Local Burger Co. — which just celebrated its 1st anniversary on East Main Street in Bay Shore last month — isn’t just called local because it’s a few minutes from your house.
Sure, it’s not based in Illinois or Florida like the big fast food chains, but Local Burger Co. is more local than its location, we learned from two of its owners, Alyssa Martino and Mike McElwee.
They recently explained the whole local deal to an inquiring greaterbayshore.com.
Our first question was about the beef. Long Island isn’t exactly cattle country, we know. How can these burgers be local?
The burger meat is butchered right in Bay Shore on Saxon Avenue, at W.B. Stockyard, the owners explained.
The patties are then hand-packed and pressed in the restaurant.
The pickles are from Farm Ridge Foods in Commack.
Farm Ridge’s unique horseradish pickle chips are also a signature side to Local’s Atomic burger.
“We batter and fry them and people go nuts,” Martino said. “We make them with seasonally inspired beer, whether it’s winter, and it brings out the flavors of each season.”
(What’s peanut butter have to do with burgers? Check out the PB&B.)
The hot dogs are from The Brooklyn Hot Dog Company.
“The hot dogs are grass fed, nitrate-free, no antibiotics, no hormones,” said Martino. “It’s just a really nice, clean hot dog that’s full of flavor.”
The list of bold-faced names for local ingredients can go on and on.
Of course, McElwee is quick to point out, the beer is local, too.
“All our beer is from Long Island,” he said. “Our wine list is from Pumphouse and we source as much local alcohol as we can, though that’s really mostly from upstate.”
Of course, buying local and eating local comes at higher price point than most places, the owners realize.
Yet that seems to jive with how people are looking to eat nowadays.
“We’re priced accordingly,” McElwee said. “We’re certainly not considered cheap. You get what you pay for, really.
“And we know we’re doing right because we get a lot of empty trays.
The ownership team, which also includes Drew Dvorkin, is perhaps most proud of the discounts they offer Bay Shore students and hospital workers from Southside and Good Samaritan — 10% off Tuesdays — as well as deals or those looking to host charitable events on weeknights.
The giving-back, they feel, is the heart of running a local business.
“Every time Bay Shore is doing something, big or small, we like to be part of it,” Martino said. “We try to be involved in as many fundraisers as we can.”
Keeping it local also breathes some personality into their daily lives.
For Martino, she said the deliveries to 62 Main Street are unlike any other burger place she can imagine.
You won’t find that stream of tractor trailers in front of Local Burger.
What you will see is a lot of vans.
“A lot of our vendors are the owners of the companies we buy from,” she explained. “The guy at Brooklyn Hot Dog, he’s awesome. He’s packing the hot dogs and delivering them here every Wednesday.
“We get to know the vendors and we tell each other what’s going on.”
What’s more Main Street than that?