Take an all American classic, and a classically trained chef. Add in some premium beef, gourmet toppings, and a little bit of fun, and you’ve got the recipe for some seriously amazing burgers.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “Hi I’m Chef Nick Speros, welcome to Lowell Burger Company in Lowell Massachusetts.”
Just when you think burgers can’t get any better, along comes Nick Speros. After spending most of his career in fine dining, Chef Nick decided to turn his attention to burgers. So about a year ago, he opened the Lowell Burger Company, where he’s definitely raising the burger bar.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “In coming here, you’re gonna get probably the most spectacular burger ever. Having these burgers is really a special occasion for a lot of people. They seem like they come here and they’re just blown away at how good it is.”
That’s because these six ounce beauties are made with beef from local farms, cooked on a flattop griddle, served on sweet and squishy potato rolls, and topped with homemade ingredients and condiments.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “We make our own ketchup, we make our own mayonnaise, we make all the sauces here. The only thing we don’t do is raise the cattle, but I would if I had the space.”
While there’s no room for cattle, there is space for about eighty guests in a dining room decked out with white subway tiles, a cool mural, a cozy bar, and antique tables. It’s all a far cry from your typical burger spot.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “Typically people come in and they think oh it’s a burger joint. It’s not a burger joint, it’s a restaurant and we specialize in burgers. We wanted to make sure that people understand that it is indeed a restaurant and that you’re coming here for that restaurant experience, and you’re getting a full dining experience.”
Deciding what to order here can be a challenge. First timers might want to opt for the LBC Burger, topped with cheddar, tomato, lettuce, and house made steak sauce. But for something a little more funky, order the Jam-on-it, with blue cheese, tomato, arugula, stout syrup and apple-bacon jam.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “We were thinking ‘what do we call this one?’ And then I looked at my daughter and said ‘Hey Zoe, what do you think?’ And she said, ‘Well it has jam on it.’ And then of course we started going ‘Jam on It, Jam on It.’ So that was it, pretty much done. And it’s such a good burger, because the combination of that apple bacon jam, and that really rich blue cheese on top, and the arugula that’s spicy, cuts right through it. We put a little bit of Stout syrup, and it’s just great.”
Another burger that promises to make your taste buds sing is the Ooo Baby Baby, stacked with smoked gouda, smoked bacon, smoked paprika, and smoky peppers. And when it came to the name, Nick had Motown on the brain.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “I figured smoky gouda, smoky paprika, smoky bacon, Smokey Robinson. Just like ‘Ooo Baby Baby’. You know like that.”
Some of the creations at Lowell Burger Company are adaptations of Nick’s favorite sandwiches, like the El Esteban, that turns a classic Cubano into a burger. While other inspirations come straight from childhood, like the Orange is the New Black, topped with — believe it or not — Cheetos.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “So we’re putting those really fake orange Cheetos, so every time you touch it you have that orangey stuff on your fingers, which I love. You know you’ve made this Orange is the New Black burger if your fingers look like this. The Cheetos go right on top of the cheese. You bite into it and you’re getting that crunch, and honestly, I love anything with o’s, Fritos, Cheerios, Doritos, all those things are my favorite foods.”
And even though Chef Nick might put junk food on a burger, he cooks that burger with fine dining technique, always allowing the meat rest before serving it to the customer. And those extra couple minutes of patience result in an extra juicy burger.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “It never goes from griddle to bun to guest. It always has that moment to rest because, as you probably know, when you’re resting meats, it allows the juices to retreat, and by the time the guest gets it, they’re eating a fully medium rare burger, or a fully medium burger, and it’s just juicy and gorgeous.”
You want fries with that? Of course you do! Because they’re made fresh all day long, and can be served in all kinds of styles. There are Truffle Fries with parmesan and lemon aioli. German Fries with bacon, scallions and spicy mustard. And Greek Fries with feta, lemon zest, oregano and garlic sauce. But if you want to take your fries to the next level, all you have to do is…
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “Poutine it baby! Yeah, we started doing poutine because we get these great cheese curds, we chop them up, and throw them right on there, and then make the gravy and then we just douse your fries with it.”
Rounding out the menu are sticky sweet Maple Spiced Chicken Wings, a cute jar of house made pickles, and crispy Falafel Bites atop hummus and pita. For dessert, try the creamy, dreamy, Chocolate Custard, or a hand spun milkshake, like the Cashew Chocolate Pudding Cake Shake.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “You’re tasting cashews, you’re tasting chocolate, you’re tasting the milk, you’re getting all these flavors, I love that.”
And if eating a milkshake, some fries, and a great burger make you feel a bit nostalgic, let Nick know, because that’s exactly what he’s trying to do.
Nick Speros – Chef/Owner, Lowell Burger Company: “That is probably the biggest thing ever when someone connects to what you’re making, I think that that’s the best part about burgers and the simple food is that anyone can dig on a burger. Anyone can say ‘man this is so cool.’ And it’s just this great connection and it brings everyone back to simplicity which is what I really love.”
Lowell Burger Company
143 Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852