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Thursday, May 25, 2023

How to Build a Burger Bar

An easy way to entertain in the Summer is to lay out a “burger bar” spread for your guests. Read on for my shortcuts, plus a few fun and simple ideas!

This post is sponsored by Fareway Meat & Grocery, but all opinions are my own.

Aerial collage view of burgers, sides & condiments on a table.

Summer entertaining is upon us!

For most people we want to entertain in the warm weather months, but we also don’t want a big fuss. We’d rather spend our time visiting with family and friends, lounging by the pool, playing outdoor games and just enjoying the nice weather.

Fareway and I teamed up to show you how to make entertaining easy, yet still a “wow” event for your guests. Fareway has been a part of my life since I was young – being the only grocery store in my small town – it’s the only grocery store I ever knew in the beginning!

Needless to say, I’ve known for years about their excellent service (they carry your groceries to your car), their stellar meat counter (everything packaged by hand on site right in front of you) and their continual effort to be a top grocery chain of their times (online ordering!).

Wooden table with fresh fruit, hamburger buns, meat package and bags of chips.

In order to create the ultimate burger bar for my family I needed to stock up on a few essential items from Fareway – obviously, a great burger patty and some easy prepared sides. I choose their new limited time just for Summer, Busch Light Mississippi Muddy Burgers (a take on the popular Mississippi Pot Roast, a burger mixed with au jus and ranch seasoning, beer and pepperoncini peppers), plus their amazing fresh fruit, veggies, deli buns and chips.

I then took those items and left some as is and jazzed up some others! Here is how I put it all together. Some simple and easy steps that anyone can follow.

Aeriel view of dinner table with plate of hamburgers, buns and toppings.

How to Build A Burger Bar

  1. Make sure you have a nice big table for the burger spread. It can be your dining room table if serving food inside or a folding table if serving outside. You will need a table that can hold all the fixings! Then purchase a roll of butcher paper (found right by the foil, plastic wrap, etc.) or flatten out any leftover paper bags. Lay this paper on your table. This will not only protect it, but will make for incredibly easy clean up when all is said and done (there will be messes). You simply roll it all up and throw it away!

  2. Keep the meal simple. Make it a mix of store-bought items and a couple homemade items. No one ever said everything has to be made from scratch. Trust me, your guests will be impressed either way! Take help from the meat counter, the deli and the bakery. Those are easy places to pick up already prepared items. Then throw in some fun homemade spins on a few of these items (see my fruit cups & burger sauce below).

Fresh fruit in a to go container, cutting board, fresh basil and saucepan with sugar.

3. Provide ample toppings! The fun part of a burger bar is getting to pick from an array of fun items to top that burger with. More options than you’d normally have at home. For this spread I made our favorite burger sauce (recipe below), then sliced up tomatoes, onions, cheese, pickles and lettuce plus ramekins of mustard, mayo and ketchup. Other fun items could include sautéed mushrooms, sliced avocados, fried eggs and other sauces.

4. Have individual cups of side dishes already made and easy to grab. For our spread I purchased small plastic cups and filled them with cut fruit and veggies. For the fruit I poured on a quick and easy basil infused simple syrup to make it a bit more special and for the veggies I poured in a homemade ranch dip before topping with carrots and cucumbers. Easy to grab and easy to eat!

Pickle Sauce ingredients in a white ramekin with fresh fruit in the background.

5. Lastly, do yourself a favor and use nice, sturdy paper plates. The goal of this burger bar party is easy cleanup! Have a trash bag or can right next to the table for messes and used tableware. No one wants to do a ton of dishes after guests leave. Make sure you swing by the paper goods aisle during your grocery store trip and grab plates, napkins, cups and silverware. It will save a lot of headaches later!

Hand holding a burger with a bite taken out of it - fruit cups and burger toppings in the background.

Are you ready to try this fun entertaining option this Summer?

Everyone loves a good burger and trust me everyone will REALLY love walking into your Summer party when they see this table spread. It truly is a combination of easy eating and fun, semi-fancy options. The best of both worlds.

If you tackle this burger bar at home, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me (@sweetsavoryeats) and Fareway (@farewaystores) on socials and we’ll be sure to share your photos.

Thank you to Fareway Meat & Grocery for sponsoring this post.

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