At first glance, it looks like an average fast-food burger. A quarter-pound patty, with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and sauce. But the sandwiches at Graze Burgers are quite different from those served a most quick-service restaurants. To start, they are made from grass-fed beef, which is leaner and contains more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional, grain- and corn- fed beef. The meat is also high in a beneficial fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
An American Aberdeen cow bellows loudly on an early spring day at grass-fed cattle farm JW Beef in Stonington, Connecticut. Three day-old calves frolic and nurse off their mothers, while a group of cows munches a combination of last-of-the-winter hay and fresh grass sprouting through the mud in an open ten-acre pasture with a backdrop of trees and woods that the animals can freely explore, plus a barn for shelter. The grass is just starting to emerge from the muck on this brisk April day. As soon as a bit of green appears, it just as quickly disappears. Abundant spring days are ahead, and these animals are chomping at the bit.
What makes burgers so irresistible? Faith and the gang muse over the perfect burger, from the nuances in beef, to the ratio of toppings, to the types of buns. Burger love abounds. We’ll share your regional recommendations and talk to Josh Welch, a cattle farmer who also co-owns Graze Burgers, a farm-to-bun burger restaurant in Westerly, Rhode Island. Faith asks the executive chef of 1000 North (one of Michael Jordan’s restaurants) exactly what’s in the best burger she’s ever had, and we’ll share the latest vintage of Clos des Lumieres, a boxed red wine from France that pairs as well with burgers as French fries.
Josh Welch and Dave Parr first met in a yoga class about 10 years ago. Today the two men are business partners and successful restaurateurs. Along with a third partner, Kevin Bowdler of Stonington, they own Graze Burgers on the corner of Granite and Cross Streets. Or, in true Rhode Island fashion, it's where the old Cumbies used to be.
Step inside Graze Burgers, and it looks like your hip cousin’s updated farmhouse. With a sleek, wooden design from Libby Slader Interior, you’re engulfed immediately in carb-heaven. Graze, which opened on October 19, is an old-fashioned burger joint with a twist: their grass-fed, hormone-free, “farmto-bun” burgers come from the cattle at their Stonington, Connecticut ranch or from a local partner farm. The beef is single-sourced from cows that they hand-pick, and their burgers are “lean and flavorful” because they “blend all cuts of meat, including prime cuts like the tenderloin, sirloin, ribeye.”