Pictured: Brooklyn Beet Burger with famous fried bun
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with beets. They are the “diva” vegetable. They are messy and stain everything a pinkish red color, they are a pain to prep, and they have a flavor that is…I don’t want to stay boring but not thrilling. Lately, as long as I don’t have to cook them myself, I feel pretty good about beets. The flavor has grown on me and I love the earthiness they provide and of course, they have their famous “beet red” color, as long as the beets stay on your fork and not your hands. With such a tumultuous relationship with beets, how did I end up at the Brooklyn Beet Company? Well, the restaurant has the following:
- Farm-to-table menu…literally, there’s a garden 20 feet from the stove.
- Cozy atmosphere with community-style tables for a welcoming dining experience.
- Reputation. Opened by the same people as the reputable Korzo (have you had their fried burger??).
As a vegetarian, the Korzo “Fried” Burger never really appealed to me, until I realized that the Brooklyn Beet Burger I ordered would be of the same nature, encased in a golden fried dough “bun”, as their famous Korzo “Fried” Burger. Yes. Fried and vegetarian? It’s a winning combination.
Dinner started out with delicious, fresh cocktails. And when I say fresh, I mean the B’klyn Beet ‘Tini I ordered tasted like a fresh beet juice spiked with vodka. It was delicious, as I said before, but it was really that good, refreshing and the perfect size.
I sipped it throughout appetizer, burger, AND dessert. The other cocktail pictured is the So Slo, a Manhattan/Old Fashion-like cocktail that was strong and sweet! It was the Elderflower liquor that shined through at the end.
Turnip-Fall Squash Dumplings with mushroom-herb stuffing came quickly from the kitchen. I dipped the dumplings in the BBC’s homemade Beet Ketchup, which consisted of beets and vinegar. Simple, yet again fresh and nutty in flavor. The Asiago cheese had a nice sharpness to contrast the doughy dumplings and nuttiness of the mushroom filling. Not too heavy, the perfect start to the oncoming “fried” burger.
When the burger was placed in front of me, I knew this would be a culinary experience like I had never experienced before.
The patty was moist and was a nice contrast to the cooked onions and pickled celery. (Pickled celery?! How unique and so tasty.) The cheese was the perfect amount of stringy and creamy, yet mild so that it did not take away from any of the other flavors, specifically the beets, which were after all, the main event. The walnuts were subtle but gave a nice texture variation and flavor. And the fried bun, perfectly fried so that it had a very slight crispness but was thin and soft enough that the actual contents of the burger were the superstars.
The sides were the perfect contrast to the burger. I am a fries lover, and I did not miss the fries with this burger. The coleslaw, which I usually skip, was again, fresh and not slathered in a sauce. It was light, crunchy and the natural flavors were able to really come out.
The green salad was simple and crunchy, with a light vinaigrette, which included fresh mint. The mint was my favorite ingredient in the salad, an unexpected delight. The three parts of the plate were very complimentary and well thought out. I will mention that I did put BBC’s homemade hot sauce on the burger, something I usually stay away from, however with the sweetness of the burger and the fried dough, the hot sauce was a great complement and added a fiery flavor, which you get from the fire roasted red peppers. I used a very small amount, which is great because you can alter depending on your taste buds and spice preference.
Because I knew I wanted dessert, I somehow was able to save half my burger for lunch the next day. The decision was not easy, however, the carrot pineapple cake had caught my eye at the beginning of the night, and although I’m usually a chocolate person (and the couple dining next to me recommended the chocolate raspberry cake), I took a dive for the carrot. And I have to say, it did not disappoint! After a lot of food and a sweet cocktail, it was the perfect ending to a really wonderful meal. I only wish there was another layer of frosting but all in all, wow. The cake was the perfect mix of moistness, flavor, and texture. The frosting, caramel drizzle and fresh strawberry also brought everything nicely together.
With a mix of classic rock and old school hip-hop music playing throughout the evening and great service, I left Brooklyn Beet Company completely satisfied. Vegetarian and locavore-friendly but playing for the meat lovers, Brooklyn Beet Company is certainly a gem of Bay Ridge. I just hope the line out the door that is surely soon to form holds off just a bit longer for my sake. OK, and maybe some others that found it before me.
Beet on BBC, Beet on.