It’s a universally acknowledged truth that the best days at Dan’s Papers are when marketing manager Ellen Dioguardi pleads with her husband to pick up Bay Burger for dinner.
The good news spreads like wildfire around the office, as we all happily halt our duties to order from a menu that features homemade buns, Grade A beef ground daily, and a variety of specialty burger options. Burger-sized packages arrive some time later, each order individually wrapped in white parchment paper that looks adorable and also does nothing to mask the scent of perfectly grilled patties.
We all agree: The takeout is top notch. But I ventured to the brick and mortar joint for my inaugural visit last week. Lee first discovered Bay Burger over the summer, noting that it’s the perfect place for a quick, easy meal before seeing a show at Bay Street Theatre. The casual décor, complete with nautical, Sag Harbor touches, is evocative of Bay Burger’s attention to crafting a no-nonsense, true American burger. There’s an aura of fun pervading the family-friendly space, particularly in the back room, which offers toys, games and what seems like an opportunity to write your name on the wall using colorful wax sticks.
Walking up to the butcher-block counter, we heeded the posted instructions for ordering your burger: 1. Choose your preferred temperature; 2. Cheese (Swiss, American, cheddar or bleu); 3. Veggies (lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle); and 4. Condiments (ketchup, mayo and Dijon mustard). Now is also the time when you pick up your “extras,” like bacon or caramelized onions. Simply procure the required information, take a number and allow your server a few moments to deliver slices of burger heaven.
Lest we assume the ordering instructions are only for tourists, co-owner Joe Tremblay revealed some breaking news: Bay Burger is no longer a seasonal joint. Instead of hibernating in the winter, it’ll be open for long weekends year-round.
Aside from the traditional quarter-pound beef burger, Bay Burger offers a turkey burger, fish burger and veggie burger. Non-patty options include a grilled cheese, hot dog, falafel sandwich, BLT, buffalo chicken sandwich and a wedge salad, as well as a selection of sides and specials. Bay Burger is also the home of Joe & Liza’s ice cream (more on that later), and they serve local beer and wine.
I went with the turkey burger, a grilled white meat turkey patty, with cheddar cheese, all the veggies and ketchup. The meat is thick and juicy, perfectly complemented by the smattering of fresh, burger-appropriate condiments. My side order was the special of the day, a homemade corn salad. The large serving was a mixture of fresh corn, onions, tomatoes and other veggies, and provided the perfect complement to my burger. Lee ordered a cheeseburger, medium well, no veggies (no judgment please!) and ketchup, along with a root beer float with chocolate ice cream and some fries and tater tots. The root beer float combined A&W root beer and Joe & Liza’s ice cream, which, in case you weren’t aware, is a delicious, all-natural local treasure. Joe & Liza’s thick chocolate ice cream, combined with the root beer’s sweet fizz, was so rich and delicious that he considered ordering another.
The homemade burger buns are a tad salty, a surprise when I had my first Bay Burger burger. But it’s become something I now crave in subsequent burger outings, and I see no need to cut myself off from my newfound addiction. Lee mentioned that the salt factor is the only caveat he has with Bay Burger, but noted that the bread itself is light and tasty. We can’t wait for Dan’s Papers to order from Bay Burger again soon—the meat is rich and juicy, the options are plentiful and the ice cream is to die for. Highly recommended!
Bay Burger, 1742 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Sag Harbor, 631-899-3915, bayburger.com.