The Eccentric Burger CentricApril 18, 2011
The décor of Burger Centric is more reminiscent of a country diner than a gourmet burger joint, with its bright yellow walls, white wood accents, and furniture fresh from 1986. The barely noticeable façade on Delaware Avenue does not draw your eye. Chef/owner Dave Khan is more than happy to chat with you about the location of his restaurant, the variety of the menu, his competitors, even personal family issues; if you’re looking for a quiet, intimate meal, Burger Centric is not the place to go. But Kahn isn’t banking on appearance or atmosphere to build his customer base – he is counting on people enjoying the taste and variety of his burger options. And luckily for him, his burgers are absolutely fantastic.
Burger Centric features around 30 different kinds of burgers to choose from; the menu’s selections change based on availability of ingredients and/or popularity, which is a bit unfortunate because you might see something that looks terrific on the menu, but it may not be available. There are basic beef burgers with different cheeses, burgers made from ground turkey or chicken, and more exotic fare like burgers made with ground lamb, ground beef kebab meat, and beef and lamb gyro meat. There are veggie burger options as well. Each burger is seasoned differently – the beef curry burger has Indian spices, the souvlaki burger has Greek flavors and tzatziki, and the Teriyaki burger reflects its name. You can get one double-stacked with a beef patty and a chicken breast (pictured), or a beef burger topped with shrimp. But no matter the burger, they are all served with Khan’s secret sauce which really separates Burger Centric from its competition. Plus he recommends (and so do we) that you get the “Chef’s Special” on each burger for an extra $1.99, which is a topping of onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes cooked in olive oil with special seasonings. The sauce and the special topping vault these good burgers to near-perfect morsels of deliciousness.
We tried the Explosion Supreme made with ground beef mixed with Indian spices and jalapeno peppers; the Juicy Loosy with five different cheeses cooked inside the beef patty; the Ultimate Colossal with chili, pastrami and a fried egg; and a slightly different version of the Smothered Burger which was a steak burger with mushrooms, Swiss cheese and a garlic cream sauce. All burgers come with the secret sauce, and we ordered all of them with the Chef’s Special topping. The Explosion Supreme was just that – Indian flavors and the spicy pepper just burst in our mouths with each bite. The Juicy Loosy lived up to its name as a wave of cheese poured out from inside the patty. The Ultimate Colossal, while certainly not for the health-conscious, was packed with flavor from the egg and pastrami. The downside to this one was that the chili was pretty much just beans, but it was seasoned well. The steak burger was also very tasty.
The burgers range from $6.99 to $14.99 (including the Chef’s Special topping) and are served with a pile of fresh lettuce and a thick tomato slice, as well as seasoned fries, which are delicious. You can order hand-cut potato chips or curley fries instead for $1.99.
At first glance Burger Centric might seem just a novelty; burgers with unusual meats and flavors – maybe worth trying once, just to say you had a burger with lobster on it. This assessment would be very faulty. As mentioned in the beginning of this review, these burgers are really, really good. What makes them stand out is the avalanche of flavor in every bite. Whether or not you choose a more familiar burger or one that’s more exotic, the burgers are messy, sloppy piles of intense flavor and taste. If these are not the juiciest, most flavorful burgers in town, we’d like to know who makes better ones. According to Khan, nobody does. And we are inclined to believe him.
The Mouse House Kitchen gives Burger Centric 4 out of 5 stars!