(Ed’s note: Updated, Nov. 15)
Celeb chef and original Mango Gang member Allen Susser has opened a second Burger Bar in Palm Beach Gardens along with restaurant Realtor Tom Prakas and developers George and Lee Heaton. The original is in the Fort Lauderdale Airport, a small version of the new one.
The group plans to open several based on the new prototype where the chef’s staff is serving up a gourmet version of a burger conceived by Susser, an acclaimed Miami chef and James Beard Award winner.
“The burgers are coming out nice,” he said in a phone conversation after the soft opening. It’s a cross between a gastropub and a burger bar, Allen said. “The focus of the menu is on burgers, but the atmosphere is modern industrial with a big full bar.”
A full bar is set in an interior of blacks and lipstick reds, designed by Sterling Kenan, who also designed Palm Beach’s Buccan.
Along with the handformed burgers made from a blend of shortrib, brisket and chuck cuts, Susser has a number of signature items on the menu. “I have the stone crab chowder, conch fritters with a spicy mango sauce, pork belly sliders with mango jam and a shrimp slider on the menu.”
His favorite burger is the Coastal turkey burger. “It’s great – it’s got provolone cheese and turkey bacon with homemade pickles. We do all our pickles in house,” he said.
Sides include three varieties of fries – handcut with sea salt; truffle fries with truffle oil, and Parmesan cheese, and tarragon vinegar fries. “I love tarragon vinegar and these are killer,” he said.
Other sides include griddled pecan broccoli and a Vidalia onion tower with secret sauce.
The novelty special here is the $25 Gold Leaf Burger – a specialty burger topped with edible 23 carat gold. Proceeds from the Gold Leaf Burger will go to local and national hunger relief charities.
“The maharajas of old India used to put gold and silver on their food. It’s not new – but it’s fun. And it’s for charity,” Allen said.
Not just beef
Buffalo, tuna, turkey and a vegetarian burger (portabello mushroom, zucchini, roasted pepper with chimichurri sauce) also are on the menu; with special touches like housemade mango ketchup, potato stix, and special sauces to liven things up.
Desserts are reminiscent of Allen’s Taste in Delray Beach: homemade s’mores, a classic three-scoop banana split, red velvet cupcakes and bread pudding with bourbon sauce.
Other Burger Bars are planned; the next one up will be in the Vero Beach Resort and Spa, scheduled for a spring 2012 opening.
Burger Bar by Chef Allen
4650 Donald Ross Rd., (Donald Ross Village), Palm Beach Gardens
Open daily, 11:30 a.m. (NOTE: Open at 4 p.m. during soft opening until Nov. 17.)