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August 7, 2012

Alice Eats: Burger Barn

IMG_45144968 Route 15, Jeffersonville, 730-3441

There are few simple pleasures better than a great burger. But the enjoyment can be even more intense when the burger is anything but simple.

If you haven't already, meet Burger Barn.

When I first wrote about the green and cow-spotted burger shack in 2010, the menu was already large, including 15 different cheese choices — they've since added red Leicester, for a grand total of 16.

But the bill of fare has continued to grow. There are now 35 different burgers, ranging from a classic patty with just lettuce, tomato and red onion, to the Bleu Royale, topped with bacon, caramelized onions and cave-aged Roquefort.

IMG_4519Burger Barn's secret is starting with a great patty. Theirs come from Boyden Farm just a short way down Route 15 from the snack shack. The dense, beefy patty doesn't need to be smothered with toppings, but when it is — holy cow! (Sorry.)

We started with what co-owner Kierstin Colaceci calls Burger Barn's most popular burger: The Nutty Goat.

Thick, crisp bacon was laid directly on top of the burger. Above that draped sweet caramelized onions, melting with each bite. Then the eponymous ingredients — a tall pile of chèvre covered in crunchy maple-crusted walnuts. For good measure, there was a swipe of mayo, too.

IMG_4517For my money, though, it doesn't get any better than the Samuel de Champlain, which has been my gold standard ever since I started eating at the Burger Barn five years ago.

The patty is dressed with creamy, dank brie and a glorious wad of thinly sliced prosciutto. What gives it its Euro-Vermont fusion name, though, is the addition of fresh, juicy apples and a thick spread of spicy maple mustard.

But on my recent visit, I needed to try a new addition, too. And sorry to say, Samuel, the unlikely combination may be my new favorite.

The Southern Cross is appropriately named, a star — nay, a constellation — among burgers.

IMG_4518First of all, a fried egg is always welcome on a burger — the runnier the better. The trip from Jeffersonville to my mom's air-conditioned house in Underhill may have left the egg overcooked, but it was still a pleasure. On a side note, I also blame transit (and the foil wrapping) for the limp fries that I ended up not eating.

But back to the Southern Cross. The eggs were joined by an intuitive combination of bacon and mild cheddar. Nothing out of the ordinary there, just breakfast burger awesomeness.

But then it got weird. Roasted beets weird. Not only was the sweetness welcome, but the texture went nicely with the crisp bacon. My only complaint was that those slippery buggers were hard to keep in the sandwich.

There was pineapple, too, a thick round kept in place by the chile mayo. That's right, chile mayo. The interplay of sweet and heat was brilliant and addictive. But then, so is Burger Barn.

Alice Eats is a weekly blog feature devoted to reviewing restaurants where diners can get a meal for two for less than $35. Got a restaurant you'd love to see featured? Send it to [email protected].

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