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Taste a Local Pasture-Raised Burger

October 25, 2011

Hey chefs, I know you are out there, and I know you are reading. This The Good Stuff feature would be a lot easier to write if you all would play along and email me when there is something you are doing that I can endorse.

When you leave me up to my own devices, I sometimes get sidetracked. You know, for like FIVE MONTHS. But I know the chefs understand, because they are busy too.

So let’s let bygones be bygones. Food is improving in Albany. It is. Slowly but surely. Some of the things that I have railed about in the past are becoming less frequent on finer dining menus. Farmed Atlantic salmon is still out there, but it’s no longer ubiquitous. And chefs are starting to use better ingredients across the board.

I was thrilled as I was perusing Taste’s new lunch menu to find not only do they have a pasture-raised burger, but it’s from a New York farm. It also just so happens that they put the name of the farm on the menu.

Bravo. But there is something else about this burger you’re going to love.

You can get this local, ethical, and sustainable patty of ground beef, topped with bacon and cheddar cheese, plus a side of hand cut fries for $10. Taste just made my short list.

Although for me I think the best part is seeing the farm on the menu. The beef for this eminently reasonable lunchtime offering comes from Kilcoyne Farms way upstate, just about twenty miles from the Canadian border, in the town of Lawrence.

Their Black Angus cattle are pasture raised, not given antibiotics or synthetic chemical hormones to promote their growth, never fed any animal by-products, and are processed in small batches by a local family-owned packing plant. All the words they use to describe their process, and the things they care about line up well with my priorities and things I think are important when it comes to meat production.

So while I generally have more than my fair share of qualms about eating ground beef, I am excited to have found another burger that sounds truly appetizing. Now I can’t wait to get into the restaurant and taste it.

There is also some other good news.

The whole point of restaurants highlighting local farms on the menu is to help raise awareness of great regional producers. It’s to remind restaurant patrons that good food starts with good ingredients. And the hope is that people take this understanding home with them, preferably not in a doggy bag.

Even though Kilcoyne Farms is located way up in the North Country it’s also available to those of us living in the Capital Region through the good folks at Adventure in Food Trading. Yes, you may have to buy five pounds of it at a time, but that’s life in the big city.

Before committing to 80 ounces of the stuff, it’s probably a good idea to see how tasty it can be when prepared by a professional chef in a restaurant kitchen. You know chef Ozimek went to school for this, right?

All of this is very exciting news, and I hope you all think so too.

I’m going to try and be better about The Good Stuff moving forward. There is at least one other story up my sleeve, and maybe once it’s written you’ll start to notice a not-so-mysterious pattern emerging. But until then, eat well.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 9:30 am

    Just last night, I tried the Swedish meatballs from Capital City Gastropub. These are touted to be made with Kilcoyne Farms beef. They were amazing.

    More restaurants should look into sourcing from Adventures in Food Trading…

  2. northcountryrambler permalink
    October 25, 2011 2:27 pm

    Kilcoyne Farms’ products seem to be popping up in many North Country restaurants too, as chefs “get the message” ~ 1. Consumers are willing to pay for quality. 2. Knowledgeable consumers are unwilling to eat hamburger sourced from all over the hemisphere.
    Glad to see you are still reminding readers about the many issues with farmed raised salmon, although yesterday’s Boston seafood expose seems to prove that we still have no idea what we are being served, even when we ask. We need some USDA oversight of seafood to right this situation. Get on that, will ya?

  3. Tom permalink
    January 24, 2012 5:53 pm

    Finally had the burger last friday and was unfortunately very let down. Im not sure if they have a untrained kitchen, but the burger came out after almost an hour of waiting and it was well done without a hint of pink. Fries were cold and limp. not sure i want to give it another shot.

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