Farm Burger CLOSED 1313 9 St./Gilman St., West Berkeley, (510) 705-1485. L-D daily; $$. This casual Georgia-based chain has gone local with this outlet and features Niman grass-fed beef burgers. Chicken, pork, and vegan patties are also options, and you can choose from 11 free add-ons and 35 more toppings—among them are deep-fried onion rings and oxtail marmalade—each at $1 to $2 additional. For my beef burger, I stuck to free and added roasted garlic, fresh jalapenos, red onion, tomato, and special mayo plus pickled jalapenos and housemade pickles on the side. My dining partner ordered similarly, and we shared a combo side of sweet potato fries and beer-battered onion rings. I loved my juicy burger, which was big enough to make me feel, a few hours later, like python still digesting its meal. The onion rings, not so much--the coating was way too crispy and crunchy. Strange-to-these-parts Southern appetizers like boiled peanuts and fried chicken livers, not to mention chicken-pot-pie fritters, are also available, as are salads and chili. A root beer float made with organic Three Twins Ice Cream was spectacular. Craft beers--some on tap--and wine are also available. We arrived before 6 p.m., when the line to the order counter wasn’t too long, though I hear it can become quite lengthy later. There is a kiddie play area and plenty of seating indoors at tables covered with butcher paper (napkins are a roll of paper towels). Outdoor seating is available on a front patio with picnic-style tables. Mid-day diners can take advantage of a lunch special that includes burger, fries, and drink.
For dessert or coffee after, head next door to Doughnut Dolly (scroll down) or Philz.
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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers