Special Issues » Bite

Trend alert: Fancified fast food


Oh, the power of the word “artisan.” Just about every celeb chef in the country has his or her own burger joint now, championed by Fleur de Lys frontman Hubert Keller and copied by Emeril Lagasse, Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay, among others. Even in the midst of all the latest diet fads (raw, keto, paleo, gluten-free) the mere idea of house-made fast food has all of us in a tizzy.

Some highlights: the innovative apple cider and marshmallow sauces for sweet potato fries at Burger 21 (impossibly savory and sweet at the same time!); the Cali-style minis at BurgerFi, clad in wax paper; and the super-spicy, ultra-crunchy fried chicken sandwich at B&B Junction. (It’s impossible not to give a nod as well to the gelato-based milkshakes at B&B, which crush drive-thru triple-thick concretes any day.) The 65 different toppings at Pine 22 still enamor the right-brained among us, and they managed to snag the Best Burger title from Zagat, while, happily, still peddling local ingredients and craft beers.