There was a lot of excitement around the March opening of Bareburger in the Yankee on High building—in part because this is the first Midwest location of the popular Brooklyn-based chain, and also because people were relieved to see the long-dormant storefront alive once again.
That the urban lodge-style Bareburger has brought more diners to this section of High Street for organic wild boar and elk burgers is undeniable—even on a brisk Tuesday night, there was a 30-minute wait. If this happens to you, turn to the bar and entertain yourself with the craft beer list or a cocktail named after celebrities both real and mythical. It’s here you’ll notice one of a few touches of Columbus, with Watershed bourbon worked into cocktails like the Johnny Appleseed ($10) with green apple, hot honey and ginger brew.
The rest of the experience is true to Bareburger’s organic and locally sourced ingredients shtick, with an emphasis on exotic meats. Running through the lengthy list of toppings on its 15 specialty burgers, it’s apparent Bareburger brought Brooklyn prices with it. So be prepared. None of the burgers come with a side. Those are extra and can run you an additional $6, setting you back $18 or more for a burger and fries.
But the burgers are worth the experience if you’re willing to venture past the realm of beef, turkey and quinoa patties. Start with elk, which tastes slightly sweeter than beef, on the Big Blue Bacon ($12.25). It’s a monstrous and bold burger topped with blue cheese, bacon, fried onions, mushrooms, smoky sauce and bacon marmalade. Pleasantly gamey wild boar balances out sweet grilled pineapple on the Maui Wowie ($11.95).
There are also the familiar fried food starters and sides expected at a burger joint. Skip the overly salty fried zucchini crusted in panko and parmesan ($8.95). Instead go old school with intensely breaded and crisp onion rings ($7.95) and butter pickles crusted in chili-spiced panko ($7.95). The latter were pleasantly fatty with the slightest finish of heat. If you want to turn it up a bit, dip a pickle chip in the accompanying Thai chili mayo.
463 N. High St., Downtown, 614-706-4790, bareburger.com