If there’s one place I’ve OBSESSED over this year, it’s Naked Burger. This upscale burger restaurant and bar based in Clinton Township is bringing sophisticated ambiance, friendly service, and FANTASTIC food. I’ve eaten its wares four times already (twice via carryout; twice in restaurant) – which, for someone who’s consumed with trying new places, is a LOT. But Naked Burger is most definitely revisit-worthy!
The first time I had Naked Burger was in late March, when a friend and I ordered carryout. I didn’t get to experience the restaurant’s interior – but I did experience its Hangover burger, which was awesome with its juicy beef patty layered with candied bacon, caramelized onions, aged white cheddar, avocado, garlic aioli, and tomato jam (I skipped the sunny-side-up egg that typically comes with it). And I had one of its Espresso Martinis, a delicious mixture of vodka, Kahlúa, and espresso that came in the equivalent of an adult juice box to-go container (complete with straw).
A couple of weeks later, that same friend I had Naked Burger with initially called and asked if I wanted to go out for an impromptu drink. I said yes (a rare moment of spontaneity for me on a week night) and suggested the restaurant.
It was thrilling to go out at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night! These days, I usually have one foot in bed by 8 p.m. And given that I was only two weeks into being back at indoor dining (after being fully vaccinated), dining at Naked Burger felt especially special.
The restaurant’s dining room is sleek and modern, featuring dark wood, contemporary artwork (which incorporates burgers, naturally!) and a bar gleaming with rows of backlit bottles. Gas-lit flames lick out from an island in the middle of the restaurant. These elements meld to form an aesthetic that is both sophisticated and inviting.
During this visit to Naked Burger, I enjoyed two of its craft cocktails: the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, a subtly spicy blend of tequila, mezcal, agave, and chili-lime, and the Vieux Carré, a delicious (and strong!) melding of sweet vermouth, rye whiskey, Bénédictine, cognac, and cocoa. While Naked Burger’s cocktails are on the pricey side, they make up for it in potency. These are NOT watered-down drinks!
The pièce de résistance of this visit to Naked Burger was the sandwich I ordered as my entree: the Chick Mac-Net.
THIS SANDWICH! It is hands-down one of the most phenomenal things I’ve ever eaten. I’ve had it three times now, and each time, my mind and taste buds are BLOWN by how good it is!
The Chick Mac-Net consists of a fluffy, sesame-seed-studded bun layered with lemon-parsley aioli, coleslaw, a thick cut of crispy-breaded buttermilk fried chicken, and Naked Burger’s Five Cheese Mac mac-n-cheese. This melding of crunchy-breaded, juicy chicken, creamy, spiral-noodled mac-n-cheese, zesty lemon-parsley aioli, and crunchy coleslaw is PERFECTION. I’m so into it, it has made me a Naked Burger evangelist. After this visit to Naked Burger, I became a broken record of praise for it, repeatedly extolling its virtues to family and friends.
One thing I love about Naked Burger’s menu is the variety of burgers offered. If the Chick Mac-Net sandwich doesn’t sound like your thing, there’s also a lamb burger; a vegan portabella mushroom burger; and grilled chicken and breaded cod sandwiches. And of course, there are beef burgers – in varieties as varied as the Diablo with its spicy-hot accoutrements (jalapeño, habanero aioli, and ghost-pepper jack cheese) and the Kimchi with its namesake topping.
It comes as no surprise that a restaurant with such elaborately-dressed burgers also has fancified fries. Naked Burger offers several varieties of dressed-up fries, including its Naked Poutine, Truffle Parmesan, and Feta Oregano varieties. I’m in love with the Chipotle Ketchup that comes with the Naked Fries and the Sweet Potato Fries!
The restaurant’s menu is rounded out by appetizers (including a serving of Five Cheese Mac you can dress up with truffle and/or candied bacon), soup and salad offerings, and enticing desserts. I’m intrigued by the Espresso Truffle Cheesecake, which sounds deliciously decadent with its espresso reduction, caramel, and black truffle honey. I certainly don’t need an excuse to return to Naked Burger – but if I did, that cheesecake would be it!
43203 Garfield Rd.
Clinton Twp., MI 48038