NEW BEDFORD – Few restaurant owners put more thought and effort into a burger than Amelia Ruvich and Joshua Lemaire. As the owners of dNB Burgers in Downtown New Bedford, they are blowing customers minds, by tempting their taste buds.
“You have to taste it to understand,” Amelia proclaimed. “It’s different than what you would expect, but it’s like everything that you would want a burger to be.”
In fact, Josh and Amelia are so devoted to creating the perfect burger, they make just about everything from scratch.
“We are making every sauce on our menu, every pickle. We have six different aiolis that we make from scratch; smoking our own cheeses. We are smoking hams,” Amelia listed.
“Cure our own bacon; make our own condiments, our own gravies, our own sauces,” Josh picked up. “We have a garden that we pick from. We’re a from scratch kitchen. Everything’s from scratch.”
It was about a year ago when dNB Burgers opened up shop in an old wood and window factory across the street from the Port of New Bedford, but it didn’t take long for this blue collar community to embrace these upscale burgers.
“We’re sort of changing people’s ideas of what a burger can be, what food can be, and that I will tell you is really awesome,” said Amelia.
Every burger at dNB starts with a house blend of short rib, brisket, and chuck that is formed into third-pound patties, then smooshed down on the flat top, ensuring an extra crispy crust.
From there, the gourmet toppings are almost endless.
For example, the ‘Wrangler’ is finished with onion rings, horseradish aioli, and mustard-beer compound butter. The ‘Ya Bacon Me Jelly’, has smoked cheddar, dill pesto, bacon confit tomatoes, and a homemade local beer jelly. First timers usually opt for a slightly simpler burger known as the ‘Best Bacon.’
“Best Bacon is our shining star burger that is never gonna leave the menu. Everyday it’s our top seller,” Josh said. “It’s a beef patty with smoked cheddar; pickled red onions – we caramelize them to order; house made bacon; and then we take that same bacon and we make it into an aioli, with roasted mushrooms and local microgreens on top.”
And while those microgreens may be delicious, they have been known to cause some commotion among customers.
“Typically we get one of two reactions. Either they’re like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool and interesting’. And then the other side of it, they’re like, ‘why are you putting four leaf clovers on my burger?’” said Josh.
dNB isn’t trying to reinvent burgers, they’re just trying to make them as tasty as possible, like the ‘Banksy,’ an upscale version of a McDonald’s classic.
“This is our rendition of a Quarter Pounder with cheese,’ described Amelia. “It’s a beef patty, yellow cheddar cheese, our house made dill pickles, chopped white onion, ketchup and mustard. It just has that like classic all American flavor. It’s a knockout. It’s so delicious.”
Even the turkey burger gets a gourmet makeover, with a chili marinated patty topped with roasted corn salsa, cilantro lime aioli, and fried carrot ribbons tossed in chipotle cinnamon sugar.
“People come here just for that. We don’t ever want our turkey burgers to be like the thing you have to compromise on because you’re eating healthier. We want them to be just as impressive as everything else on our menu,” said Amelia.
To go alongside all the amazing burgers are some equally impressive sides, like house made Potato Chips, in three different flavors.
“Salt and vinegar is definitely the house favorite, but I personally enjoy the sour cream and onion. It’s everything I always wanted it to be growing up. The sourness of the sour cream comes through really nicely and, like, the sharpness of the onion powder, it just hits me right here,” Josh said, pointing to his forehead. “It’s so good.”
For something a little heartier, the hand cut fries are gorgeously golden and twice fried, so they’re extra crispy and able to hold their own as part of dNB’s over-the-top Poutines. The Classic version is smothered with cheese curds and beef and cheddar gravy. The New Bedford version adds a layer of house made chourico. The special Chicken Cordon Blue style is made with a Swiss mornay sauce, house cured ham, and butter toasted bread crumbs.
“It’s gonna be a huge boat; French fries topped with a giant ladle of gravy. You could eat it as a meal. Most people do share it because it is a pretty big portion,” Amelia cautioned. “If you want to be able to eat your burger, you’re gonna want to probably share the poutine.”
In fact, dNB Burgers encourages sharing, and they’re not just talking about food.
“We don’t really do Wi-Fi here. We don’t want people to sit around and stare at their phones. We want people to talk to their neighbors, meet their friends,” Amelia said. “People come in and they’re like, ‘Oh, hey man.’ Everybody sees people they know, and they have conversations with people they didn’t know before and that’s really cool.”
You can find dNB Burgers at 22 Elm Street in New Bedford, and online at dnbburgers.com.
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