TLP Production, via Flickr
Located on the corner of 87th and 1st avenue, Bareburger, an eco-friendly burger joint run by vegan chef Rudy Ramos, offers far more than a regular cheeseburger and fries. As the restaurant is vegan-friendly, if you flip the menu over, you’ll find an entire array of dishes dedicated to vegans. They serve burgers that range from beef and bison to lettuce-wrapped quinoa patties, as well as the increasingly-popular Impossible patties (all ranging from $11-16).
You can also make your own burger. Most of their meat is grass-fed and organic, but their menu boasts more than just burgers. The restaurant offers several creative salads, including all-time favorites like Caesar salad, but also new and original ones like the vegan Cali Fresh, which contains baby greens, quinoa, red pepper hummus, alfalfa, grape tomatoes, radishes, red onions, and organic lemon tahini dressing ($11-12). They also offer dishes ranging from organic buttermilk chicken sandwiches ($12-14) to vegan hotdogs and organic tempeh bacon on eight-grain toast ($11-14). While all of these options may lean to the more healthy side of things, they do not fail to serve traditional burger fare, like onion rings, fries (ranging from $7-10), and, for the more adventurous, crispy brussel sprouts with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and sea salt ($8.95).
If you’re looking for something sweet, I would recommend the Velvis Vegan Shake ($7.95), a creamy banana vanilla shake with pieces of fresh banana and a hint of coconut. Even better, it comes in an aesthetic mason jar and is served with a paper straw, in line with the restaurant’s eco-friendly philosophy.
The restaurant is designed in the style of a big open garage, with garage door windows and exposed brick walls, intermixed with pine walls with a bark covering. Elegant lights hang from the ceilings at different heights, and are either in the form of exposed bulbs or are surrounded in metal fixtures. Most of the clientele are families with young children, or couples who prefer to sit in the high booths. That being said, the general atmosphere of the place is casual and friendly, as many customers there are regulars and familiar with the staff. Therefore, although there is some noise, it is balanced out by the garage doors being opened, so the sound is able to diffuse in and out.
The restaurant aims not to produce any waste, and for this reason, everything is presented on metal trays and dishes for sauces. Old wine bottles full of water, each one unique, are brought around regularly. The service is excellent, with several waiters floating around checking in on customers to see if they need anything, and asking them if they are satisfied with the food. For decoration, painted mason jars with felt flowers line the walls of the booths.
If you happen to be on the Upper East Side, I recommend enjoying lunch here, but if not, they also have several other locations around New York City for you to try, including one on the Upper West Side (100th and Columbus) one downtown (on the corner of Ann and William St.), and a number of other locations in the other boroughs, as well as in New Jersey and on Long Island. You can also order online.