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4763 South Ave.
Boardman, Ohio 44512
Mon - Thurs: 11am - midnight
Fri - Sat: 11am - 1am
Sun: 11am - 11 pm
Farm-to-Table on Thurs. - Fri. - Sat.
By Anthony M. Fuda
A normal day by anyone’s standards.
But for the BurgerGuyz, it’s a holiday -- National Burger Day!
And we were lucky enough to have a surprise waiting for us. We were invited by Phil and Sandy Reda, owners of the Magic Tree (and Vintage Estates), to stop in and try a burger.
We’ve been there before and they have a great menu, so of course we said “Yes” and then for a week we thought about what burger we each were going to order.
Arriving at our scheduled time, we were greeted by “The Burger Guyz are here. We have a table waiting for you.”
OK, the red carpet was rolled out for us. We ordered a round of beers and looked over the menu. This is when Sandy came out and said that Chef Tank has a special Farm-to-Table surprise for us. Our first thought was “Chef Tank.” We know him from a previous review, and are glad his skills are being fully utilized at the Magic Tree.
Knowing how great a chef Tank is had us anticipating a specially cooked beef, or new and creative toppings, or a new twist on a bun, or almost anything conceivable in the burger realm.
Well, we received all of that -- and more, in one gigantic burger, which was more than a foot in circumference.
When Chef Tank walked out holding the two-pound monster, we were in shock. A pleasant, stomach grumbling - - with mouths wide open. You could hear the saliva call out for this behemoth- called the Gigantic Local Magic Burger.
The local is the farm-to-table. That is a relatively new concept where all the items on the menu are locally grown and ordered fresh, brought in that day, and prepared for that evening’s menu.
The burger we received was an official farm-to-table burger. From top to bottom, this is what was presented to us (with the local business who made each product):
*Twisted Pretzel Bun (Magic Tree house made pretzel)
*House-pickled onions and ramps (Iron Roots ramps)
*Grilled vidalia onions (Yarnick’s Farm tomato and onions)
*Fresh curds, Romano and Smoked Swiss (Middlefield Cheese Co-Op and Biery Cheese Co.)
*House made Magic Mayo
*Italian Romaine and Red Butterhead Slaw (Iron Roots Romaine and Butterhead)
*Grass fed free range beef (Walnut Hill Farms Beef). Chef Tank said when the free range beef comes in, it is so bright a red, you can tell the cows are not fed chemicals or anything to take away from the quality of this beef.
It took a giant knife to cut this burger into 8 sections, and each of these sections were twice the burger you would get anywhere else.
For me, the beef was delectable, melting in your mouth. The fresh toppings had that flavor you get from a fresh-picked garden vegetable -- which is exactly what they are. The mix of flavors exploded with each bite, and I didn’t want to stop eating.
Jim M said, “Coming to Magic Tree Pub is always a dining experience and Chef Tank made this one also! The use of Local Beef from Walnut Hill Farms in the Ginormous 2lb burger (in line with magic trees farm-to-table fare) along with the myriad of toppings (from Garlic & Mushrooms to Ramps (Ramps Rock!!) Made this night memorable!. The Magic also included a Homemade Pretzel Bun to house this monster! The Magic Tree Pub made this night great for us & those in attendance of their National Burger Night party!”
Eric said, “Upon seeing this mammoth of a burger, I thought surely it would have lost something in cooking. I am glad I was wrong. The burger had great flavor, was cooked to a perfect temp, the toppings really meshed well with the meat, and the homemade pretzel bun helped bring it all together. Two enthusiastic thumbs up to Chef Tank for an amazing job.”
Chiz’s thoughts were, “That Giant burger was delicious. Usually, setting a burger that large worries me. Will it have enough flavor? Is it still going to be juicy? Will I get full on just 1/8th of it? Yes, yes, yes!!! This beast had so many layers to it I didn't even know what to do with myself!!! My favorite part was the fresh ingredients. Fresh meat straight from the farm owner himself... who we met. Fresh basil, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette. and again the burger was oh so fresh. This phenom has received the "Chiz" stamp of approval!!! Thanks again Magic Tree Pub and Grill!”
Co-Owner Sandy Reda says, “We feature a farm-to-table menu Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Magic Tree with the plan to add more and more local products to our "all the time" menu as time goes on! Each week, the menu changes and depending on what we have sourced for the week, the menu can even change daily. Chef Tank talks to farmers and farm co-ops and distributors each week to see what is available for purchase for the menu! Dairy, produce, meats etc...we try to source it all from Western PA or Eastern Ohio.”
We were lucky enough to meet the owner of Walnut Hill Farms, Mike Kovach. Not only do they have great tasting, naturally raised, grass-fed and hormone free Black Angus Beef, he says that also have lamb, chicken and free-range eggs.
Now that you know what farm-to-table is all about, you can reserve your seat for Magic Tree’s next farm-to-table menu.
If you are adventurous, take a ride to Walnut Hill Farms (in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania) and pick up your own grass-fed beef. Then you can have a Car-ride-to-farm-then-take-home-to-table meal -- or just let Chef Tank do it for you at the Magic Tree.
Keep reading the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Valley has to offer.