Worthy Burger: “Coyote Ugly” Meets Chicago “Merc”

Good. Fun.

“Thumbs Up,” was the gesture we got from a local Woodstock “foodie” with rather particular standards about The Worthy Burger after he enjoyed a meal there last night “over there to SoRo. ”

We concur. A great cheeseburger (not oversized – just right made from local beef), good local beers in small batches from all over Vermont (including next door),  nice folks and a great atmosphere.

If you are low maintenance and just wanna’ kick back, this is your new hang-out: an old railroad building along the tracks in the center of South Royalton.

On a Friday night, we loved that people were not in a hurry, willing to wait just a bit for a seat or for their food — everyone from law students to carpenters to real estate magnates being served by friendly folks so no one was getting their panties all in a wad, showing off how important they were. Remember, we’re talking modern-day “roadhouse” so you just might get tossed in the parking lot for that kind of attitude.

The atmosphere made us think of the movie “Coyote Ugly “meets the Chicago “Merc” commodities exchange. Think of the managed mayhem of guys calling out for beer,  friendly cowgirls serving ’em up (friendly cowboys, too), railroads, cattle and a bit of the roughness of the Old Pioneer West.  People having a good time! There was a definite roar of  stockyard “commerce” about the place:  There’s Iris up there on the bar clearing the chalk board of offerings after kegs go dry (to cheers!). There’s even a smiling law student taking orders who is a dead ringer for Piper Perabo (of “Coyote Ugly” fame).

We appreciated that all three owner/managers– Jason Merrill, Dave Broderick and Kurt Lessard were actually on scene (privately and not-so-privately biting their very clean nails over the ever-expanding hungry crowd) taking time to chat with everyone, asking if they liked their burgers.

We have to admit we were “busted” when we were taking some onions off our burger by a voice that happened to be Chef Merrill’s, “What,  you don’t like onions?”  Turns out we should have trusted the chef: The red onions that come on all burgers are light shavings  that only add flavor rather than that nauseating “Oh, God, I’m gonna’ smell like onions for a week” CRUNCH.  We also had kinda’ wondered after seeing a photo online whether the hamburger rolls would be “too much”?  But not too much. Just right.

This is the kind of place where you simply have to realize you’re pretty much at a picnic and the grillmaster totally knows what he’s doing.  When he offers up a burger, you take it. TRUST the GRILLMASTER!

Hand over your $5 to $6 for your burger and simply say, “Thanks!”

(Note, there’s also a Veggie Burger that is quite delish in its own right, made from beets and beans and other stuff. Merrill will also  be trying new simple foods — like grilled pineapple —  featured on a chalkboard as from the Worthy “Burger Lab”).

Back to beverages: Broderick told us one of the more popular beers he’s gotten ahold of — but only in small batches — is from up in the Northeast Kingdom. It’s “Hill Farmstead” beer. The Worthy Burger is the only place in the Upper Valley that has it on tap. The Worthy Burger Bar is open for dinner seven nights.  Lunch served on Saturday and Sunday.

One response to this post.

  1. So glad I am following you. Don’t get down to many places south of Burlington but we love to travel and have been meaning to. Your blogs will help us to map our trip so as to hit up these interesting places.


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