It’s hard to imagine anything that screams “America” quite like a good ol’ fashioned hamburger. But past methods of beef production are losing popularity as with the country’s growing trend towards more humane and healthy fare. Most conventionally raised cattle are fattened up with a heavy diet of grains in large feedlots known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Besides being a pretty nasty place to live, CAFOs lead to beef with a lower nutrition content than that which comes from cows on a plant-based diet. Grass-fed meat boasts higher levels of Vitamins A and E as well as Potassium, Iron, and Zinc, with less fat than its grain-fed counterpart. While any kind of beef can be a healthful addition to a balanced diet, the slightly more costly choice of grass-fed beef is well worth it. Praised for both its taste and nutrition, here are some reasons this edible extravagance is taking the US by storm:
Mooburger: Brooklyn, NY
Pono Burger: Santa Monica, Ca
This organic foodie-paradise sticks to its California roots, using only local farmer’s market ingredients to make their handcrafted burgers “the right way.” Although Pono Burger only has two meat options – grass-fed beef from family-owned Eel River Ranch in Huboldt County or a free-range, antibiotic-free turkey patty – their creative culinary combinations have landed them on the pages of Food & Wine, Thrillist, and SHAPE Magazine, to name a few. Try mouthwatering combinations like the Piku “Fig” Burger (drunken caramelized fig jam, brie cheese, bacon, hazelnuts, arugula, balsamic vinaigrette) or “build your own burger” from their tempting list of toppings.
Butcher & The Burger: Chicago, IL
As the name suggests, this shop incorporates an old fashioned butcher and “vintage meat locker (don’t worry — that doesn’t mean they’re serving you old meat) for the highest quality beef, seafood, fowl, pork, and game that the city has to offer. When you order a burger at B&B, they blend your choice of all-natural seasonings, form a patty, and char broil a custom—built meal right in front of you on their Chicago-built Emberglo grill. You can even choose from their homemade patties, meatballs, and loafs to take away and cook at home. Still not convinced that B&B is changing the burger game? The Chicago shop will open early in the morning – just in time for a pre-work bite – to prove that burgers are the ultimate breakfast food.
Although it’s a chain restaurant with locations all over California, Burger Lounge is a lot more than your typical fast-food joint. It grew from the concept that “a hamburger should not only taste great, it should also utilize healthy ingredients produced in a sustainable environment.” And the business has certainly lived up to those expectations; using only grass-fed beef and the best local produce, Burger Lounge represents the belief that “less is more” for burgers that taste great and make you feel good, too. Their signature burger – 100% American grass-fed, single source beef, organic cheese, grilled or raw onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and house-made thousand island dressing on their organic wheat and white flour bun (you can even get one that’s gluten free) – is simplicity at its best…and tastiest.
The Oak: Seattle, WA
Located in Beacon Hill, this bar and burger joint is a stand-out among Seattle locals for a surprisingly scrumptious selection of delicious pub grub, like vegan-friendly entrees and exceptional French fries. But their grass-fed Painted Hills burgers are the main point of pride at this neighborhood hot-spot, with punny specials like Rosemary’s Burger (havarti, fried rosemary, roasted peppers). The Oak has offerings for every kind of eater, offering gluten-free buns and imaginative meatless options.