Solil Devyn Borthwick
How far would you go for a chance to have the best burger you’ve ever had in your life?
If your answer isn’t Jeffersonville, Vermont, then you’re deceiving yourself and you’re definitely missing out on what might possibly be the most perfect hamburger ever created.
When I first went to Burger Barn, I didn’t know that they had the world’s best burger. I faintly recall ordering something with bacon and onion rings on it and feeling mildly satisfied with the fare before I got on my bike and pedaled back to Johnson.
It was a trip well done, and I put the little burger shack out of my mind as a place that I had “been there, done that.”
Oh, but how wrong I was.
The next time I went to the Burger Barn was in response to the general lack of dining options in the Johnson area. In order to try something new, I bullied my vegetarian friend Solil into accompanying me to the little burger shack, hoping that we would be able to track down something tasty.
There is a plethora of options at the Burger Barn. Anything goes, and you can get something as simple as a generic cheeseburger for around $6.00, or something as complex as the Southern Cross, a burger that has on it, among other things, a whole fried egg, slices of pineapple and beet root, all at a more than reasonable cost of $8.50.
I wanted none of those things, and so I continued my search among the 34 burger options available, hoping that something out of the creative jungle would catch my eye.
When it did, it really did, and I came across one offering simply called the Nutty Goat, and from that point onward, I was in heaven.
At $8.00, the Nutty Goat came with a list of ingredients that I hadn’t stumbled across since my time working inside of a cheese cave in the Northeast Kingdom.
The nutty goat has everything a girl could ever ask for. The burger comes, as do all of Burger Barn’s patties, in the form of a medium-well puck of beef. This, consequently, is my single greatest quibble with the sandwich overall, and my mind races at the possibility of making my own version one day with a rarely cooked patty of choice ground beef.
The true magic comes from the other ingredients that comprise the Nutty Goat.
On the bottom bun is a thin layer of mayo, a hidden ingredient that does little more than highlight flavor profiles and provide a rich, moister mouth feel to its compatriot toppings.
However, once you are past the beef patty, the real delights begin.
A pile of crispy bacon makes a nice addition, the saltiness and crunch taking over for the slightly lackluster performance of the hamburger itself.
Finally, the burger is served with a nice jam of caramelized onions, a generous sprinkling of maple crusted walnuts and the ingredient responsible for the burger’s dubious name, goat cheese.
I remember being slightly concerned about how well the burger would fare after cooling in the car for nearly twenty minutes between pick up and being placed on the table, but thankfully, that didn’t hamper my experience in the slightest.
To say that the first bite of this burger was akin to an orgasm and a religious experience happening simultaneously in my mouth would be an understatement. I’m pretty sure I saw stars when the heady mixture of goat cheese, bacon, and maple dusted walnuts hit my palate.
There is something delightfully decadent about goat cheese that makes the Nutty Goat so much more than another cheeseburger offering. When taken in context with the other ingredients, there is an exquisite blend of sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy that would make anyone sigh in ecstasy.
When I eat a Nutty Goat, I have no need for sides or condiments. It is a humble masterwork of burger craft, and to sully the palate with filler would do this culinary creation a disservice.
Since I made the discovery of the Nutty Goat, I haven’t ordered anything else from the menu. Why would I? There’s not really anything that could compete. These days, I go back every few weeks just to get another bite of that delectable burger.
It’s so darn good, I find myself hoovering up all of the little crumbles and nuts that have fallen out of the fancy bun and into the takeaway box. I don’t want to miss a single atom of a Nutty Goat, and that’s a first for me when it comes to takeaway food.
If you wish to make a pilgrimage to Burger Barn and revel in the experience of a Nutty Goat, the restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays, and 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Mondays.