When it comes to hamburgers, I don’t mess around. I will admit, there have been a handful of times that I’ve gone to McDonald’s and devoured the ever-popular Big Mac, because, who could hate a Big Mac?
But, I do find that after I finish that beast of a sandwich, I kick myself for not spending a few extra dollars on a hamburger that didn’t come frozen and doesn’t look like it has been stepped on. I also have made my way to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and I must say, they cook up a mean hamburger. However, when I’m yearning for a juicy burger, making the trek over to Five Guys is not ideal. I had always heard Local Burger served awesome burgers, but I had never been there. Since Local Burger is located right on Main Street and is easy walking distance from campus, I decided to head on over and see if all the great things I’ve heard about this place were true.
Local Burger has two locations; one in Keene, N.H. and one in Northampton, Mass. The Keene location has been open for just about two years. It is a neat little restaurant; the outside is black with large windows all around. The inside has black-and-white checkered floors with red walls and black tables.
It’s a modern restaurant with a retro-twist. Aside from people telling me I should go to Local Burger, what really caught my eye when exploring Main Street was the restaurant sign: It is black-and-white checkered with the word LOCAL in each block, and in the middle is a picture of a hamburger. To me this just looked intriguing and made me want to see what this place was all about. The large windows that allow a customer to see completely inside also helped.
The restaurant doesn’t have a ton of tables, so it is spacious. There is also outdoor seating available during the spring and summertime. The environment of Local Burger is upbeat and friendly. I observed the customers enjoying their food and each one had a smile on his or her face.
The menu includes burgers (mushroom burgers and veggie burgers too), hot dogs, french fries and many sides and appetizers, which even includes Captain Crunch chicken tenders.
Manager Michael Collins said all of the sauces are homemade and the food is purchased locally. Not only do they serve a variety of different burgers and sides, they also serve beer and wine.
Jennifer Alves, a customer who had experienced Local Burger for the first time, said she loved the food and would absolutely recommend it to her friends. “The sweet potato fries we got were fresh and the maple mayo was so good,” Alves said.
Accompanying Jennifer was her mother, Kathleen Alves, who had nothing but positive feedback about her first time at Local Burger and listed the restaurant, “ [Has] great food [and a] locally prepared, small-town feel. [It’s] individual, not big-chain anything — fantastic food. [I] would highly recommend it to everyone,” Kathleen Alves said.
My first time at Local Burger, I ordered a simple bacon cheeseburger with mushrooms and onions, and of course, a side of fries. My burger was cooked medium-well and the vegetables were fresh, just the way I ordered my meal and hoped it would be. What I enjoy about Local Burger’s food is that it’s not greasy. I didn’t feel gross or overly-stuffed after eating my meal — I felt perfectly content.
One evening, I was walking on Main Street with my friends around 1 a.m. on a Saturday night. We were starving and felt a dire need to eat a hamburger — we thought our only option was to go to McDonald’s.
However, we happened to walk by Local Burger and discovered they were open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The hamburgers my friend and I ordered were just as good at 1 a.m. as they would be during daytime hours, which not every restaurant can brag about.
To me, this shows this establishment strives to make sure every customer is completely satisfied, no matter how late it may be. Not only are they open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights but another aspect of Local Burger is on Wednesdays and Fridays, local artists come in and play music for the customers. I’ve come to this restaurant on a Friday night and I was able to kick back, enjoy a beer and listen to some live music with my friends.
Local Burger is unlike any burger joint I’ve been to. Even with Five Guys as competition, Local Burger blows them out of the water. The unique look, food items and the fact that they deliver food, serve alcohol and have live music makes Local Burger a fun place to enjoy a bite to eat.
Collins said he hopes people leave the restaurant with a better understanding of what a fresh burger is supposed to be. From the looks on the customers happy faces as they walked out the door, I believe they did leave with a better understanding of what a freshly prepared burger tastes like.
Brooke Stall can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org