Bite into Martha’s Vineyard’s best off-season burgers

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The portobello burger from the Barn has a variety of roasted vegetables on top. — The Barn Bowl and Bistro

The burger, a ubiquitous part of the Western culinary world, is one of those foods known for hitting you with a sudden craving. You find yourself daydreaming about that juicy meat snuggled between a soft bun, layered with your favorite cheese, maybe draped in a couple of slices of tomatoes and some crisp lettuce. Whatever your dream burger is, there’s something for everyone on-Island, even during the winter season when some of the traditional burger joints might not be open.

The Ocean View in Oak Bluffs serves up its famous Pretzel Burger ($12.99) which is layered with sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Boursin cheese, all atop an Angus beef patty with the usual lettuce and tomato served on a toasted pretzel bun. The slow-cooked, almost caramelized mushrooms add great texture and flavor, and the sweet, soft onions balance the herby Boursin cheese perfectly.

Sharky’s Cantina offers a Pulled Pork BBQ Burger ($13.99) for the meat lovers, because not only are you getting a grass-fed beef patty, but it’s topped with the sauciest BBQ pulled pork ever. Creamy coleslaw balances it all, and melted cheese holds it all together.

The Edgartown Diner might just be the most iconic place to eat a burger, because of its nostalgic feel. They’re serving up a Pizza Burger ($12.99) for your burger-loving heart: melted mozzarella layered with savory marinara sauce over a juicy beef patty. For those days when you can’t bear to choose between a burger and a pizza, this option is the best of both worlds.

Slice of Life in Oak Bluffs has a beef burger on the menu, but for the seafood lovers, their Salmon Burger ($17) is the way to go. Gorgeously pan-seared salmon is slathered with a housemade basil mayonnaise and served on a toasted rustic roll, so that first bite is bright with fresh basil flavor. Pro tip: ask for a slice of lemon for an added hit of acid that works so well with this salmon burger.

The Barn, Bowl, & Bistro’s Porto Burger ($14) might just be the best vegetarian burger I’ve ever tasted. Grilled portobello mushrooms, zucchini, onions, roasted red peppers, arugula, avocado, and swiss all nestled between a toasted bun, this vegetable-based burger eats like a regular meat burger — juicy because the vegetables are cooked to perfection, messy because of the avocado and cheese. If you’re not into meat, this is the burger for you.

Winter Burger Deals:

Wednesdays at Henry’s at the Harbor View Hotel you can get the two-for-one special. Black Angus burger, aged cheddar, brioche bun for ($18), plus you can add truffle fries for just $3 each!

Thursdays, it’s the ever-so-popular burger night at State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury, where locals line up for a variety of burgers like their classic State Road Burger ($16), Lamb Burger ($18), Turkey Burger ($16), and even a tasty Veggie Burger ($14). If someone in your group isn’t craving a burger, they can order other menu items like a Duck Sloppy Joe ($16) or even comforting Chicken Pot Pie ($18).

Fridays are the night to stop by Waterside Market in Vineyard Haven, where they serve up a variety of specialty burgers for $13-16 dollars each. Made with local, organic Grey Barn beef and served with hand-cut fries, it’s quite a deal.

When the weekend hits, Sunday is the day to have lunch or dinner at Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, where the classic burgers and fries are just $4 (from 11:30 am until 4 pm) and then just $5 until 9 pm! Chowder Company also offers 50 percent off their speciality burgers all day long.

Got a favorite burger on the Island? Let Marnely know @Marnely_Murray