Restaurant Review: Root Hill Burger

By Lori Alamia,
fast, fresh and eclectic

Root Hill Burger is a welcome addition to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gowanus. This industrial area with art galleries, design studios and textile shops has slowly become more residential. These residents deserve good, fast and convenient food options. At Root Hill Burger, they aren’t just getting any burger joint but an eclectic, gourmet one that people from other neighborhoods and boroughs will want to try.

Located on 4th Avenue between President and Carroll Street, it is off the Union Street stop of the R line or a short drive from other parts of Brooklyn.

It falls outside the box of a typical burger place with an ethnic flair representing all those involved in making Root Hill Burger happen. Executive Chef Cali Rivera knows his stuff. Formerly the chef of Prune, Seersucker and Gramercy Tavern, he has a knack for combining flavors and textures. He said that “every burger has a story to tell” and these are definitely stories worth indulging in.

The burgers on the menu are numbered instead of named so you can focus on the ingredients.

#b07 was a delicious beef burger with white cheddar cheese, thick crisp bacon, root vegetable crisps and a tangy smoke sauce with just enough kick.

The bread was certainly not an afterthought.This and most of the burgers are served on a brioche bun. The bread all comes from Amy’s Bread in NYC.

If you prefer a more classic burger, #b01 is a good choice, tomato, pickles, mayo and a fontina cheese crisp.

My personal favorite was #b03 an amazing lamb burger. It was the perfect balance of flavors- kalamata olive sauce, red onion, tomato, feta and a touch of mint served on a challah roll.

Their turkey burger (#b04) was flavorful with a little kick of chipotle balanced by the sweetness of pineapple. The tasty sausage burger (#b05) is Australian influenced topped with a fried egg and served on a large English muffin. Root Hill also offers a fresh and thoughtful meatless burger (#b08). Far from a boring veggie pattie, it will please vegetarian guests. Other healthy options are the hearty salmon burger (#b09) and a Portobello mushroom burger (#b06).

Every burger deserves a great side and there are some interesting options to choose from. They offer, of course, the classic French fry, naturally cut and crisp (#s01). I loved the maize salad (#s04), roasted corn, tomato and beans with garlic, cilantro, lime and a little hot sauce.

The most unique option was garbonzo bean poppers. Beans (chick peas) are deep fried so they become all crunchy then tossed in honey so they become all sweet and are served with a yogurt lemon sauce to bring the flavors together; served with a spoon, you will be scooping them up fast.

Partner and designer Stephen Kelley expressed all the thought, planning and community that went into the opening of this burger joint. He designed a relaxed, simple and clean atmosphere with a little retro flair. Local artist Lourdes Sanchez created a fun painting on the wall. The meat is sourced locally from Paisanos Meat Market of Brooklyn. Even the wine and beer are local. I particularly enjoyed The Root Hill Special wine which was a lovely Peach Chardonnay.

In the spring and summer, you can enjoy all this homegrown goodness in their outside seating area which is a quite little oasis in Brooklyn.

Whether or not you are part of the Gowanus community you should come to Root Hill Burger for a visit. Whether you order something indulgent like a thick, delightful salted caramel milkshake or healthy like kombucha tea, you can still walk away happy.

image: roothillburger.com



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