Pressburger quietly opened in Wilton last week and more people are finding it every day. This is the third Pressburger in Connecticut: they also have stores in Norwalk and New Canaan. The menu is fairly simple: build-your-own burgers, a few specialty burgers, hot dogs and grilled cheese. But they are all prepared to order on the spot. They anticipate adding a few more items in the future.
So what is a Pressburger? They start with fist sized balls of fresh ground beef, lay them on the grill and close the lid, pressing the meat into a patty. This amounts to cooking the burger on both sides at once, and sealing in the flavor more effectively. This is shown in the pictures of the press in use and what the press looks like when they use it. That latter photo is from the Taylor Company web site. They add the cheese shortly before they taken them off the press grill.
While the burgers are cooking, they grill the Martin’s potato rolls on the open griddle, and then ask you which toppings you want. There are about a dozen free choices (Lettuce, Tomato, Raw Onion, Pickled Red Onion, Grilled Onion, Pickles, Pickled Cucumbers Jalapeños, Pickled Jalapeños, Dill Pickle Relish, Potato Chips, Hot Cherry Peppers, Old Bay Seasoning, Pickled Carrots) and a few specialty toppings (Thick Cut Bacon, Chili, Grilled Mushrooms, Sauerkraut, Cheese Sauce, Onion Crunch) that cost extra.
You also have a choice of quite a few free sauces (House Sauce [Chipotle Aioli], Mayo, Sriracha, Sriracha Aioli, Ketchup, Yellow Mustard, Honey Mustard, Dijon Mustard, Spicy Brown Mustard, BBQ, Smoky BBQ Aioli, Buffalo Sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, Malt Vinegar).
Then they wrap the burger and you pay and go. Or you can eat there, as a number of people were doing when we visited.
In addition to beef burgers, you can order Veggie burgers and Beyond Meat burgers, and a gluten free bun or a lettuce wrap. Hot dogs also come in beef, chicken or Veggie.
Their menu includes a house salad, kale Caesar salad and banana pudding or whoopie pies for dessert, as well as four flavors of milkshakes. You can select from a number of specialty beverages from a chilled display or get one of the Coke products from a fountain dispenser.
So, how are these burgers? We’ve been there twice and are pretty impressed with food, service and the pleasant staff. But that’s not enough. How do they compare with the competition?
To find out, we bought a single burger from Five Guys, one from McDonalds and one from the Wilton Pressburger, all within 30 minutes and took them home to compare. We also weighed each of the three patties. Their cooked weight was
- Pressburger — 2.36 oz
- Five Guys – 2.01 oz
- McDonalds – 1.13 oz
Pressburger wins. Our taste test of slices of the three burgers made it clear, that Pressburger also tasted the best. Pricewise, Pressburgers are competitively priced, with single patties for $6.99 (plus $1.00 for cheese). A similar Five Guys is $7.89 (plus $1.10 for cheese), and the teeny McDonald’s burger is $1.49. Fries at Pressburger are $4.99 while those at Five Guys are $5.99, and at McDonalds are $2.99.
As far as fries go, McDonald’s always receives high praise, but in fact it isn’t very long before they are limp and soggy. And while Five Guys gives you enough fries to fill a Motor Home, they deteriorate in just a few minutes. The crinkle cut Pressburger fries were still warm and tasty even an hour later.
Pressburger fries are cooked on the spot from frozen crinkle cut potatoes. And as Kenji Lopez-Alt has reported, frozen fries are actually better, because the ice crystals improve the surface of the fries when they are cooked. They also offer sweet potato fries
We think that Pressburger is a winner and are happy to have one so close by in Wilton!