Is there anything more American than an all-burger menu? Maybe not. Which is exactly why I visited Chef David Dickensauge at his 27th Avenue Burger Bar in downtown Gulfport.
When it comes to a burger joint, I’m looking for a great selection of burgers with some creativity on the menu. I want a good hearty bun that can hold up to the meat in the middle. (After all, two-thirds of what you’re eating is the bread!) It’s great to dress the burger up, but only if it remains truly edible as a sandwich, able to be consumed with the built-in silverware the good Lord gave me. Sure, you can get a little more civilized with a knife and cut a burger in half… But can the bun hold together while getting every bite down? That’s one of my criteria when judging a burger.
The menu at this Gulfport burger bar is mostly what you’d expect: burgers. This usually means a lot of red meat, but Dickensauge gets more creative than most. And he got great marks across my burger joint score card, but his patties aren’t all beef. With options ranging from farm-fresh beef to ground bison and lamb, there’s a lot to explore on this menu. Plus, the setup here is what the name infers: it’s a bar. With TVs, and with TVs in brick-walled bar must be wings… about a dozen different flavor options actually. Plus some sandwiches and specialty fries to boot. But let’s focus on the namesake, the burgers.
So, let’s talk about my top burger pick: The Farm House.
If you know me, this isn’t a big shock, especially once you find out what’s on it.
First, better beef. Better beef simply makes for a better burger, and he nailed it on this one.
The Farm House burger comes with a sunny side up glow of gold, the fried egg on top of one-third pound Homestead Farms beef patty. The real hero here might be the medium cooked (slightly pink, extremely juicy) beef that was walking around in George County the week prior.
The burger patty and fixings are nestled between a brioche bun that’s got a little bit of leathery texture hearty enough to hold everything together. Of course, he stuck a thick, crispy slice of bacon on there to both enhance the texture and the flavor of this burger. Other toppings include arugula, fried green tomato, red onion and a thick slice of mozzarella with a smear of mustard and comeback. Stab it with a big steak knife and BAM, you’ve got yourself one serious burger.
When you see this burger come out – be prepared. You’ll almost expect it’s own theme song to be playing. It’s somewhere between “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Free Bird.” You pick what works for you. Just play it a theme song in your head – it’s well deserving of it.
I’d Like a Side with That
When you’ve ordered a burger like this, the next note in the harmony is of course, the side.
It can be tough to decide on the side dish. 27th Avenue Burger Bar has a bevy of hand cut fry options. (Yes, cut daily, right there in their kitchen. I saw it happen.) Then, he’s got some Crispy Onion Rings that are downright incredible. There’s no wrong answer and no bad choice here, so go with your gut. We had the fries once and the rings on our second trip. Both were like a visit with an old friend that you hadn’t seen in quite a while. You just hang out and visit and linger. Which happens to be one of my favorite things to do.
Where to Find the Burger Bar
You’ll find the 27th Ave Burger Bar in Gulfport to be, where else but on 27th Avenue in downtown. It’s wedged in next door and south of Murky Waters beneath Corks & Cleaver. Service is friendly, and while it’s not the fastest burger in town, they work hard to get people in and out for timely work lunches.
Photos courtesy of 27th Avenue Burger Bar.