Q: I’ve been noticing more “build-your-own-burger” places around town. Is this a trend?
A: Recent research from the food industry consulting firm Technomic found that while Americans still love their basic burgers, there is
a strong preference toward BYOB (build your own burger) options.
“I think it’s pretty fantastic,” says Brandon Earls, manager of The Counter in Roseville, which opened this past November as part of a growing chain of custom-built-burger joints. With 28 toppings, 18 sauces, 10 cheeses and three buns—plus beef, turkey, vegetarian and grilled chicken options in a variety of sizes (1/3 lb., 2/3 lb. and 1 lb.)—The Counter calculates there are more than 312,000 possible combinations.
But do people really put fried egg or apricot sauce on a burger? Earls says yes. “Fried egg is actually fairly popular,” he explains, “because it’s kinda like eating steak and eggs.”
On Thursday nights, Roxy Restaurant & Bar offers its own version of BYOB with Burgers & Bottles, pairing custom-built burgers with select wines and beers. Diners choose from a list of all-natural meats (beef, buffalo, turkey and lamb) and top-drawer toppings, from portobello mushrooms to Cabot white cheddar.
“It’s a fun way to allow the customer to play chef,” says Joe Wiens, Roxy’s general manager.