This week as I was scrolling Facebook I saw a post from Salem Food Digest which stated that A&B Burgers was going to be moving from their Salem location to a new location in Beverly. I think this had been known around these parts for a bit, but having only recently moved back, it was news to me. Now, Beverly is not far at all but Nick and I take pride in the fact that we can walk to pretty much any restaurant in Salem that our heart desires. I wanted to try out A&B, which I’d heard great things about, before the days when (GASP) we actually have to get in our car and drive to it. And I must say, I’m glad we did!
I didn’t take too many pictures because I figured that since they are moving locations in only a few days, it wouldn’t do any good to show the atmosphere of the former space. The original location of A&B Burgers, where it stands until August 30th, is in the lower part of the old Salem Jail. This was the first time I’d ever been in this historic (and formerly, well still a little creepy) site since it had been renovated into condos and restaurant property. I liked the atmosphere – exposed brick and black furnishings, interesting photos on the wall …a modern space with a hint of history. There was also a lovely patio that seemed quite busy, so we ate at the bar which offered a view of a big TV. It’s awesome that I can now say I’ve been in the former jail at least once, but I’m excited to see what the Beverly location will look like, if it will keep the same vibe at all.
Now, for what you’re waiting for, the food and drinks! The menu has a pretty unique selection of bottled and draft beers – Nick decided to go with the Newburyport Pale Ale (he’s become a huge fan since moving to the North Shore) and I chose one that I’d never tried before but sounded so deliciously tempting, the Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager. Yes, I am an unashamed fruity beer lover, and I was very pleased with this summery version.
That is, until the person next to me at the bar ordered an adult milkshake that looked absolutely to die (or, I guess, go to jail) for and then I was incredibly jealous! I wish I had taken a picture of the milkshake list because there are some really creative concoctions on there that I will certainly be back to try in Beverly. If neither beer nor adult milkshakes suit your fancy, there are some sure-to-satisfy cocktails on the menu as well.
It was a given that we wanted to try the burgers for our meal. There were many mouthwatering kinds, such as the Hangover Burger (American cheese, bacon, and a fried egg), Portobello Peach Burger (Portobello cap, grilled peaches, blue cheese, fig spread and arugula), Black Bean & Pumpkin Burger for vegetarians (house-made pumpkin and black bean patty with arugula and A&B’s house-made honey zest), and many more. I tried to convince Nick to order the Nick’s BBQ Burger, but unfortunately he had eaten a barbecue chicken sandwich for lunch.
We really couldn’t make a decision, and chose to just order from the “Build Your Own Burger” section to solve the dilemma. There are three types of patties you can choose from: beef, chicken or turkey. For us it was beef – it’s what’s for dinner! (Remember that ad? No? I tried.) I got a single patty and added avocado slices, tomato, arugula and cheddar cheese. Nick ordered a double patty with American cheese and a couple of other toppings (sorry, I can’t remember). We also ordered a side of the sea salt fries, although I’d definitely been eyeing the truffle fries with parmesan and bacon..mmm…we have been trying to stay SOMEWHAT healthy though. (Meaning, I suppose we should hold off on throwing bacon into this mix for now).
When the burgers came out they were stacked high just like I like them, with a side of what I believe were homemade chips. Our sea salt fries came in a pail and were the perfect size to share with each other. I actually don’t remember the last time I had a restaurant burger but this A&B burger had me wondering why the heck I had stayed away from them for so long . It was cooked exactly on point, a juicy patty mixed with my favorite toppings, and I regretted ordering the single! I devoured this thing. The photo doesn’t do it justice at all (or any image I want to capture for that matter – the Galaxy s5 is what nightmares are made of and I’m mad I switched from the iPhone last year). Just know that these burgers are the real deal.
Another highlight of our time at A&B Burgers was the bartender, Mandy I believe. She was so personable and helpful, and we chatted with her the entire time we were there. The other staff members also seemed very friendly and kind. A great staff plays such a huge role in keeping a restaurant going and A&B certainly seems to have that down pat. All in all, for delicious food, drinks, and outstanding service, get yourself over to the new A&B Burgers location in Beverly (Bell Market on Cabot St.) or stop by the Salem one before the move on August 30th!