what it is - something a little more upscale than an In-and-Out Burger - it's excellent, and much needed in Northampton.

                                                      If these guys can iron out just a very few small kinks, I think they will do quite well.

                                                      Also, they allow BYOB - grab a 6 pack before you come in!

                                                      30 Replies
                                                      1. re: andytee
                                                        fame da lupo Mar 10, 2009 04:59 PM

                                                        With the sauteed onions it resembled an In-n-Out burger. Next time I'll see if they have 1000 Island dressing.

                                                        1. re: andytee
                                                          Bri Mar 12, 2009 05:50 AM

                                                          You two are killing me with the In-N-Out burger comparisons. As a CA native, its one of the few things I miss from there. I definitely have to try this place.

                                                          1. re: Bri
                                                            b
                                                            boris_qd Mar 12, 2009 08:59 AM

                                                            It doesn't remind me of in and out burger at all - everything from the sauce to the roll to the meat is different.

                                                            1. re: boris_qd
                                                              andytee Mar 12, 2009 09:25 AM

                                                              To clarify:

                                                              I don't see them as that much like an In-and-Out in terms of the food, although there are some similarities. My point was that in terms of pricing, food quality, and ambience, Local Burger closer to a slightly more upscale, non-chain In-and-Out type place than the type of $10 steakhouse or pub burgers some reviews seem to wish they were seeing here.

                                                              Still, if you are CA native who misses In-and-Out, definitely give them a try. I agree with Boris that the taste is not the same, but there is something in common in the overall approach, and if you like In-and-Out, you might like this.

                                                            2. re: Bri
                                                              fame da lupo Mar 12, 2009 01:48 PM

                                                              Bri, I too am a transplanted Californian. Yeah, it isn't In-n-Out, but it is reminiscent, I always ordered my dub-dub animal style and w/ American cheese, pickles, and sauteed onions the Local Burger gets close. Just needs the dressing.

                                                              1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                Bri Mar 13, 2009 06:04 AM

                                                                Oh yeah, double-double animal style - the best! I'll give Local a try sometime and report back.

                                                                1. re: Bri
                                                                  caravan70 Mar 17, 2009 07:39 AM

                                                                  I miss a lot of things about CA food-wise, but In-n-Out's a big one. I don't think the actual meat patty at Local Burger is that similar to that at In-n-Out... Local Burger's tastes and feels a lot more homemade... but the sensation of the overall hamburger is similar with the condiments. The fries are great as well... definitely a great addition to the Northampton food scene.

                                                              2. re: Bri
                                                                f
                                                                fillyfilet Mar 18, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                Agreed! The thing I miss from California is good Mexican food, especially a west coast burrito! I rarely think of In N Out. My husband and I have eaten at Local Burger several times now and it has always been very good. And the other night the music was Coltrane!! Maybe the Coltrane is what made me enjoy my hot dog so much, but it was great whatever the reason. I'm not crazy about charbroiled burgers, but Local Burger does it well, mild not overpowering. We really love the place and hope they continue to do well.

                                                                1. re: Bri
                                                                  m
                                                                  mishi Jan 28, 2010 04:21 AM

                                                                  if you CA natives want In-n-Out the closest style in the Valley is "The White Hut" in West Springfield.

                                                                  Cheap good burger..........you have to order with "Fried". That means they put these yummy fired (grilled) onions on them.

                                                                  Local is great for a good burger with all the fixings, I love the Westhampton Burger, but if you want a cheap greasy burger with just cheese, burger, fried onions, The White Hut is where you need to be.

                                                                  Local is great.

                                                                  1. re: mishi
                                                                    andytee Jan 28, 2010 07:33 PM

                                                                    Seconded, White Hut rocks. Very solid old school fast food burger, and yes, get em "with fried".

                                                                2. re: andytee
                                                                  b
                                                                  boris_qd Mar 16, 2009 08:50 AM

                                                                  I agree that it's not a "Pub Style" or "Steakhouse" burger. Rather then comparing it to the west coast style In-and-Out burger I think it should be compared to the Shake Shack in NYC (search the boards for the many descriptions).

                                                                  The shake shack produces a better burger overall (juicier, better meat to burger ratio) but it's what local burger would be if they did everything right.

                                                                  1. re: boris_qd
                                                                    r
                                                                    Roxy9 Apr 14, 2009 08:15 AM

                                                                    There's a brief review on Local in the travel section of Sunday's NY Times under the 'Bites' column. Largely positive, other than mentioning the less than crisp sweet potato fries.

                                                                    1. re: Roxy9
                                                                      j
                                                                      jim14th Apr 16, 2009 05:02 AM

                                                                      We ate there yesterday. Two burgers, one dog, fries, rings, drinks =$33. Sloppy stuff, long wait, soggy fries that tasted of very tired oil. You have got to be kidding me. $33 dollars for a burger...

