You could walk into just about any American restaurant in Albuquerque and get a decent hamburger—it’s one of those dishes that’s pretty hard to mess up. That said, making a hamburger that’s truly great is an impressive feat. We at the Weekly Alibi have faith in our local restaurants, though, and know they’d be up for a burger-making challenge—which is why we decided to make this week Burque Burger Week. From June 20 through June 27, participating restaurants in the city are each whipping up a special burger that they feel showcases their culinary ingenuity and their best ingredients. The results of this challenge have been pretty incredible, and we highly recommend you go out to try some of them. Scope out the ones that look best to you here, then call up your burger-eating buddy to make a date. After you’ve sampled the different specials, you can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know which were your faves.
Starr Brothers is a solid local brewery and a great spot for lunch or happy hour, and they have a killer food menu to boot. Craving beer and a cheeseburger? Check. How about pork belly mac and cheese? Check. Their special Burger Week burger is their Starr burger: Akaushi beef, green chile ranch aioli, pepper jack cheese, bacon, green chile, greens, tomato and onion, served on a brioche bun.
If you like your comfort food with a gourmet twist, it’s here. Nob Hill Bar & Grill boasts meatloaf (crowned with smoked bacon) and burgers made with a signature blend of New Mexico and Wagyu beef. Their Burger Week burger is the Dirty Burger: a Nob Hill Ultimate Blend patty topped with chile con queso, “ultimate” chile, fried onions, bacon, a fried egg and beeronaise (which, yeah, is mayonnaise with beer in it).
We’re big fans of breweries that pack a serious food menu to go with their beers, and Steel Bender is a shining example of that. They make tasty burgers, wings, sandwiches and salads, as well as a couple seitan-based dishes for the vegan among us. Their special for Burque Burger Week is a Hawaiian burger that includes grilled Spam and pineapple, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and Asian mayo, all drizzled with a teriyaki glaze. Hand-cut fries come alongside this tropical treat.
One of Downtown’s newest additions, Brixens has a small but sturdy food menu that doesn’t disappoint. While you wait for your food, watch the game or play a game—board games, that is. With all the hubbub around Downtown at night, this is definitely a chill place to escape for a drink or two. For Burger Week they’re introducing their new Chimi-Burger: A hand formed Angus patty is cooked to order then nestled in a flour tortilla with chopped green chile, cheddar and American cheeses. The whole thing is then flash fried until crispy and delicious. Topped with guacamole and red and green chile, this thing tastes about as New Mexican as you can get.
You know that Holy Burger takes pride in their burgers because, well, look at their name. Their New Mexico grass-fed Holy Cow burger comes on a brioche bun, while an ahi tuna sandwich, veggie club and dinner salads offer some more choices for bovine-averse diners. Their special burger for this week is a beautiful mess: fried avocado on top of their Holy Cow patty, along with bacon onion jam, Velveeta cheese and a dill pickle slaw. Might want to grab extra napkins for this one. Beer and wine, plus shakes, malts and floats are available to complete the sacrament.
3407 Central Ave. SE 433-5484
Eric Williams Photography
While the Rustic food truck is long gone, you’ll always be greeted at either their stall at Green Jeans or their newer sit-down restaurant, Rustic Star, in Nob Hill. For their special, Rustic has created a burger topped with local goat cheese, rosemary-scented blackberry and blueberry compote, blistered serrano peppers, spring mix and garlic-thyme aioli. This fancy-pants burger comes on a brioche bun. Yum.
Seasons’ rooftop patio is one of our favorite wine-drinking destinations, especially when it’s nice out. There are heaters up there for chilly nights, the courtyard fountain provides a calming gurgle, the view of the mountains is great, and the happy hour menu has outstanding dishes at more-than-reasonable prices. Seasons doesn’t even have a burger on their regular menu, but they didn’t want to pass up the chance to show off their culinary chops a little—thus, they’re cooking up a special 1/2 pound Angus burger covered with cheddar.
3416 Central Ave. SE (and many other locations) 255-6633
Eric Williams Photography
Flying Star, the Duke City classic, is throwing down for Burger Week too, with a very special special—their flexitarian burger. Their veggie patty is made fresh in-house with quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, chickpeas, mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery, roasted garlic and walnuts. On top of this bad boy they put some melted pepper jack cheese and tempura red onions. Get it on a gluten-free bun or in a lettuce wrap (and ask them to hold the tempura onions) to make it gluten free.