Guilt-free feasting: Elevation Burger raises brand responsibility bar

The Yard @ College Avenue has plenty to offer to munchie-stricken Rutgers students. From farm-to-table stir fry spot Honeygrow, coastal-inspired Tex-Mex at Surf Taco to a New York City slice from Krispy Pizza, it’s hard to find something not to like on College Avenue. But sometimes, you just need a good old classic burger. 

Organic burger chain Elevation Burger finally opened its doors at The Yard last week, celebrating its grand opening on Friday, March 29. The franchise was poised to be open for business in December 2018 but was delayed for undisclosed reasons. Now here to stay, the burger joint is serving up organic meat, veggie burgers, fries and shakes in a prime location for students. 

A major pro about Elevation Burger is that it takes some of the guilt out of indulging in fast food. Elevation Burger’s philosophy revolves around “offering authentic and sustainably prepared food that’s better for you and the environment," according to the chain's website.

In an interview with The Daily Targum in November, Joe Hafez, the location’s director of operations, expanded on the chain’s dedication to clean ingredients. “Our burgers are 100 percent organic beef, fresh ground in house. Our beef is also sourced from grass-fed cattle, which has less calories and saturated fat than conventional beef. All our meat is organic, free-range, humanely processed and Halal,” Hafez said. 

Not only is Elevation Burger’s food health conscious, but the chain also prioritizes eco-friendly operations. “We are a brand socially and environmentally conscious building our restaurants using rapidly renewable materials, water reducing fixtures and energy star rated equipment that minimizes the impact on the environment. We also use recycled paper products in our operations,” Hafez said to the Targum. 

As Rutgers is a university that is devoted to making environmental and sustainable strides, it’s important for restaurants that are devoted to green operations like Elevation Burger to have a presence on campus. 

During prime lunch hour on College Avenue, we decided to put the quality and ambiance of the restaurant to the test, ordering a classic Elevation Burger: two organic beef patties and cheddar cheese on a bed of lettuce, tomato and special sauce. A decorative sticker on the wall dubbed their olive oil fries “world famous,” and since a burger is simply incomplete without a side of fries, we had to try those too. 

Long story short, the meal was delicious. The quality of the meat stands out compared to what you’d get at a typical fast food joint, and it was perfectly filling and flavorful. The fries were a bit dried out, but let’s just hope the place was having an off day. 

Scarlet Knights receive a student discount, which always justifies splurging out for lunch when you’ve still got plenty of meal swipes to use up. Our one regret? Not ordering a shake for dessert, which can be customized to any sweet tooth’s particular taste. 

If you’re not into beef burgers, the chain also offers veggie and vegan patties, a variety of chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, hot dogs and much more. Think of Elevation Burger as the closest thing Rutgers will ever get to a Shake Shack. 

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