During Spring Break week the boys and I took a little side trip to a burger joint called Elevation Burger. We had heard good things about this restaurant and decided to make the drive to a nearby city to check it out.
Once we regained our composure we ventured into Elevation Burger for lunch. It turns out we were somewhat color coordinated.
Elevation Burger supposedly gets its name from the aspiration to “elevate” the burger to a higher level. When it comes to ingredient quality that certainly is the case. After hearing that Elevation Burger serves organic beef from grass-fed cows I knew we had to visit. The importance of organic, free-range, grass-fed beef is one of the first things I learned when I adopted the paleo diet.
Elevation Burger Serves Better Beef
Elevation Burger ensures the food they serve is “organic” and “free range”. (I’m assuming they are referring to animal products because I’ve never heard of free-range lettuce. But I digress….) I took some shots of the signs around the restaurant. They are obviously proud of their higher quality ingredients.
Beef is not inherently unhealthy. Cows are ruminants with five stomachs designed to graze on pasture and eat and digest grass. Conventionally produced beef cows, however, are fed corn because it is a cheap way to fatten them up quickly. Cows are not “designed” to digest grain so that, coupled with cramped conditions, means they often get sick. As a result the cows are given antibiotics to prevent and cure infections. All this leads to less than healthy cows and beef that is lacking in nutrients.
What Are The Benefits Of Organic?
- No Antibiotics
- No Growth Promoting Hormones
Why Free Range?
- Cows Are Treated Humanely – not confined to feed lots
- Grass pasture efficiently removes CO2 from the air
- No pesticides
What Are The Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef?
Here’s a nice summary directly from Elevation Burger’s sign:
- Balanced Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids which play a role in prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease, hypertension, arthritis, cancer and other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
- Great Source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) – a fat that reduces the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders.
- Full of Beta Carotene
- Contains 400% More Vitamins “A” and “E”
- No Risk of Mad Cow Disease
- Less Calories Than Normal Grain-Fed Beef
- Less Saturated Fat Than Conventional Beef
Grass-fed beef also has a somewhat different taste I have come to love. It could be described as slightly more “gamey”. But I hate that word because it has a negative connotation for many people. In the case of grass-fed beef I would describe it as having a more distinct and pronounced flavor with less of the corn-fed blandness that pervades conventional beef. The better taste, along with the nutritional benefits, put grass-fed beef at the top of my list of favorite foods. (Well, maybe second place…after bacon.)
In addition to serving organic, freshly ground, grass-fed beef, Elevation Burger serves unprocessed cheese. (Great if you can handle dairy.) And they cook their french fries in olive oil.
The sign touts Elevation Burger‘s use of olive oil instead of trans or saturated fats. While trans fats are universally deemed unhealthful, saturated fat is a different matter. I eat a lot of saturated fat in the form of coconut oil, for example. In fact, I would not mind one bit if they used lard. I question how well the olive oil holds up under the high frying temperatures. But regardless, I am grateful they do not use soybean or corn oil (Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) high in Omega-6) like most other restaurants*. And I REALLY appreciate that only french fries are cooked in the fryer. This is especially important for people who are gluten sensitive because it is easy for cross-contamination to occur if the potatoes are cooked in the same fryer as gluten-containing foods. I generally avoid eating white potatoes and stay away from french fries that cannot be deemed gluten-free. So when I found out that Elevation Burger actually recognizes and addresses this problem I decided to make an exception and order some of their fries.
These crispy, perfectly salted fries were hard to resist!
Having celiac disease means there is no way I am going to order a regular burger with a bun. But that’s not a problem at Elevation Burger. They offer lettuce wraps. It was really nice to be in a restaurant where they did not look at me like I had two heads when I asked for a lettuce wrap. Rather than just plopping a hamburger patty on a plate with some shredded lettuce I got a nicely executed wrap with a side of friendly, understanding attitude.
Here’s the inside of the tasty little package. Notice I ordered a double burger. In fact, if you order the “Vertigo Burger” you can have anywhere from 3 to 10 patties! These people definitely understand the hunger for beef. They also offer plenty of standard toppings to go on the burger. Unfortunately, they do not currently offer avocado as a topping and I am not sure they have a bacon burger. Those would be great additions and might motivate me to make the drive more frequently.
Since our meal there I have learned a few things about Elevation Burger that make me appreciate them even more. Many of the materials used to construct their stores are sustainable, such as bamboo flooring, recycled tiles and tables made from a sorghum by-product. They also use energy efficient griddles and recycle oil for biodiesel.
The dedication to high quality ingredients and sustainability are great. But it’s the terrific taste of the food we experienced at Elevation Burger that will definitely have us heading back for more.
I highly recommend you try Elevation Burger if you happen to be near one. Here’s a link to their locations. If not, maybe you can franchise and help increase the availability of these great burgers and market demand for more responsibly produced and healthful beef!
Have you ever been to Elevation Burger? How does it compare to places like In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Smashburger, Shake Shack and the like?
Find some of our other reviews and experiences here.
*If you are interested in learning more about different types of fats and oils you may want to check out this post from Mark’s Daily Apple.Pin It
Sounds great– wish there was one near me!
I wish one was closer to me too! (The one we visited is about 45 minutes away.) There are only so many times I feel like going to Chipotle for “fast” food out.
I wish there was one near me, too. San Diego and Carlsbad are one heck of a drive.
I will just have to make my own!
I’ll bet you know how to find some good grass-fed beef so you can make your own, Lisa!
Love you blog by the way. I live near the Elevation Burger in Moorestown NJ and went there for the first time a month ago. It was so amazing and like you, I decided to go slightly off the Paleo path and have the fries even though they were white potatoes. Everything was excellent and my burger was even free with a coupon I found on Facebook. :). Highly recommend it…now I want to go get a burger lol.
I know what you mean. A burger sounds really good right now. The one in Montclair is closest to me but still a hike. I forgot to mention in the post that they give out a card which gets a punch for every burger you buy. I think the seventh burger is free. That might be an extra incentive to make the drive. Thanks for the compliment. 🙂
Good post per usual, Lea! And somewhere in the back of the recesses of my head I recall someone somewhere talking about there being an EB here near me (San Diego). It’s now a must-go!
Thanks so much, Sharon. I see on their website there’s one in Carlsbad and it says one was planned for San Diego as of last summer. It isn’t updated but I’ll assume it did materialize. Good news for you!
I used to go to the NYC location before it closed. I really enjoyed the burgers, and found them comparable to Five Guys and Shake Shack.
I didn’t know they ever had a location in NYC. We tried Shake Shack last summer in Madison Square Park and loved it. They did take care to segregate things when I told them about the gluten issue. But other than that I don’t think their beef is from grass-fed cows – at least not yet. But I’m hopeful that EB will set the example for some of these other places.
Those burgers look delicious!!! Making me salivate 🙂 Burgers are by far one of my favourite foods and I think I’m going to do the lettuce wrap up next time I make them. Such a good idea
I hadn’t heard of Elevation Burger before but, after reading your review, went to the one in Montclair. So good! Now it’s my go-to for gluten free food. My daughter, who has recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, has been going there regularly with her friends. It makes it so much easier for her when there are easy options.
An Elevation Burger opened up near my office in Rye Brook, NY awhile ago. I’ve never actually been to it, but now learning they have gluten free fries and lettuce wrapped burgers, I’ll definitely be stopping there soon. Wonderful news that I have a new lunch place to try out!