Best of Columbus: Burger Trend

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From the July 2014 edition

Columbus’ burger trend keeps expanding our definition of condiments.

Burgers are serious business at Flip Side, where there’s no shortage of adventurous toppings to choose from. We love challenging how hot we can handle it with the fiery and delicious Chili Pepper Burger:

Brioche buns are made especially for Flip Side by Cleveland-based Orlando Bread Co. “It’s really heavy on the butter, so it’s really rich in flavor,” says Flip Side executive chef Max Rice III. A quick toasting for a crunchy outside and fluffy inside finishes the job.

Tomatoes are applewood-smoked and combined with ancho chilis before being pureed into a hot and smoky, smooth ketchup.

Spanish onions are breaded and tossed into the fryer, and before the rings top off the burger, they’re coated with an ancho chili rub. “The hot oil interacts with the powder and soaks it all in,” Rice says. A drizzle of Sriracha over the top of the onion rings adds the final touch of heat.

Fresh jalapenos are pickled in house for four to five days and are sliced fresh to order.

Other burgers we’re loving:

Bar 145 gives new meaning to sweet and savory with their Apple Pie burger. The open-faced beef burger (they’ll recommend a medium patty cooked to 145 degrees) is topped with rich cream cheese and sweet spiced apples on grilled brioche.

“How the heck am I going to eat that?” you’ll ask when the KH5 Burger arrives at your table at Kraft House No. 5 in Powell. It’s an 8-ounce burger topped with savory roasted tomato jam, thick, melted white cheddar and shaved red onions and iceberg lettuce. It’s all tucked in between a brioche bun rolled in toasted spent grains from North High Brewing.

For those who like their meat with a side of meat, put Explorers Club’s Mofongo Burger at the top of your list. Yes, there’s beef, jack cheese, jalapeno slaw and jalapeno mayo—but the showstopper is smoky pulled pork mixed with Caribbean mofongo, a mixture of plantains, garlic and oil.

Harvest Bar + Kitchen’s Duck Burger is simply smart, deftly twisting a classic duck dish into a two-handed meal. Bright orange marmalade stands in for ketchup. Crunchy and spicy cucumber-cabbage-jalapeno salad brings a little acid, thanks to a vinegar-based dressing.