BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO
Next Thursday, May 28, is National Hamburger Day and what better way to celebrate than with a free helping of the wildly popular Duncan’s Burgers. The handcrafted creations have gained a cult following in recent months and have quickly become a late-night fast-food staple in Ridgewood and Bushwick.
Owner and chef Galen Duncan will be hosting a grand opening at 1 p.m. on May 28 for the first Duncan’s Burgers food cart, located at the corner of Bedford Avenue and North 12th Street at the McCarren Park entrance in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The first 250 patrons will get a free burger, and all patrons will enjoy $1 off all cart menu items, as well as specials released exclusively on Duncan’s Burgers’ social media pages during the four-day celebration.
The Duncan’s Burger craze first began months ago during afterhours at The Rookery Bar (425 Troutman St. in Bushwick). When most people are wrapping up their evenings and preparing for bed, Galen Duncan would get to work, firing up the grill in anticipation of hungry late-night crowds seeking his renowned burgers and hand-cut fries.
His two-week dry aged, grass-fed, all-beef burgers became a beloved neighborhood secret, popular among local night owls and bar patrons. Eventually word spread, and Duncan’s cheeseburger deluxe ($6.50) earned a regular spot on The Rookery’s pub grub menu.
“There wasn’t a lot of late-night fare around here, and not a lot of variety for good late-night food,” he said.
Duncan sharpened his knives and skills as a butcher’s intern at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, located inside the Chelsea Market in Manhattan. All of the meat at Dickson’s is prepared and expertly carved in-house. Their small, family-owned and operated upstate farms are known for their healthy and humane practices.
This emphasis on locally sourced, healthy artisanal ingredients inspired Duncan’s approach to cooking. According to Duncan, his burgers are a mix of “highbrow” ingredients served up in a non-fussy, “old school, fast-food” way.
“The burgers came from a place of really respecting and caring about high-quality meat,” he said. “I figured, why not make the sort of classic style burgers, but use awesome ingredients.”
Duncan continues to use Dickson’s grass-fed, hormone-free, organic dry-aged beef raised locally on a farm in upstate New York.
Prices begin at a wallet-friendly $3.50 for a classic single hamburger served on a potato bun with special savory sauce. For a couple of dollars more, you can get lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles with a side of Duncan’s waffle-style fries. Hungry patrons can choose between the classic, spicy and bacon burgers.
The burgers are available as single, double or triple patty combinations, with prices ranging from $5.50 for a single deluxe on up to $13.50 for a spicy or bacon triple. The Brooklyn Stack ($13.50) is a veritable fast-food feast, packing a mountain of flavor in its generous, three-patty serving.
Duncan’s Burgers will also be available on weekends at Schwick Market, an artisan flea and food bazaar located at Six Charles Place off Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
425 Troutman St.