Urban Burger Adds a Haitian Twist to Their Menu

I found myself scrolling through Uber Eats a couple weekends ago. I was hungry but it was one of those lazy days where I had no interest in leaving my house and didn't feel like cooking. A few minutes of scrolling and I landed on Urban Burger, a spot a couple towns over that I’d visited once before. I spent almost an hour trying to decide what to get.  I was so torn. Burger and fries? Or milkshake and a burger? Chicken wings and mac and cheese? After my bout of indecision, I finally decided to drive there and make a decision on the spot.

I went with the Ladder 31 burger, it’s Urban blend beef, melted provolone cheese, Pikliz slaw, and Jalapeño mayo. I rediscovered bacon this summer so I added bacon for an extra $2. Who let me think turkey bacon was as good as it gets for so long?

 The burger was amazing. What stood out to me most was the use pikliz, a Haitian condiment of pickled peppers and vegetables. I wondered how this slaw I was used to eating on Haitian food like banan peze and griot found its way to a cheeseburger. Although the establishment is named Urban burger, it sits in the center of a suburban town so I was super curious about how this combo came about.

Ladder 31 Burger with bacon + side of fries

Ladder 31 Burger with bacon + side of fries

It didn’t take long for me to learn that Ricot Jean- Baptiste, the co-owner of Urban Burger is the Haitian mastermind behind the burger. Ricot tells me a little bit about the Ladder 31 which made me appreciate his culinary creation even more. Ricot tells me:

My brother-in-law who was a firefighter in the Bronx passed away in 2015. His crew was Ladder 31. We didn’t have a spicy burger at the time on the menu so I thought it would be a very cool idea to incorporate our culture and his Ladder in remembrance of him. It just made sense that our spicy fiery burger and the name was a perfect match.

My chef is a high school friend of mine and we enjoy infusing different recipes from different cultures to create something great. We want to expand and introduce the palates of our customers to new flavors. What better way to do that than to an American classic as a burger.

My chef is Peruvian and I’m Haitian so we have fun with our burgers. This particular Ladder 31 infuses both cultures. I was determined to have our “pikliz” slaw taste exactly like my mom’s recipe. Initially my staff were afraid it would be too hot and spicy for the area but I did not want to compromise the recipe I grew up on. We then incorporated some of the Peruvian flavor with the “Jalapeño Mayo” spread that we add to the burger. It was an instant hit.
Oreo Milkshake (because why not get burgers, fries AND the shake)

Oreo Milkshake (because why not get burgers, fries AND the shake)

I was already a fan of Urban Burger; the burgers, fries and shakes are all amazing. Somehow, knowing the background won me over even more. I live for aesthetics and good cooking but there's so much more to know. The people behind the plates are what make this "foodie" lifestyle so interesting. There's always a story to tell and food is often the perfect outlet to put what you're feeling out into the world.

Anti Well-Done Club

Anti Well-Done Club

Urban Burger is open seven days a week and offers a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. You can see how they keep winning me over. They also host beer tasting events at the restaurant, some of which they’ve tested another Haitian staple called marinade as an appetizer. Ricot adds:

We have incorporated marinade as an appetizer as well during our beer tasting events in the past. lol! We have fun with our recipes but while we have fun it MUST be DELICIOUS! We cook with passion and love at Urban! That is one area where you can tell on whether or not we love and care what we do. The one place friends, family and the neighborhood always got along and had a great time was at my mom’s dinner table. lol! She always made people smile with their belly!! We do the same here at Urban Burger.

If you find yourself in the Cranford, NJ area, stop in for a burger and say hi to Ricot!

 

 

Rating 5/5