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Bare Burger (Astoria)

Can't comment on the meat offerings as I'm vegetarian, but I've been to this new organic burger joint in Astoria a few times over the past week and a half and I adore it.

You'll find it packed with young locals on any random evening, with a much more chill vibe during lunch time mid-week. The staff have all been friendly and accommodating and are eager to share their knowledge of the menu with you if you're a first-timer. Offerings are standard fast food fare, but at higher prices and of much better quality. I've had the veggie burger and the portabella burger and prefer the veggie. Fries are perfect and the dipping sauces are delish (especially the curry ketchup). A fun, not-so-healthy alternative in the nabe.

Two other things%3

1) I emailed the owners to see if they'd consider offering non-dairy milk shakes for the lactose-intolerant and vegan sets. They plan on doing that soon, as well as offering organic beer and wine in about three weeks once they get their liquor license.

2) My husband found a small piece of wood in his veggie burger during our last visit and brought it to the waitress' attention. His burger was quickly replaced, an order of onion rings was brought to our table and our entire bill was comped. An odd thing to pull out of a burger, and I'm sure it was a freak occurrence, but they handled it well and we'll definitely be back.



33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

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  1. We visited Bare Burger last weekend. I had a Piedmontese beef and bacon burger—it came out overcooked. My boyfriend's "jalapeño" burger was also overdone, and, according to him, it possessed almost no heat at all.

    On the positive side, he got the peanut butter–chocolate milkshake, which was excellent (my chocolate one tasted like your standard diner milkshake; not necessary a bad thing in itself, but given that Bare Burger makes their milkshakes with organic dairy products, I was expecting better). We got sides of fries and onion rings, both of which were great.

    Maybe we'll check it out again in a couple weeks. I'm sure they're still working out a lot of kinks in the kitchen. They really need to improve burgers if they want to charge such high prices for the area.

    2 Replies
    1. re: annana

      i would not hesitate to send back an overcooked burger at a high end burger place like bare. i've sent back burgers even at peter luger's when i ordered them med-rare and they came to the table either medium or well done. diners ought not to be cowed by overdone burgers. ask for a replacement.

      1. re: dstrong66

        for what it's worth, I think it's different...if you don't like the food you're served, I wouldn't assume another chance would be different, but if they get an order wrong, that's another thing. If I order a med-rare burger and it comes out med-rare but I don't think it tastes good, I don't think it's appropriate to complain. Just not return. But if I order med-rare and it comes out well-done, that's a problem, they may as well have brought out a hot dog!

    2. I finally tried Bare Burger, and it's very solid food. I ordered a basic beef and cheddar burger because that's the gold standard by which I rate burger places for comparison's sake. The quality of the meat was unmistakable, and the fries were fresh and tasty in their peanut oil goodness. I did order it rare and it was more of a medium rare, and they don't have their liquor license yet, but a Boylan's cola made with real sugar on tap is a pretty decent substitute (for now).
      However, the service is not up to par and it's inexcusable for a place that otherwise has everything else done right (decor, menu, etc.). I waited a few weeks, too, based on a friend's early visit and comments that things were not dialed in yet.
      Anyhow, my burger came with mayo when I asked for it without (and saw her indicate no mayo on the little handheld device orders are taken on), it was not exactly rare (but close), and the fries our table ordered didn't come out - at all - until we asked about them 2/3 of the way through our meal.
      This is a basic menu, with straightforward orders. I just don't get how you can screw up an order that is being electronically taken and transmitted to the kitchen. I don't see how a BURGER place can forget to bring out fries.
      One of the problems seems to be that the place is always full of people, yet there's a single wait person for the entire place. it's just too much for one person to keep up with.
      Also, every time I walk by (I live just a few blocks away) it seems the owners are shootin' the breeze out front. The general impression I'm getting is that the place is doing well enough based on the food that there isn't much motivation to really dial it in.
      Unfortunately, to charge a premium for something like burgers that you can get in every size, shape, and quality level in this town, you need to bring your A game. When you start getting into double digit prices for burgers, you need to be nailing the doneness and getting the orders out fast and correct. PJ Clarke's doesn't screw my order up - ever.
      In short, I'm not writing them off completely, because the food was good, but if they want to be a destination worth coming to Queens for, they need to get their service together. They obviously have the system in place with the handheld remote devices, brand new equipment, and several weeks of operation under their belt.
      I guess time will tell if they are serious about their burger craft, or just riding the organic wave and Astoria's hip neighborhood caché...

