BGB Takes Brownies Burgers to New Heights
LOCAL DINING By BLAKE AUSTYN
GOURMET MENU: On July 29, BGB (Brownies Gourmet Burgers) opened in Utica Square with specialty burger offerings and beer, wine, and cocktail offerings. Pictured at left, is the Ambrosia burger with olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, all placed inside naan bread, instead of the expected burger bun, and a side of salt and vinegar fries.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
When Dusty Oakley, owner of Brownies Hamburgers, was approached about taking the nearly 60-year-old icon and adding upscale specialty burgers to its name, he didn’t need much time to decide.
Oakley bought the company in January 2012 and had already set upon making some brand updates.
He added lettuce and tomatoes to the original mustard, pickle and onion burger and recently opened a second Brownies in South Tulsa, at 6577 E. 71st St., in January. The original location, 2130 S. Harvard Ave., opened in 1956.
(Brownies Gourmet Burgers) opened in Utica Square on July 29, in the previous location of Sushi Alley, with the concept of setting that location apart from the two Brownies restaurants.
The only similarities between the Brownies and the menus can be found in the homemade root beer and the occasional homemade pies offered at , as well as the original Brownies character holding a burger; however, at , he is dressed up, wearing a bowtie.
As for the array of menu differences, burgers are thicker and chargrilled compared to Brownies burgers, which are thinner and cooked on a flat top grill.
In addition to hamburgers, customers have embraced BGB’s salad offerings, Oakley notes, such as the salad with chicken, dried fruit, candied pecans, red onions and citrus vinaigrette dressing, and the Pagoda salad with chicken, mandarin oranges, red bell peppers, carrots and cilantro.
The menu, “100 percent different from the Brownies menu,” Oakley affirms, was created by Chef Fred Auletta, who had formerly managed the 71st Street Brownies location, with the intention of “hitting all types of tastes.
“He (Auletta) did a good job in designing the menu and putting ingredients together, things you would never think would go well together, but when you try it, it’s very good,” Oakley says.
One of Oakley’s favorites, the Ambrosia, comes with olives, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, all placed in naan bread instead of the expected burger bun.
I decided to try Oakley’s favorite burger when I visited on a weeknight. My tablemates ordered the Plain Jane burger, more of the standard burger with mustard, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.
Both burgers were thick and juicy with a unique “just off the grill” flavor. Burgers do not come with fries so I ordered the sweet potato fries, thin and crispy with a slightly detectable sweet aftertaste. My friends ordered the salt and vinegar fries, which came covered in lime salt, garlic-infused vinegar, parsley and feta cheese.
The menu also offers a chicken sandwich, called the Yardbird, and a vegetarian option, the Eden, with eggplant, squash, spring greens, tomato jam and fontina cheese.
Though, for meat lovers, offers 14 burger options, each with a unique combination of ingredients and flavors. “There’s not one on the menu I’m not gonna eat,” Oakley says.
Also, diverging from its Brownies counterparts, offers specialty cocktails, wine and beer, with many of its drink ingredients made from scratch, such as its sweet and sour and bloody Mary mixes.
We finished off our meals by sharing strawberry shortcake for dessert. The sweet strawberries with a hint of tartness complemented the cake’s sweetness and provided a satisfying end to the meal.