Black Mountain Burger Co. (Lincoln, NH)

In an an interesting parallel to our visit to Colton’s Social House in August after hiking in Yosemite, late September and early October found us backpacking again, this time much closer to home in the Pemigewasset Wilderness area in the White Mountain National Forest. After a week of hiking, we emerged back at the Lincoln Woods trailhead and, after stopping off at the most excellent Notch Hostel for a shower, we headed off for some much-needed sustenance at Black Mountain Burger Co.

Located in a small shopping area on the east end of downtown Lincoln, in the Depot Market place just west of Loon Mountain where Main Street turns into the Kancamangus Highway, Black Mountain is a surprisingly large restaurant packed in behind a few merged storefronts. It’s quite the popular burger spot, especially with the motorcyclist crowd, since the parking lot had dozens of bikes in addition to the many people there for leaf-peeping. Indeed, even for a Monday afternoon (normally a quiet day in the Whites, although this was the week before peak foliage), the place was packed and hopping, and I was glad that they were able to accommodate us without a wait.

Looking for an item to share for the table, we quickly converged on their poutine. I mean, hey, after a week of backpacking food, who isn’t finding themselves craving a big plate of fries, cheese, and gravy. I’m always a bit of a purist when it comes to poutine, so I’ll have to point out that, due to the use of shredded mozzarella cheese instead of curds, that these were actually “disco fries” instead of proper poutine. But I’m going to cut them more than a bit of slack here, since the fries were quite nicely done (proper soft interior and well-crisped exterior), the gravy tasty, and the overall composition quite good. The table quite enjoyed these. Just something that would be a tich better if using proper cheese curds (which can be a challenge to source south of the border).

Being a burger joint, Black Mountain focuses on their burger list, with a good dozen varieties of burgers on their menu focusing on their house-made half pound beef patties with toppings ranging from mainstream to exotic (including a Thai burger with chili pepper glaze and Asian peanut slaw). But I was in the mood for a bit of a classic burger, and quickly settled on one of my favorite basic burger concepts, a mushroom swiss burger (going for a side of Caesar salad, since I already had fries as our table appetizer). This was a rather nicely done burger: the burger itself was firmly packed but juicy, cooked to a proper medium rare, and topped with a nice generous layer of swiss and nicely-seasoned mushrooms (that, alas, didn’t photograph all that well after my deconstruction attempts). Adding in the all-important light toasting on the bun, and this was a thoroughly good burger, one that showed me why Black Mountain Burger Co. is so popular. It’s definitely one of the better burgers in the region.

Carol opted for the same basic burger, with the twist of adding some grilled pineapple. This was also a good burger, but the star on her dish was the side dish of bacon stout baked beans.

Overall, we liked Black Mountain Burger Co. They’ve got the basics of a burger joint down pat with some great burgers, a nice selection of beers focusing on regional brews, good fries, and enough inventive burgers to keep things interesting. It’ll definitely remain one of my go-to spots for the southwestern White Mountains.

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