Burger Bach is a New Zealand-inspired burger restaurant that opened on Ninth Street in March 2015. For those of you who were hoping for meat served to the classical sonatas of the Baroque composer, the second word is actually pronounced “batch,” meaning a holiday or beach house in New Zealand.
The dining room is modern and contemporary, with metallic stools and neon signs advertising the food you’re about to eat.
The sleek, newly polished stone bar countertop greets patrons before deferring to the large variety of beers on tap, enough screens to rival a sports bar, and my favorite…
fresh oysters for the shucking.
Although it is winter in New Zealand, we currently enjoy the meteorologic luxury of summer in NC. So we decided to eat outside.
Lush floral and greenery arrangements surround the covered, well-ventilated patio dining area in front of the restaurant.
These are three Anderson Neck oysters ($MP), farmed on Eastern Virginia tidal flats. These buttery, not-too-briny mollusks are a chilled treat on a summer evening. They do not regularly prepare these for lunch, but I wish they would change this policy.
A large serving of soft Fresh Cut Fries ($5.95) arrived before the burgers. Oily on the exterior and dusted in coarse salt crystals, these serve as vehicles to escort dollops of the long list of sauces into your mouth.
Burger Bach has a selection of 13 sauces to pair with the fries. Here we dipped into the Bach Béarnaise, Tzatziki, Garlic Aioli, Organic Tomato Ketchup, Basil Pesto Aioli, and Cilantro sauces. The Basil Pesto Aioli, Tzatziki, and Cilantro were my favorite, in order.
As a main course, we ordered the South Lamb ($12.95). This burger is made from New Zealand lamb, spinach, goat cheese, honey dijon vinaigrette, and cilantro sauce. Yes, they do import all their meat from New Zealand. And none of it is ever frozen- flown in three times a week on refrigerated aircraft.
Delicious burger. The bread, brought in from Neomonde Bakery in Cary, is extremely soft with plenty of room to soak in the juices from the meat within. The goat cheese and vinaigrette make a tart backdrop to the lightly-spiced ground lamb.
The East Coast ($12.95), is a beef burger (also from NZ) made with a blueberry-chipotle barbecue sauce, bacon, Brie, caramelized onions, and garlic aioli.
Here it is, in cross-section, so you can see the generous spread of blueberry sauce that drips over the meat and cheese. This sweet compote is a unique addition to the ground beef. The bacon is firm without being too crispy, building a texture contrast with the soft red meat (this was ordered rare). Both of these burgers are gooey and saucey, with carefully selected condiments and melted cheese draping your taste buds in a warm, velvety blanket.
This is Burger Bach’s third location, after a successful duet in Virginia. The location is hard to beat, on the growing end of Ninth St near Juju and not too far from Monuts. Their burgers are unique and part of a Pacific cultural experience. It’s worth pointing out that the meat is pretty much the furthest from “local” as you can buy- having traveled over 8,000 miles to reach your mouth. This carbon footprint should be considered by the conscious diner while enjoying the flavor combinations. As someone who drives a gas vehicle to the restaurant and who uses paper towels in my kitchen, I am far from inculpable. I’ll come back for the NZ meat.
737 Ninth Street #220, Durham, NC 27705