Expert Burger serves up craft concoctions | VailDaily.com

Expert Burger serves up craft concoctions

When you get right down to it, is there anything more tasty than a truly great hamburger?

Chris McKenzie doesn't think so and he is betting there are plenty of people out there who will agree with him once they sample the menu at his new restaurant — Expert Burger in Eagle.

Expert Burger features craft hamburgers on artisan buns, custom sides and Rocky Mountain Soda Company beverages presented with a ski resort theme.. For example, the Meribel burger features bacon, brie and tomato jam while the Angel Fire burger has pepperjack cheese, chipotle mayo and fried jalapeños. But the heart of the Expert Burger brand is the actual meat in the burgers.

McKenzie noted that all Expert burgers are made from never-ever beef — genetically verified, heritage Angus cows raised in Colorado that have never ever been inoculated with either therapeutic or sub-therapeutic antibiotics and have never ever had supplemental hormones or growth promontants. McKenzie said that naturally costs more to obtain such quality beef, but it is the centerpiece of his concept for Expert Burger.

"It speaks volumes about what I think about feeding people," said McKenzie. "We want to see people be able to choose better ingredients."

McKenzie has been kicking around the Expert Burger concept for about seven years, holding firm to his idea for never-ever beef and hand-crafted creations. The new Eagle eatery is the second valley restaurant he has opened this year. McKenzie is also the force behind Nudoru Ramen Bar in West Vail. While on the surface, the two restaurants seem like polar opposites, McKenzie said there's a common theme.

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"Ramen is the hamburger of Japan and in America, everyone has a hamburger on their menu. It's fun that we have the burger of Japan and an actual burger restaurant. That's about 99 percent of my diet, right there."

At both of his eateries, McKenzie said a restaurant's responsibility extends beyond offering a tasty product. He believes customers have the right to expect a spotlessly clean kitchen and dining area and he pledged that's what they will find at Nudoru and Expert Burger.

"I think we have a responsibility as chefs about how we handle people's food," said McKenzie. "It's a very intimate relationship."

Expert Burger has been up and running for about two months and McKenzie said the restaurant is getting great word-of-mouth recommendations.

"We get so many people who thank us for being here. That's huge to us that people are grateful that we brought this concept to the community," he said.

In that vein, McKenzie would ultimately like to bring the Expert Burger model to towns and cities across the state and the country.

"We think Eagle was a perfect spot to launch this," said McKenzie.