      1 Reply
      1. re: TheOneTruePax

        Tried the lamb burger last week (it comes with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and a mint cucumber sauce) wrapped in lettuce. The cucumber sauce was basically a tzaziki sauce, didn't pick up on any mint tones. However the lamb burger itself was quite good, nice consistency/texture, cooked through but not overdone. Not sure how it would have been on a bun, but with the lettuce wrap it was quite messy to eat (all the juices falling all over the place) and a few too many onions for my taste. All in all, I liked it, but the price ($11) is a bit steep.

      2. Tried this place for the first time last Saturday. Wanted to like it, I had the Spicy Jalepeno Elk Burger. Holy crap, this burger was spicy - I can handle my spice pretty well (I'm Korean, if that means anything), but in this case, it just overwhelmed the flavors a bit too much. I think the jalepeno relish was a little heavy. I ordered it medium-rare, but the inside was raw. Normally, I would love that, but was a little skeeved because I don't know if elk is ok to eat so rare? In any case, this was my first time eating elk but I feel like i still don't know what it really tastes like.

        And their fries are most definitely not great. In fact, they're pretty horrible. Thin skin-on fries completely limp and soaked with oil. Blechh skip those. I'm really surprised anyone's said anything positive about them. They use Annie's Organic ketchup, which is a little too sweet for my taste.

        Service was super-friendly, but it really took a long time to get our food on the table. The restaurant wasn't backed up by any means; all the tables were full, but everyone looked like they had gotten their food, for the most part.

        Overall disappointing, as I really want to like the place (looove unusual meats), but it's just not that great. And the fries just really kill the whole thing. Don't know if I'll be back, as it seems like I can't get a "normal" burger without special sauces, cheeses, etc.

        1. I just went to Bare Burger a couple of days ago and it seems that they must of heard the complaints. Our waitress was very good and clear away dushes as soon as we were finished and the food was top draw ( I had the beef burger with bacon while my wife had a mushroom burger and my 10 year old had the veggie burger). All three meals turned out fine and the fries and shakes were top draw.

          Maybe they are finally working the kinks out.

          1. i thought all veggieburgers were wood based. i hope it was organic wood. at least it was recycled.

            1. any recent comments on this place, saw them featured on non stop ny 4, that show does some really great features on restaurants around the city.

              1. Finally tried Bare Burger about three weeks ago; they must have read this board, because the service was excellent (however, the place was only 1/2 full). Nice atmosphere. Had the bison, and I have to say it's one of the best slabs of bison I've ever had. Lean yet pretty tender, definitely had that grass-fed taste. Got it wrapped in lettuce (I can't do wheat), which was a little messy, but I was prepared for that, and I appreciate the bun-free option. Great fries. Only thing that was wrong was my burger came out med. rare instead of medium; but I like medium rare, so I was okay with it (I actually prefer medium rare, but I have a fear of e coli). All in all, I had a very positive experience. It's pricey, so I won't go back too often, but I definitely will return.

                33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                1 Reply
                1. re: fudjunkie

                  the lettuce wrap sounds like a really good idea...i never noticed that as an option. gotta love the nod t in n out

                  i actually like this place a lot and appreciate the fact that they can cook a burger rare -- hey, you only live once :) -- and still have it come out with some flavor. it's a nice place and i hope they can make a go of it.

                2. We tried Bare Burger in Astoria on Friday night and liked it quite well. It was one of those perfect summer evenings, too, and we were happy to sit outside. It’s not usually our choice, but it is a quiet street and the sidewalk was probably more serene than the interior. Pretty inside, though. Nicely lit.

                  We both had the lamb burger and you get a lot of choices about how you want it served, but no choice on the doneness. It is cooked medium. It also has lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions, and I added jalapeno jack cheese, just for the sake of excess. It was very good. I prefer the lamb burger at Belcourt, more flavors going on, but at $9.95, this is a reasonable option.

                  The service was pleasant and efficient, so I can almost get past the tone. Almost.

                  “Take a bite. Taste the meat blending with the sweet nutty flavor of the caramelized onions and mildly pungent salty blue cheese. Hear and feel the crunch of the fresh lettuce and zesty squish of moist tomato as they provide the accompaniment to this savory rhapsody.”

                  Please. Zesty squish of moist tomato? Food writers they’re not. You are hammered with their quest for the best ingredients, slow down, organic, crafted, unique bouquet, warm inviting, clean, carbon footprint, recycled. In one breath they say there is ‘no fast food here’ and in the next suggest a cold beverage to “wash it all down.” Come again?

