Feed Me: Give me Liberty Burger
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – To my fellow diners at Liberty Burger at about 11:40 a.m. on a recent Monday, I apologize for my behavior at the bar overlooking the boardwalk. If you were not there, think Meg Ryan’s diner scene in When Harry Met Sally, which paled in comparison.
My first bite into one of Liberty Burger’s Big O Rings, the batter so substantial that columns of it stretched down the ring’s sides like stalactites, was transformative, resetting the bar for oral experiences. Each is approximately the size of Mars. I meant to only eat one but I would sooner turn down a date with Robert Downey Jr. than have another.
And I don’t even particularly enjoy onions.
Even if Liberty Burger were not just off Town Square, it would have a line out the door. Have you ever heard of a Nutella milkshake? Or a burger using mostly locally sourced ingredients and never-frozen beef (chuck, brisket and tenderloin) for $6.50? A veggie burger that actually tastes like vegetables rather than cardboard? (The veggie patties are made in-house from vegetables, chickpeas, grains, and sesame, flax, sunflower, and chia seeds.) Alcoholic milkshakes? Or a restaurant that offers its own blend of chipotle ketchup at every table? Liberty delivers all of this and more.
I was sad when Dolce, the former occupant of Liberty’s space next to Merry Piglets, closed this past winter. I still mourn the loss of Dolce’s perfect espressos and gourmet grilled cheese sammies. Or at least I did until my first sip of Liberty’s Nutella Graham Cracker milkshake ($6.50). “Dolce what?”
After the milkshake, which, sadly arrived in a plastic (albeit compostable) cup, came a plate piled high with Big O Rings. I could have stopped there. But of course, purely in the interest of good journalism, I didn’t.
Next was the Ahi Specialty Burger ($13.50). The sesame slaw overpowered the wasabi aioli to the point I didn’t even taste it, but the ground, seared ahi was grilled to perfection.
Then there was The Libertine ($8.50), Liberty’s turkey burger. My first bite into The Libertine evoked a reaction similar to that inspired by the Big O Rings. At first I thought it was the blend of seasonings used in the turkey. I had a bite of the turkey patty by itself. It was good, but it wasn’t fairies waltzing across my taste buds. The Liberty Mustard? Again, good but not even approaching metamorphic. I was left with wild arugula, avocado, tomato, onion, and marinated cucumbers.
I evidently don’t eat enough cucumbers. But then, I’ve never had cucumbers as crisp and tangy as Liberty’s. Can you add a marinated cucumber salad to your list of sides, Liberty Burger? Please.
Liberty only opened in Jackson in late April, and yet they’re nailing it, even serving the perfect marinated cucumber. How?
Jackson is not the first Liberty Burger. There are three Liberty Burgers in Dallas. Valley restaurant impresario Joe Rice is a longtime friend of the family that founded those, even helping them open. Why did you take so long to bring one to Jackson, Joe?
FYI: The Big O Rings are even the best things ever when eaten cold. Not that I’m eating one cold at this very moment.
Liberty Burger, reservations are not accepted. Fair warning: wait times during the lunch rush can be up to 25 minutes and dinner waits can be up to one hour. Put your name in and then take a stroll around the Town Square.
Liberty Burger, 160 N. Cache. 307-200-6071, givemelibertyburger.com.