The Harrisburger – a new craft burger operation – debuts at Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market today
There’s a lot of “craft” these days. The spirit of craft breweries and craft distilleries represents uniqueness, local excellence and time and care put into their product. Now, take that essence and transfer it to the idea of a craft burger joint.
Yeah, you read that right – craft burgers are coming to Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market. You might ask “Does Harrisburg even need a craft burger joint?” The answer is, one, yes (obviously), and two, stop asking the wrong questions. Lou Lerant, owner and lone cook of the new The Harrisburger, explains “I didn’t think Harrisburg needed one as much as I needed it. I’ve always wanted to do something like this… I’ve been cooking burgers and making recipes and stuff since I was in college 12 years ago.”
Lerant, who left his job at an insurance company to pursue burger nirvana, is happy to be at Broad Street Market for now. Retail space, especially in Harrisburg, can be very costly for a start-up business. He hopes to build a following at Broad Street Market and expand later to a shopfront or two. With burger options like these, that won’t be hard. Sure, Harrisburger will be offering a classic burger (called a Plain Jain). Live a little, though. Why would you play it safe when there’s a brie-and-garlic-laden gem like the Van Helsing waiting for you? Or maybe you’d prefer Lerant’s burger namesake, the Louburger, seasoned specially and topped with bacon? Hell, if you really wanted a bacon fix, you could always grab the Bacon Me Crazy.
The house favorite, though, appears to be a little concoction called the Cure. No relation to Robert Smith’s band (we assume), this burger is intended to kick the excesses of your Friday night. The patty of the Saturday-exclusive sandwich is seasoned like a breakfast sausage. It’s topped with fried eggs, hash browns, ham, and sriracha mayo. “I love the Cure,” Lerant explains. Laughing, he adds, “I hate making it… but [it] is ridiculously good.” As the patties for the Cure require overnight seasoning, he’ll only be offering about twenty every Saturday, so interested parties should drag themselves over as early as their aching, hungover heads can stand it.
Lerant also sources everything he can locally and collaborates with other businesses as much as possible. The Sweet Chili O’ Mine burger features onion jam made with brew from local craft brewery Zeroday Brewing Co. “Produce is a challenge, because obviously everything’s seasonal around here,” he explains. “When it’s in season… I do my best to stay local… My beef is fresh-ground daily from Hummer Meats and Cheeses.”
Staying local, Lerant adds, has another perk.
“One of my things about doing this is I really like to work with people and talk to people.” Being so conveniently located in one of Central PA’s busiest markets promises to offer plenty of opportunities to connect with his customers face-to-face.
If your stomach is growling from reading this, you may well consider stopping by Harrisburger at Broad Street Market this morning for the grand opening (we hear there will be free fries with your burger). Otherwise, the hours are from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. And when you do, the burgermeister has just one request.
“My back’s gonna be turned a lot, but… say hi! Introduce yourself! I want to meet more people around here.”