Keeping it Local at Great Burger Battle

Local Burger Co.’s menu backs up its name. The Bay Shore joint partners with local purveyors and businesses when possible to give guests a true taste of New York. The ice cream comes from Coyle’s down the road, the peanut butter on the PB&B Burger is Laurel’s Butter and each burger bun is stamped with the words “Made in Bay Shore.” This is something Local Burger Co. hopes to capitalize on when they use farm fresh ingredients at Pulse’s Great Burger Battle Aug. 14. Co-owner Alyssa Martino is eagerly awaiting the competition and spoke with me about being in Bay Shore, bizarre burger toppings and the approaching cook-off.

Taste (Several) Local Burgers at Great Burger Battle

What are you looking forward to at the Great Burger Battle?
Just being invited. We love the support from everyone and getting all the votes. It’s just really flattering to see people being excited about us being there. With that said, now we have to try and win it so we can make all the people that voted for us happy.

What do you personally like to eat on your burger?
Since we work with so many great East End farms [like Satur Farms], I like to load it up with the veggies. I like lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and jalapeños. We use fresh jalapeños here and definitely overload on the spice sometimes, but it’s a good heat.

Would you say it is the vegetables that make a good burger?
For me, yes. Nothing is better than fresh quality ingredients. I love that we use the local farms. It really makes a difference for the burger.

What do you think using local ingredients does to the flavor?
It enhances everything, even the shelf life. I am getting it from the farm straight to my stores in less than a day. I have a lot of support from the local farmers and local purveyors. It is nice dealing with people one on one because it eliminates the middleman. We help support each other and just kind of work as a team to put out a great product. Kudos to them.

What would you say is your most popular burger on the menu?
The Return of the Mac, hands down. We use a great burger, bacon, cheddar and top it with homemade mac ‘n cheese. It’s super decadent and a winner across the board. It seems that all ages like that burger. That’s a fun one.

Who came up with the idea to stamp each burger bun? I’ve never seen that.
It was my partner Drew’s idea. We just like the way it gives each burger our mark and our look. It all says made in Bay Shore, keeping it true to what local is.

Another thing I have never seen is peanut butter on a burger. What is the story behind your PB&B Burger?
Again, Drew’s just as crazy as I am and we try and put anything on a burger. He was very passionate about the peanut butter and having it local as well. We use Laurel’s Butter, which is based out of Patchogue and it makes such a difference. Once you have one you’ll understand.

What is the best side dish to accompany one of your burgers?
We make our own beer batter here and right now we are using the Port Jeff Porter for the onion rings and fried pickles. I am partial to the pickles but they are both delicious. Using that beer makes it super unique and you can kind of taste the creaminess and caramelization of that porter going on there.

Since Bay Shore has been experiencing a revival, what’s it like being a part of it?
Amazing. It’s so fun to walk around and see the local business all doing well around us. We have a really nice base of independent business owners who work hard every day. It’s been a little over a year since we’ve opened and our neighbors have given us a warm welcome. It has been nice that we have the community support.