By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – We’ve heard for years about having a hamburger “your way,” but there is actually a restaurant that allows patrons to do just that, but with high quality ingredients.
Luxe Burger Bar at 1200 West Columbus Ave., is the latest in gourmet hamburger restaurants locally, but it has a significant difference. The menu revolves around a “build your own burger” option that allows customers more creative control over a sandwich than deemed possible.
Two staff members from Reminder Publications
joined me recently at Luxe to test the menu and we came away impressed. Two of us built our own burger while another chose one of the specialty sandwiches.
Luxe has a sophisticated, slightly industrial décor. The tables are not top of one another – a real plus – and there is an attractive bar.
The build you own option started out with your choice of burger: Gold Label Hereford, lean turkey, chicken breast, Ahi tuna steak, Wagyu beef, lean bison and vegan veggie. There is also an option to double the burger selection. The selection of the burger sets the base price that ranges from $8.99 to $11.99.
Our server explained that Wagyu beef is an American version of the fabled Kobe beef from Japan.
After determining the temperature of the burger, diners then add a cheese, up to three toppings that include lettuce, cole slaw, caramelized onions, tomatoes and hot peppers, and then choose a sauce that range from horseradish mayonnaise, barbeque, salsa and even the more prosaic ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.
Then it’s time to choose a bun. Mixed greens and gluten-free are also available. They even offer slices of grilled cheese as the buns.
The choices of a side dish are hand cut French fries, potato salad or coleslaw.
You’re not done yet, though. You can add “burger bling” at 99 cents each such as guacamole, a fried egg or black pastrami. You also have a chance to trade up to a premium side for 99 cents and “pimp” your fries with cheese sauce, bacon, onions and more for $1.99 for three additions.
The menu also offers specialty burgers and one of my colleagues chose the “Ultimate Bacon Burger,” which consisted of Wagyu beef, tempura fried bacon, bacon horseradish cheddar, bacon jam and baconnaise. This sandwich costs $12.99.
Other items on the menu include salads and a build your own mac and cheese dish.
As an appetizer, we tried “Frickles,” which are crinkle cut fried pickles with a Sriracha sauce. Priced at $5.99, the portion was generous and delicious. I had no expectations for the dish, but the lightly battered and fried dill slices went perfectly with the slightly spicy dipping sauce.
Our burgers came promptly and we were impressed. We chose French fries, potato salad and onion rings are our respective sides and all were delicious.
The burgers received high marks as well. I built a simple burger of Wagyu beef, Swiss cheese, standard mayonnaise and caramelized onions. It was very satisfying.
My companions also enjoyed their burgers and the “Ultimate Bacon Burger” proved to be a hit.
I’ve been to one “gourmet” burger restaurant and didn’t come away impressed. It is a trend now in restaurants that is growing with mixed results. The burger is among the most “American” of foods and it’s been shown that while it may be easy to prepare one correctly, it’s even easier to make one poorly. I would come back to Luxe, though, as the eatery is offering diners something different and delicious.