                                                                      1. re: jim14th
                                                                        andytee Apr 16, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                                        The place is not cheap but I think prices are in line with downtown Northampton. If that's a meal for two, you guys spent $16.50 each on what sounds like an insane amount of food.

                                                                        My wife and I ate there today, we had two of their local grass-fed beef burgers (despite what most people seem to think, not all their beef is from local farms, you have to ask for it and you pay a premium) with toppings on them and we split a large fries and drank water. Total $17, or $8.50 each. You could spend the same at Bueno Y Sano or the Haymarket. and that goes for your meal or mine. If you want a $3 burger, there is always fast food.

                                                                        I'd really like to see them offer more local meat - the turkey burger should be Misty Knoll turkey from Vermont if there isn't a better, closer option. Most burgers are made with this beef - http://www.meyernaturalangus.com - which is still a good option, but not local or grass-fed. Technically, neither is organic.

                                                                        I'd also like to see them offer better drinks. I spoke with the owner about this today, apparently they are on a contract with Coke, and thus stuck stocking like 90% Coke-owned products. Too bad, because I'd love to see some Nantucket Nectars, Izze sodas, better root beer than IBC, etc.

                                                                        Anyhow, the burger and fries were good, we will be back.

                                                                        1. re: andytee
                                                                          j
                                                                          jim14th Apr 21, 2009 05:07 AM

                                                                          Nice cheap shot: My disinclination to pay $10/person for traditional burger, side and drink doesn't equate with me expecting to pay $3. It was a meal for 2 adults and a child. It was particularly irksome given that they upsold us on everything. Don't lay the blame on me.

                                                                          1. re: jim14th
                                                                            andytee Apr 21, 2009 06:35 PM

                                                                            sorry, didn't mean it as a cheap shot.

                                                                            i actually agree prices are a bit high, but think it is a valley-wide problem. had vietnamese in amherst today, spent $9.75 on a bowl of pho that would be $5-6 in many other places. bueno y sano burritos often come in at $7-8 each, as opposed to $4 for a much better burrito in say, san francisco.

                                                                            anyhow, my point was not even so much to disagree with you as to provide some context. $33 for lunch for 3 people is not so bad, really, and pretty typical for anything just about anything short of fast food in the pioneer valley. i'd love to see local burger knock $1 off most of their menu, but when i consider the rates almost everyone else charges, and the amount they must have to spend to use the quality of meat they do, i feel a little less frustrated.

                                                                            1. re: andytee
                                                                              fame da lupo Apr 26, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                                              The main problem is that he said $33 for *a* burger, which communicates something that doesn't meet reality. It's the cheapest burger in town, considering its base price is lower than its competitors, and you don't tip.

                                                                              1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                j
                                                                                jim14th Apr 27, 2009 05:16 AM

                                                                                Splitting hairs? Okay...If we want to talk about reality(language that seems a bit overblown for talking about burger prices) then our meals averaged out to over $11 per person, keeping in mind that one of these was a hot dog. This is certainly not the cheapest price in town. You have to buy the burger, and the fries, and the drink...It is too much money. Especially if we keep in mind the suggestive/deceptive implication that their name means you are getting locally raised food. I think people will catch on.

                                                                                1. re: jim14th
                                                                                  caravan70 Apr 27, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                                  I agree that food is generally overpriced here in the Valley, especially given that we're sort of out in the middle of nowhere, but when you consider that you're getting a good-quality, non-fast food burger at LB&F for about $6, and a soft drink will set you back about two bucks anywhere these days, that $11 (with fries) per person doesn't seem so out of line. Sure, you'll pay a bit more if you want the local beef, but I don't see the name as deceptive - the casual observer is more likely, I think, to associate the name with local ownership than with locally-raised meat. If you don't think they make a particularly good burger that's one thing, but it's ridiculous in my view to suggest that it's horribly overpriced.

                                                                                  1. re: jim14th
                                                                                    m
                                                                                    mjoyous Apr 27, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                                                    Apparently you're very disappointed about this establishment, which is your prerogative. However, anyone reading this extensive post can see that one can indeed get local beef (most of the time, and they're upfront if it's not available.) So your comment about "the suggestive/deceptive implication that their name means you are getting locally raised food" is inappropriate. I have only had the local burger when there, and have been quite happy with it.
                                                                                    As an aside, tried the burger at Essalon(sp?) last week. Organic beef, and they tried to get it cooked right (ordered rare) but it was quite dry and too cooked. Liked everything else we ordered for lunch, but will skip the burger there.

                                                                                    1. re: mjoyous
                                                                                      andytee Apr 27, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                      i've only had the burger at esselon once, but it turned out great for me. i've found them to be generally good but sometimes a little inconsistent, so it might be worth giving the burger another try.

                                                                                      1. re: andytee
                                                                                        m
                                                                                        mjoyous Apr 28, 2009 07:06 AM

                                                                                        Will try again on your recommend. Had lunch with 2 friends; one had a beautiful salad with hummus and the other had the special --crabcake sandwich which was excellent. And I loved the caramelized onions and liked the homemade ketchup (as I don't care for commercial ketchup) on the burger.

