Call it burger au jus.
At Beasty Burger, things are done a little differently. Chef Michael Ross said the concept for his burger bar was born out of a search for the perfect burger, something that stayed juicy but ditched the grease that came along with it.
It was all so simple, really. Why not just dump it in a vat of beef juice?
That's the not so secret secret to what Ross says makes the perfect burger, now available in Red Bank. You sear off the patty and finish it off by poaching it in beef juice. The process helps dilute the grease while keeping the meat nice and moist, he said. Forget the French dip, this is the burger dip.
Beasty Burgers just opened this week, taking up residence in and outfitting the place with a full-service kitchen and improved dining room. Think of it like any other famous pairing, Baskin-Robbins for instance, Ross said, just No Joe's-Beasty Burger. The coffee house-burger joint combo is one that Ross thinks works better than you'd expect.
"It's the best of two worlds," he said Thursday, taking a break from kitchen duties. "Up front there's coffee and pastries. You can come here after dinner, have a coffee or a cappuccino and enjoy a different atmosphere. Or, if you're on your way home from the bar or just looking for somewhere to eat, you can stop in for the best burger."
Ross said he's been carrying around the Beasty Burger concept after developing it in a separate restaurant in Ocean Township. What eluded him was a place to put it. He said he finally found his spot when he tried to come to No Joe's one night at 5:30 p.m., only to find it closed. With the cafe's central downtown location and the ability of burgers to attract foot traffic, Ross said he petitioned No Joe's owner Michael Tierney to give him some space. An agreement was struck and work on converting the space for dual use followed shortly after.
Now, Ross said the place isn't closing at 5 p.m. In fact, as long as the customers come in, he said he's not turning them away no matter what the time.
But, don't mistake the place for an anytime greasy spoon. With each burger comprised of certified angus beef, the cheddar sauce having sautéed shallots and roasted garlic, and a mashed potato cake laced with truffle, this is upscale beasty.
And, of course, don't forget about the gourmet milkshakes.
To check out the Beasty Burger menu, visit www.beastyburgers.com.