It’s National Cheeseburger day and there’s a new burger on the block, West Handmade Burgers.
The recently opened burger joint, located on Hwy 12 in Sonoma’s Boyes Hot Springs, is powered by husband and wife team Garrett and Nicole. The same duo behind Handmade Events and West Wine Tours. Their latest venture bridges Garrett’s food and beverage background with a love for providing the “freshest and most local ingredients possible while still being affordable”, in a place they love and call home, Sonoma.
What makes a West burger so special? Let’s start with the beef… Grass fed and grass finished beef from Stemple Creek is butchered and ground in house. Now top it with local cheese from purveyors like Point Reyes Cheese, Fiscalini Cheese or Marin French Cheese. Of course no burger is complete without the bun and those arrive daily from down the street at Sweet Pea Bakery. Last but not least, the produce. West works with Greenleaf, who does a great job at partnering with local farms.
Well before the doors opened on this two and a half year project, Garrett landed his first food gig at the age of 4. Who knew handing out straws at Carneys incredible corn dogs in Shreevport, LA could hook you? His family’s Italian restaurant in Australia probably had something to do with it as well. After wrapping up high school in Minnesota, Garrett headed east to NYC. He worked 8 years in the bar/nightclub scene and was done. Or as he put it, “I became a black eye and yankee hat wearing, whiskey drinking, marb red smoking bat and needed to return home, so I did when I was 27". Once home, Garrett began cooking professionally and slowly but surely the dream of West Handmade Burgers was born. As for what’s next for Garrett and Nicole, “that is up for daily discussion, I am working on a cookbook, but real venture I think that Nicole and I agree that we need to start doing less not more. Whatever the next thing is it will definitely be something we can run while on a beach, drinking out of a coconut.” Until then, you can find Garrett behind the grill at West Handmade Burgers or driving a wine tour. And if you can’t find him there, he’s catching some much deserved Z’s and quality time with his family.
So the next time you’re headed east on Hwy 12 make a stop at West Handmade Burgers and say what’s up to Garrett and the team. Don’t find yourself in Sonoma often? Check out last years list of popular burger joints in Sonoma County.
Fun fact: if you don't get your beef fix after munching down on that delicious burger, you can pick up cuts of beef, like a T-Bone steak or filet in the cooler next to the counter.
Happy Eating - Poppy & Vine