BUCU Burger Bar & Bakery
35 Plaza, Route 4 West, Paramus, NJ 07652
Web Site: http://www.eatbucu.com
I must admit, when I heard about another “alternative” burger restaurant opening up in the Bergen County and Essex/Morris area which we call Northern New Jersey (All three soon will will soon be renamed and merged into a giant mega-county, incorporated by the state legislature as Burger County, given the current ground beef to population ratio) my first reaction was “Oh, not another one. Do we really need more burger places? Do we? Really?”
In the last year we’ve seen the openings of Smashburger (Clifton and Hackensack), Zinburger (Clifton), Cheeburger Cheeburger (East Rutherford), Elevation Burger (Montclair) and Bobby’s Burger Palace (Paramus) not to mention the first Northern NJ outpost of Sonic and additional Five Guys locations. It’s been a Burger Bonanza.
So how does this new restaurant’s concept differ? Burgers & Cupcakes. Cookoo? No. BUCU.
Bucu’s Storefront on Route 4 in Paramus. Click on the “Read The Rest of This Entry” link below for more.
Bucu’s owners, Rick and Cathy Ross. Rick is a builder by background (He’s built some really impressive houses in Northern New Jersey) but always dreamed of owning his own restaurant. Cathy is a baker, and wanted to put her talents to work. They decided to open a restaurant that combined burgers, sandwiches, salads and other popular casual menu items with freshly baked desserts.
The verbal reinforcement of the restaurant’s concept. “Milk Bar” sounds vaguely A Clockwork Orange, but I’ll definitely be dragging all my droogies in here for a little bit of beef and ultracupcake.
The restaurant’s decor was all designed by owner Rick Ross and uses custom designed cabinets and furnishings.
A view of the main dining room.
View from the front of the restaurant
The bakery area is exposed behind a glass window, where you can see all the cupcake action as it happens.
Cathy Ross, in her native environment.
Stewart’s Beverages in the cooler. BUCU also offers fountain beverages as well.
Le carte de Burgers.
The employees at BUCU seem to glow with delight.
In addition to the regular menu, BUCU runs weekly specials for Ice Cream flavors and for sandwiches.
Rick Ross, doing a close cupcake inspection.
The first of our burgers to arrive. On the left, the classic BUCU Burger with cheese, lettuce and tomato and burger sauce, and on the Right, the “SB-48” which is a chili cheeseburger with fries on top. Both of these are served on toasted Potato Rolls, which give a nice squishy texture to them.
BUCU’s fries are hand cut. Front/Center we have the sweet potato, which were excellent, and on the right, we have the classic hand cut. However my favorite were the fries on the left, the Super Fries, which are more like fried baked potato wedges.
All of these were ordered plain, but toppings which you can order include cheddar and cheese, and rosemary/Parmesan. BUCU also has waffle-cut fries as well.
BUCU’s Chicago Dog (Front). This is a Thumann dog with a Jersey interpretation of Chicago-style toppings, served on a potato roll.
Double Jersey Burger, served on a Ciabatta roll. This had my favorite combination of stuff on it: Applewood smoked bacon, blue & cheddar cheeses, topped with grilled onions. The grilled onions are heavily caramelized and add a great complimentary sweetness to the salty and savory toppings.
A cut-through shot of the Jersey Burger. BUCU uses ground beef from Pat Lafrieda, which is a boutique meat supplier to some of the most beloved and highly rated burger joints in New York City, including Shake Shack. The fat ratio is about 20-30 percent, but the exact composition of the blend the restaurant is using is a closely guarded secret. There’s definitely some brisket in there, that much I can say.
BUCU cooks all its burgers to medium by default unless you order them otherwise, but I had this one come out a bit pink so you could see the juiciness and fat content of the meat.
Here’s a custom-ordered burger I had a few days later. This is a double with a LOT of grilled onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce.
This burger combo is called the “Pig Out”, topped with cheese, pulled pork, cole slaw and BBQ sauce.
Compared to some of the other burgers I have photographed recently, BUCU’s aren’t necessarily the most photogenic. However, I can definitely say that they are some of the best tasting, which is the most important factor in my opinion. They definitely got the burger to bun ratio right, and I love the use of the potato rolls.
If you’re feeling in a healthy mood, there’s also chicken sandwiches (served on whole wheat rolls) and also salads.
One of the things I really like about BUCU is how family-friendly an environment it is. There’s no alcohol, strictly soft drinks and shakes, and coffee drinks.
I think this little girl has her eye on the chocolate one, but I can’t be sure.
Chocolate, with Vanilla/Vanilla in the background.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Stuffed Cupcakes. These are MUST ORDER in my opinion.
PBJ Cupcake cross-section.
Red Velvet Cupcakes, which are apparently nearly impossible to make enough of.
Examining the cupcake lineup.
Making shakes. BUCU uses ice cream from Max and Mina’s, which is a boutique ice cream supplier based out of NYC. I sampled some of this and it’s definitely a super-premium type ice cream with very high butterfat content.
In addition to the regular ice cream flavors that BUCU stocks, you can turn any cupcake into a shake. We went with the Red Velvet.
So did we really need another burger joint in Burger County? I’m going to have to say an emphatic YES.