                  “the golden crisp hand cut fries cooked to perfection in 100% peanut oil. “ Well, not really. While they were very tasty, there was nothing crisp about them. Decent onion rings, though.

                  “Lose yourself in an aroma of smoky perfection as you take your BareBurger™ in your hands. Observe the myriad colors. Feel the soft daily-baked artisan brioche bun1 give between your fingers as you squeeze tightly in anticipation.”

                  Oh, just get out.

                  There’s even a mission statement in the bathroom, written on a *green* board, about saving water. I applaud the general tone, but when I’m in the bathroom I’d really rather be left alone. There is a very cool hand dryer, though.

                  All in, I enjoyed my meal very much. I’d go back. But I’m damned if I would read everything in the place.

                  33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Deb Van D

                    Hi Deb Van D,

                    Au contraire! All that hilarious bad writing makes me want to go even more!!!!

                    It reminds me of a vegetarian place I ate at a long time ago. The walls were COVERED with signs telling you what to do and, more importantly, what NOT to do. Things like, "We kindly ask you not to discuss the caloric content of our food out of respect for our fat-oppressed sisters."

                    Reading all the signs was half the fun!!!!

                    So, if you like the food, I recommend just going with the flow! Cultivate your sense of camp—it's part of the experience!!


                    Glendale is hungry...

                  2. My family tried bareburger for the first time last Friday. There certainly were lots of other family's with young children at 630pm which worked for us and our two year old. Got a seat right away and checked out the burgers. We had a nice spot outside and liked the vibe. $3.30 lionhead on tap is a bonus too. Maybe that's to make up for the $9-$13 burgers that don't even include fries. To be fair though the side salads that can be ordered are a very reasonable $3-$5. Tiy just have to find them hidden on the bottom of the menu. Lots of combinations from a basic to a bacon blue that's trying too hard. Bacon blue is one of my favorite combos but when you add grilled onions and shrooms, lettuce tomato and a peppercorn steak sauce it's just too much. My wife actually got this monstrosity but more on that later.
                    I went with the bacon cheese and sub'd their special sauce for mayo. Burger comes quickly, and looks nice on the brioche roll. But wait, who stabbed a table# holder through my burger? That's what went through my mind when I say the dagger holding my burger together. Kind of a kitchy touch.
                    Now to the burger. It wasn't bad, and it wasn't great. Not even good for that matter. It seemed that the some of the parts didn't add up. The bun was a bit dry, the meat overcook, and the special sauce was overpowering. All the parts were there, but just not executed very well. The bacon was killer though. Onto the fries. Oh the fries. I absolutely hated these fries that I had to pay $3 extra for. gain poor execution. They were greasy and so, so soggy. How can they call themselves a burger joint with the audacity to charge $15 for a burger and fry and the fries stink that bad. Don't people that open restaurants do any level of research before they invest all their money??????????? I just pissed because I want a Burger Joint quality burger in my hood. I'd be happy to pay $20 for a burger and fries if the setting was as nice as Bareburger, but with the taste of Burger Joint.

                    This while my wife's bacon blue was also overcooked and had only one bite of blue cheese in the whole burger.

                    For the positives: My side salad was fresh and tasty. I may come back to try one of the larger dinner salads. Based upon my side salad they may have potential. My daughters chicken fingers were also really good. Panko breaded they were super crispy.

                    Oh and the waiter gave us back the wrong ATM card which was fun to figure out what to do the next day and a couple more charges later. The service which was generally strong lost some major points with that swift move.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SpiceJunkies

                      was there today first time, my son had child's meal, the burger was so small, we thought it was a joke, about 1/2 the size of one slider..and he didn't like it very much either...the barbecue sauce we asked for wasn't nearly in league with 5 guys--a 6 year old's opinion, but hey that's who the kids meal is for.......at $6.95, just fries which were somewhat greasy, and a miniscule burger--not a value at all-----------they don't even have individual coloring books, just some coloring book they give they reuse with crayons...a bit pathetic..............

                      Friends with us, both had burgers, said they were ok.......2 strawberry milkshakes, ours was overly sweet, too thick, and I kept pulling out lumps of something, and it didn't appear like fresh strawberries, some frozed jelled hard bits of something...not too great---------

                      Mexican Salad, changed the cheese it came with for parmesan and added carrots, small portions, and not very fresh at all---with very pedestrian dressing--and at $12 was overprices and boring.........

                      will not return

                      33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                    2. I love this place. It is the only place I have actually tasted fresh ground beef. Real beef none of that fake gmo beef, thats corn fed.