                                                                                      2. re: jim14th
                                                                                        jeni1002 Apr 28, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                                                        Well, you are definitely entitled to your opinions - what the other posters were trying to do, imo, is provide a little bit of context ... regardless of what we think of Local Burger, we can all agree that restaurants in Northampton are over-priced (whether it's the actual dollar amount, portions, etc.). and we need to evaluate it in comparison to other places in town. Is there another place that you recommend in Northampton or in the valley?

                                                                                        1. re: jeni1002
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          jim14th Apr 28, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                                                          Esselon does a nice job.
                                                                                          People's Pint

                                                                                          1. re: jim14th
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            belcherveggie Apr 30, 2009 08:02 PM

                                                                                            Sorry, but $13.00+ for a Veggie Burger (8.50)& Fries (Pomme frites-4.95) at Esselon is hardly cheaper, even if it also came with a salad. (And I couldn't find a free water dispenser. It's right on the counter at Local) Agreed that Peoples Pint compares very favorably with Local Burger, but it's in Greenfield not Northampton.

                                                                                            1. re: belcherveggie
                                                                                              andytee Apr 30, 2009 10:01 PM

                                                                                              Very much a side note, but water is very easy to come by at Esselon, they actually have a tap on the counter with cream, sugar, silverware, etc, and typically you will find glasses, pitchers of ice, and sliced lemons stocked there as well. I've occasionally found them out of lemons or ice, but never had a hard time getting a glass of water.

                                                                                              I only mention it because, actually, I think Esselon does a better job at this than most places (nice touches like lemons, ice) and really appreciate the effort.

                                                                                      3. re: jim14th
                                                                                        fame da lupo Apr 30, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                                                        Jim, sadly it is the case that Local is the cheapest burger in town. The other places that serve burgers (NBC, Packard's, Dirty Truth, Paradise City, Bistro Les Gras) all serve burgers at $7-10 per burger, plus tip. Local's burgers are $4-7 dollars, no tip. The arrival of Local Burger made a $10 burger, fry and drink possible, whereas before you were spending $10 on the burger alone at one of these other establishments.

                                                                                        Toasted Owl serves cheaper burgers, but I believe they are mini-burgers. Paradise City has a happy hour burger special, $7 for a beer, fry, burger, which is a good deal, but limited, and I'm not sure how good they are.

                                                                                        1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          jim14th Apr 30, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                                          Fame,
                                                                                          It is hard to compare. Everything at Local is a la carte, many of the other examples you give supply you with trimmings, fries, even a pickle heaven forbid! Thus my original objection...
                                                                                          ps: enjoyed your 'read' of Valley/Noho and the pluck to defend yourself.

                                                                                          1. re: fame da lupo
                                                                                            h
                                                                                            hollerhither Apr 30, 2009 07:05 PM

                                                                                            No, Toasted Owl burgers are full-size.

                                                                                          2. re: jim14th
                                                                                            j
                                                                                            JennyMA May 19, 2009 07:31 AM

                                                                                            For whatever it's worth, when I saw "Local" in their name, it never occurred to me that the food would be local; I thought of the way people call their favorite neighborhood pub "the local" and figured the owners intended for this to be a favorite neighborhood burger joint referred to with the same familiar affection. I think "deceptive" seems a bit harsh and unfair?

                                                                          2. b
                                                                            bewley Apr 27, 2009 08:24 AM

                                                                            I cannot believe all the posts on this thread . . . I really have to try this place, more for curiosity's sake than a passionate love of burgers.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: bewley
                                                                              h
                                                                              hollerhither Apr 27, 2009 09:05 AM

                                                                              That's pretty much why it's been on my list, too. It will have to be pretty outstanding to beat my favorite, the burger (local beef with mostly local trimmings) at the Peoples Pint.

                                                                            2. d
                                                                              dragnse7en Sep 12, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                                              Yeah - anything on Main St. Noho is pretty pricey. Local Burgers and Fries is "alright"; When they first opened up, their food was totally great. I will echo the downside mentioned before; if you get the onion rings, check your arteries at the door. WAAAYYYY to greasy.

                                                                              My last recent visits there was disappointing though. Their burgers are no longer juicy for some reason. Must be a new cook that likes to press-cook the life and flavor from the meat. So, the last three burgers were nothing compared to when they first opened up.

                                                                              And, as a reply to everyone who thinks "across the street" is cheaper - WRONG. Not Toasted Owl, Fitzwilly's nor The Dirty Truth. Try Tully O'Riley's burgers. For less than 6 bucks, it INCLUDES fries and a pickle. And it's good . . . :)

                                                                              1. n
                                                                                nelena Sep 22, 2009 07:38 AM

                                                                                I like well done burgers. When I ordered, that's what I asked for, also specifying: not burned. The burger was raw to rare on the inside and burned on the outside. That was a couple of months ago. I have had no desire to go back.

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