Worthy Burger, located in a old freight house alongside the railroad tracks in South Royalton, VT has been on my radar for awhile now. The premise behind owners Dave Brodrick of Blind Tiger fame (which has a cult-like following in the craft beer community) Jason Merrill and Kurt Lessard’s business is simple: pair wood fire grilled grass fed burgers with locally source Vermont ingredients and homemade condiments, with a side of beef tallow fries all for a reasonable price. Top that off with a great selection of craft beer from Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Hill Farmstead and other Vermont and New England breweries and you have a sure winner on your hands.
With Lawson’s Finest Liquids celebrating its 5th Anniversary that day, Worthy Burger had a couple of Lawson’s beer on tap, including the highly sought after Double Sunshine which I started the meal with. They had already gone through one keg of it that day and were tapping the second in the middle of our lunch.
While the menu is simple, the permutation of burgers and toppings is daunting. I would have loved to have seen some prebuilt burger recommendations for those of us having a tough time not putting every single menu item on the burger.
Rarely do I make the trip to Vermont these days without also heading up to Hill Farmstead to stock up but that wasn’t in the schedule for the day, so some Everett was definitely in order.
Elise started off her meal with the Ale and Cheese Dip, a thick and intensely flavorful dip with some house made crackers on the side and followed it up with the other special of the day, a Sundried Tomato Lamb Burger finished with a Lemon Garlic Aioli, a burger she claimed was the best burger she’s ever had in her life. Elise does not share the same love of burgers that I do, so this is really saying something for Worthy Burger.
In an effort to keep things simple (and manageable) my Worthy Burger was topped with bacon, carmelized onions and Bayley Hazen Blue by Jasper Hill Farm, pictured at the top of this post. Now, I’m not the kind of guy who focuses on grass fed/local/free range/GMO or any other eco-food buzzwords out there. If it’s delicious, I’ll eat it. That said, you can’t help but notice the difference between the grassfed beef used at Worthy Burger compared to regular hamburger you get a grocery store or even the best butchers in the Capital District. Even at medium rare it has this intense, deep red color and quality texture I’ve never experienced on a burger before. The burger was outstanding, and makes a worthy stop for those of us making the trek to Waterbury and Greensboro for regular beer runs. I’m not saying I’m a convert but now grass feed beef is definitely something I’ll experiment with on the $20 Weber this summer.
For a side the Chorizo Gravy Fries sounded too tasty not to try. The gravy was a little thicker than I would like for fries, and the spiciness of the chorizo was really muted in all but the very large chunks hidden throughout the gravy. I liked the concept, and for only 75 cents over the regular beef tallow fries it was worth the try, but next time I will get plain fries so I can experience all of the house made condiments.
There’s still plenty I didn’t get to experience at our lunch here on Saturday. There’s the pickling station, the grilled kimchi, kombucha and other fermented goods from Laughing Lotus Farm, the house made sodas and I’m sure more that I’ve missed. What I like most about Worthy Burger, and what will keep me coming back, is that it offers a truly farm-to-table, locally sourced, house made menu and even if all of that isn’t your thing, it’s very down to earth and still damn good food and drink. What more can you ask for?