B2B Bistronomy in Albuquerque: Giving Back Deliciously
The Prayer of Saint Francis imparts the very valuable life lesson that ”it is in giving that we receive.” It’s in this spirit of giving that Albuquerque’s B2B Bistronomy is making a difference in the lives of others. Every Sunday since launching in November, 2012, B2B Bistronomy has been investing in the community through its “Giving Back Sunday” events. On Sundays, the restaurant donates 20 percent of the day’s proceeds to different non-profit agencies. In thirteen months, giving back amounted to nearly $16,000 donated to some thirty local non-profit organizations. Diners at B2B Bistronomy not only feel good about themselves by giving back, for their altruism they also receive what are arguably some of the Duke City’s very best burgers. Among the chief ingredients from which the burgers are constructed are creativity and excitement, elements certainly hinted at by the restaurant’s name.
“B2B” stands for “Beer to Burgers,” an apt description for a menu showcasing forty New Mexican micro-brews and some of the most inventive and delicious burgers around. “Bistronomy,” a combination of the words “bistro” and “gastronomy” is a term which goes back to the early 1990s. It defines a movement among chefs to present gastronomic dishes in a casual bistro setting without costing an arm and a leg. It might be argued by “glass is half empty” types that burgers don’t belong in the “gastronomic” category, but guests at B2B Gastronomy will argue that point.
The restaurant’s focal point is a quaint square bar skirted with what resembles yellow-striped wallpaper. Behind the bar is a wall of tap handles that dispense a locavore’s line-up of local micro-brews from Turtle Mountain, Chama River, Marble and more. Gaining in popularity is a hard cider brewed in the Duke City.
The beef is also procured locally. It’s farm-fresh Angus beef raised in New Mexico with sustainability in mind, meaning it’s grass-fed and free-range. B2B uses a custom grind of one-third pound premium cut, all natural, humanely-handled beef that is steroid, hormone, and antibiotic-free. All patties are formed in house and weigh in at over a third of a pound when they hit the open flame grill. Burgers are prepared at medium, unless otherwise requested.
The artisan canvas for the never-frozen beef is hand-rolled and custom-baked buns from Albuquerque’s Flying Star Bakery. The B2B brand is toasted right on the top bun. Whenever possible, vegetables are also procured from local farms. The menu proudly proclaims that B2B serves fresh food, not fast food, and that good things come to those who wait.
While you’re waiting for your meal, there’s something to see on all the slate-colored walls. Scrawled on the walls are diagrams of cow parts (a butcher’s centerfold?), the head of a long-horned cow, a deconstructed burger and, in text, the six recognized taste sensations: salty, savory, sweet, bitter, sour, and umani.
The menu lists only eight burgers (two of which aren’t made with beef) in addition to a build your own burger (BYOB) option offering your choice of patty (six choices, including New Mexico black Angus beef, turkey, salmon and tuna); all-natural cheese (seven choices, including smoked Cheddar, Danish blue and Gruyere); specialty toppings (five choices, including New Mexico pecan wood smoked bacon, fried egg and New Mexico green chile); specialty buns (three choices including wheat or brioche); and signature sauces (nine choices, including bacon ranch, bleu cheese and green chile). Move over Burger King, this is having it your way!
Included by request on all burgers are ketchup, mustard, mayo, butter lettuce, sliced red onion and vine-ripened tomato. Dietary and lifestyle considerations are addressed with a black bean veggie burger (sliced goat cheese, Szechuan sun-dried tomato sauce) for vegetarians and a topless burger in which any burger on the menu is served not on a bun, but on top of butter lettuce, spring mix, tomato, cucumbers and radishes.
If you order one of the specialty burgers, it’s best not to tamper with it. The chefs at B2B Bistronomy are burger scientists. They’ve already taste-tested every conceivable combination and have created flavors that go best together. Take The Pierre, for example; it’s constructed of double Gruyere cheese, wild mushrooms and demi-glace. You don’t need anything else, not even mustard. The woodsy earthiness of the mushrooms, the mellow savoriness of the Gruyere cheese, and especially the demi-glace, accentuate the flavor of an excellent beef.
As if outstanding burgers and giving back to the community aren’t enough reasons to visit B2B Bistronomy on Sundays, an exciting new menu addition just might entice you. It’s an unconventional burger: a succulent Southern-fried boneless chicken nestled between two bacon, Cheddar, green onion buckwheat waffles served with sautéed kale and maple mustard with or without syrup. This unique burger takes a popular Southern favorite and elevates it to gourmet levels with a layered flavor profile.
Perhaps fittingly, B2B Bistronomy doesn’t serve French fries, but Frites – the haughty French word for French fries. By any name, these are not to be missed. They’re fresh, crispy, twice-fried frites, hand-cut on the premises. Served in two varieties—original or Cajun—and available with your choice of one, two, three or more sauces, they put to shame the mundane out-of-the-bag fries served practically everywhere else. Opt for the original fries, then ask for the curry, berry, and smoked ketchups, all three of which would kick sand on regular ketchup.
Homer Simpson once scolded his vegetarian daughter Lisa that “you don’t win friends with salad.” B2B Bistronomy has been winning friends and influencing people with its salads from day one. As with the restaurant’s burgers, these are not boring and ordinary salads, but salads creatively constructed with top-notch ingredients.
Take the Southwest Caesar, for example. The name only begins to scratch the surface of everything going on with this ingredient-laden masterpiece of creative and concordant goodness. The foundation for the salad is a heaping helping of mixed greens and butter lettuce. Interspersed within that tangle of green and purple, you’ll find pulled pork, Parmesan, niblets of corn, and chopped tomatoes. It’s a salad so good, you might forgo a burger altogether. Better yet, bring a friend or two and split both the salad and a burger (or three).