There’s a new burger joint in town… and oh boy, doesn’t that look tasty?? It’s called Burger State, located just south of of 89th and Wornall at 8920 Wornall (formerly a barbecue place). Burger State opened last month, and has already become a neighborhood favorite with nearby residents.
Owner Raymond Reyes grew up in Brookside, near St Peter’s School, and has been in the restaurant business for quite a while—as a manager and consultant, opening and running local spots. Over the years, he noticed a few things: quality food, no matter what type, always sold well and when guests complained, it was mostly about service, not the food. So when he decided to open his own place, he wanted a simple, basic menu with fresh, high quality ingredients and easy, fast service. That’s exactly what he delivers at Burger State. It’s the “fast casual” format, where customers order at the counter and pick up their food when ready (always by name, as Raymond likes to get to know his guests!). The menu features grass fed, fresh ground beef burgers (he sampled six different types before choosing the beef type), chicken, fish and a hot dog plus salads and chili. There is a kids menu, soft drinks plus beer and wine. His seasoned fries will stay crispy in their to-go boxes (there were rounds of testing to offer that special feature); other sides include sweet potato fries, tater tots, slaw, onion rings. All the basics you’ll find at a burger place , with a higher degree of quality and freshness. And the burger buns are…brioche bread, another upgrade! For vegetarians, he offers two options: the Impossible burger and an a black bean patty.
One of Burger State’s specialties is the KC Fried Burger: the beef patty is dipped in batter and then deep fried. It really seals in the juices of the burger and is one of their best sellers. Raymond came up with this item after making onion rings at home with his kids—and decided on a whim to cook the burger covered in the same batter. And if you are wondering how he came up with the restaurant name, it was quite a process. He and his wife considered so many names, but most of them were already taken by other businesses. He kept thinking he was in a ‘burger state of mind’ while planning the place, and then decided to see if Burger State was available as a name…and it was! (In the USA anyway, he did find a Burger State in Bangladesh of all places).
Raymond now lives with his family in Waldo and says “The neighborhood has really embraced us. It’s nice to have so many residents support small, locally owned businesses. I try to get to every table and ask about the food and ask if customers have any suggestions for other food items to serve. “ When was the last time that happened to you when dining out?
Burger State is open 11am-9pm Monday through Saturday. Stop in and try it soon—and say Hi to Ray! Thank you for supporting locally owned Brookside and Waldo businesses.