Zephrus now a burger joint

Z Burgers has tons of toppings to choose from, such as green chilies, bacon, cheese, and veggies seen here. — Photo by Susan Safford

After a few weeks in Latin America and a diet largely comprising rice and beans, nothing says “welcome home” like a burger and fries. I heard mumblings that something new was brewing on Main Street, Vineyard Haven and indeed, Z Burgers at the Mansion House is the Island’s new burger joint.

During their annual closed-for-cleaning time, Zephrus at the Mansion House got a new look and a new menu. While the laid-back Island décor remains, the dining room is roomier and brighter since the revamp with beer and wine selections on display at the bar.

Josh Goldstein, son of owners Sherman and Susan, created the Z Burger menu upon his return to the family business after several years in the restaurant scene in Florida. Nili Goldstein, the owners’ daughter and the restaurant’s manager, describes the new menu as “not pretentious. It’s food that people are comfortable with when they want to come in, have a meal, and it not be a big event.”

Whatever the event, Z Burgers offers something for everyone. To start there is the hummus and focaccia, or lobster risotto cakes with smoked tomato dressing. For your greens, choose from the mixed green, Romaine wedge, BLT, and Caesar salads. Chili and Clam “Chowda” are always on the menu.

If you’re not in the mood for beef, Z Burgers offers sandwiches such as their acclaimed Lobster Trap: New England lobster salad on a toasted Brioche roll, or the inventive Pig & the Fig: maple smoked ham, bacon, arugula, fig puree, and melted Cheddar.

Under the heading M.H.B (Mansion House Burgers), you will find the main event, seven specialty burgers plus a do-it-yourself option.

The Go Green is Angus beef with roasted green chilies, beer-battered onion rings, and smoked bacon on a pretzel bun. From The Ground Up is not your average veggie burger. Rather than an unrecognizable patty of sorts, the bulk of this veggie sandwich is a marinated and grilled Portabella mushroom, topped with sweet onion and mango salsa, on Brioche. For the gourmand, the crème de la crème of burgers is the Mansion House Burger, 10 oz. of Angus beef with Foie Gras and shiitake mushroom, apple Duxelles (a finely chopped mixture) served open-faced.

For the do-it-yourself type, the steps are clearly laid out for you.

1. Choose your burger: beef, black bean, chicken breast, or mushroom.

2. Choose a bun: Kaiser, Pretzel, Brioche, or forgo the bun and have your burger served atop fresh greens.

3. Choose your cheese: American, Cheddar, Blue, Goat, Swiss, smoked Mozzarella, or Pepper Jack.

4. Choose from a variety of toppings such as avocado, wild mushrooms, a fried egg, or Truffle aioli (I highly recommend this last one for dipping just about anything in). Mansion House Burger prices range from $15 to $22. Do-it-Yourself burgers range from $10 plus all additional toppings.

All burgers are served a la carte, but don’t miss the baskets of fried pickles, onion rings, or the many varieties of fries (hand-cut, sweet potato, zucchini, truffle, cheese, and chili cheese) available on the side.

The Z Burgers menu maintains a few dinner entrees as well. The pan-roasted chicken breast is served over mashed potatoes with a shallot herb reduction. Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli are tossed with Marinara sauce and served with vegetables.

Z Burgers is currently open daily for dinner beginning at 5 pm. Lunch service will begin mid-April.