A good hamburger can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, locations, and with different ingredients. Some may argue the best is with an open grill, amongst friends, seated outdoors during the summer time.
If you’ve found yourself craving just that, minus the prep work, then Burger Barn is the place for you.
To those who have not yet experienced the place located near the Jeffersonville roundabout, it is identifiable by the inadequate, small white sign near the road and by the unassuming small emerald green barn-like trailer with yellow trim and white and cow spotted roof.
On an overcast but friendly Friday afternoon on April 27, a handful of customers were already sitting around the picnic tables scattered nearby when I arrived. This is a mere echo of the traffic Burger Barn gets in the middle of the summer, so perhaps the early season is the best time to explore without the rush and the wait.
You would never want to be rushed when ordering from the Burger Barn, as its menu, displayed behind a sheet of glass across the side of the structure, boasts over 36 different burgers, each more interesting and complicated than the last.
The prices of the burgers range from $5 to $10 along with a host of sides, like onion rings, French fries, chicken tenders, and fried zucchini, cauliflower and mozzarella sticks. Other options include hot dogs, fried clam and BLTs, all within a $2 to $7 range. Also included is the Veggie Burger, and not on the menu are the alternating daily specials, like the Barbeque Burger.
Taking my time, I finally decided on the Ethan Allen, while my companion selected the General Lee. In addition, we bought a can of soda and a pint of fries. After waiting for less than 10 minutes, we approached the window and gathered our burgers, carefully placed and secured in plastic shells.
After grabbing a generous number of napkins and a salt shaker from the condiment bar on the side of the building, which contained all standard burger necessities, like ketchup, mustard and vinegar for the fries, we finally grabbed a table and began to eat.
The Ethan Allen, presented in a plastic shell, consisted of a medium cooked patty, and while juicy and smokey from the charbroiled grill, would have been better medium rare, a request you should make upon ordering the food. It was accompanied by lightly grilled apple slices, Cabot cheddar, and slathered with a generous helping of house-made cranberry garlic mayo. While the ingredients themselves may not initially sound melodious, between two toasted hamburger buns and a strategic eating maneuver, you too can experience the harmony that is the Ethan Allen. Between the crunch of the apple slices, smoke of the meat, sweetness of the delicate mayo sauce, and tang of the cheddar, you may feel good enough to demand the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga too.
Being that I could not put down my burger throughout the affair, as it was falling apart in my hands, I finally turn to try the French fries, the most popular of the sides menu. Presented in a standard red and white-striped cardboard box, they are equal parts crisp on the surface, salty, and buttery smooth on the inside. Hand-sliced and locally sourced, these potatoes receive their very own specialty treatment.
Next, my burger companion allowed me a bite of the General Lee, and I did not regret it. This burger is almost intimidating in that the eating strategy must be completely rethought, as the patty is topped with a liberal scoop of house-made mild chili. In taco-style fashion, I bit into the chili, homemade coleslaw, American cheese, tomato and red onions. Another interesting combination, the chili and coleslaw work together to provide not only a warm, textured flavor of beans and spices, but the added crunch and tang of coleslaw. Along with the perfectly cooked medium-rare burger and toasted bun, this flavor combo will surrender to your taste buds after a long, hard-fought battle of keeping everything contained and not using up the rest of the napkin supply.
While that day only two burgers were eaten, a large variety of burgers are offered, from the Nutty Goat, a personal favorite, featuring chèvre cheese and maple glazed walnuts, to the Greek Burger, including feta cheese, roasted red peppers and tzatziki sauce.
My companion and I combined probably spent around $20 maximum for a satisfying burger before the weather turned sour.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fantastic outdoor dining experience with exceptional quality at a more than reasonable cost, Burger Barn is an excellent choice.