Got a burger craving? If you go to 27th Avenue Burger Bar, satisfying that is the easy part. The hard part is settling on just which one.
Ever since the restaurant opened in early August, my niece, Grace Newton, has been patiently waiting for Aunt Tammy to call or text. That glorious day came last week, when I felt I had some caloric wiggle room to have a spiffed-up burger with something fried to accompany it. I picked her up for lunch and we headed for downtown Gulfport.
The Burger Bar is beneath Corks & Cleaver, which makes sense, because the two restaurants are owned by the same folks, David and Khrysta Dickensauge, and Joey and Kimmy Homrighausen. It’s in the former location of Ta Sushi Bar. The brick walls and slightly industrial design remain, as does the large bar. There are several large-screen TVs to watch football games and other sports.
Grace and I got there about 1:30 p.m., so most of the lunch crowd had scattered.
More than burgers
Technically, not everything on the menu is a burger.
The menu is divided into Signature Burgers, Other Things, Fries, Sides and Wings.
There are six sandwiches listed as Signature Burgers, and 11 items are under Other Things.
Under Signature Burgers are The Snout ($10) featuring an andouille, pork, boudin and bacon patty; Rising Sun ($14) with a wagyu beef patty; Greek Lamb with, you guessed it, a ground lamb patty; Buffalo Bill ($12), sporting a smoked bison patty; Farm House ($12) with an organic beef patty; and The Gardener with a cauliflower steak patty for vegetarians.
The Other Things include R BBQ ($8), a pulled pork patty with cole slaw, fried pickles, marbled rye, pickled shallots and coffee barbecue sauce; Big Momma Fried Chicken ($10), buttermilk fried chicken with pickles, cole slaw, bacon, cheddar, tomato and spring mix; and Hunter’s Den ($14), venison patty with boar bacon, fried egg, foie gras torchon, duck fat aioli and caramelized onion. Each comes with house-made chips.
I had emotionally latched on to the Crabby Patty ($12), a seared crab cake with crawfat remoulade, fire-roasted corn and pepper chow chow, spring mix, pickled shallots and pimento cheese. The name is a homage to “SpongeBob SquarePants,” but that selection might be for another visit.
I felt obligated to try a true burger, so I chose the Farm House, which, along with the organic beef patty, comes with a fried egg, bacon, comeback sauce, arugula, heirloom tomato, red onion, mustard and Country Girls cheese on a potato bun.
Grace debated a few selections before settling on the Hangover Melt ($10) — a slice of grilled bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Creole barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese, bacon and fried mac and cheese.
I added an order of duck-fat fries ($5) to our lunch.
“Yes!” Grace said enthusiastically.
We both got unsweetened iced tea.
Have you ever ordered iced tea, then got your drink and wondered what else was in the fridge with the pitcher? That’s not an issue here. The tea tastes like freshly brewed tea. Grace was on her second glass in no time.
Nothing extra needed
Our meals arrived quickly, in cute metal pie pans.
Grace immediately started cutting her sandwich, which comes in thick Texas toast. I realized I probably should do the same.
I had automatically asked for mustard for my burger but as I took a bite, I realized it didn’t need anything else. Every element came together yet expressed itself separately. Grace was enjoying her sandwich.
“You gotta try, Aunt Tammy,” she said.
I had hesitated because my history with meatloaf has not always been pleasant. Maybe it’s the high acid content from ketchup slatherings and soakings. But this was different. It was delicious and smoky, aided by the bacon and restrained use of barbecue sauce.
The housemade potato chips were crispy, thick but not hard, and generous. They also weren’t overly salty, as bagged chips can be. Big thumbs up.
Now, the duck-fat fries. This was my first batch. I could smell them coming as Ashleigh, our friendly server, came with them from the kitchen. It was a rich and meaty smell. The fries are thick-cut and flecked with black pepper.
Other basic fry variations are truffle and garlic Parmesan and Creole or go fancy with Brisket & Gravy ($12), which has chopped brisket, gravy, green onion and a house cheese blend, or Loaded Fries ($12) with bacon, green onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, the house cheese blend, pork belly chili and sour cream.
You might be intrigued by sides such as Tachos ($10), handmade tater tots topped with pork belly gravy diced green onions, pico de gallo and house blend cheese, or Sweet Bread Nuggets ($6), pale ale sweetbreads fried crispy with house barbecue sauce.
27th Avenue Burger Bar
Where: 1308 27th Ave., Gulfport
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday
Menu: Gourmet burgers and sandwiches, German brats, Coneys, fries and sides, wings