The popularity of burgers across the nation continues to grow, particularly in Atlantic City, where a number of burger bars and restaurants have opened recently.
The latest is right on the boardwalk as Empire Burger recently opened inside The Pier Shops at Caesars in the former Phillips Seafood Express location. The takeout burger joint is owned by Phillips Seafood, which is still offering its fresh seafood on the third floor of The Pier.
“One of the biggest issues we had at the Express window is that people really want boardwalk grab-and-go items and the price point of Phillips Express was a lot higher,” says Executive Chef Paul Drew. “We mostly had platters that were $13 to $15, and they weren’t really that boardwalk friendly items. So we decided to bring the price point down and open a burger place because it’s the only one like it on the boardwalk here. Now, people can grab a nice burger with some awesome toppings and walk down the boardwalk and eat it.”
Empire promises to offer “the juiciest gourmet burgers to Atlantic City’s boardwalk” with premium USDA choice beef, 18 tasty toppings and the ability to build your own burger just how you want it.
The regular burgers use
3-ounce USDA Choice beef patties and can be had as a single patty ($4.50, $4.95 with cheese), or a double burger for $2 more. However, the signature burger is the Gourmet Prime ($11.95), a
7-ounce, juice Prime beef patty on a toasted brioche roll with applewood-smoked bacon, crispy onions and cheddar cheese.
While Empire Burger has the usual fixins such as peppers, bacon and sauces, its premium toppings include guacamole, crab cakes, buffalo shrimp and more.
Drew designed the menu to be interactive.
“People just love to build their own burgers,” he says. “So we have a great deal of toppings so that people can order them just like they want them. We have actually let people pick their own toppings. It’s not like another place where it’s predetermined that is has this or that on it. We want them to pick their own and enjoy it the way they want it.”
The menu also includes grilled chicken sandwiches ($5.95), all-beef hot dogs ($3.95), seafood favorites such as fried shrimp platter ($9.95), crab cake sandwich ($8.95), crab cake platter ($15.95) and New England clam chowder ($4.50) as well as chicken wings ($9.95) and a grilled cheese sandwich ($4.95).
“It’s taking off very well,” Drew says. “There are often lines in front of the store. I think the bright lights on the Hollywood-style sign creates some excitement. We think we are on to something. We are going to see how people react and we will adapt the menu if we need to. We have some very loyal customers and we want to be loyal to them.”
There are also smoothies, a Boardwalk Bites section of the menu with gourmet mac and cheese, hush puppies, fries, cole slaw and potato chips, and more. For more information, call
609-348-2868 or go to EmpireBurgerAC.com.