Duck and the Blue Monk, Elmwood Avenue’s Belgian-centric beer temple, have been linked in customers’ minds practically since the place opened in 2010.

You can blame the duck frites for that, hand-cut potatoes crisped in rendered duck fat and served at the restaurant with a variety of dipping sauces.

Recently the Blue Monk (727 Elmwood Ave.) doubled down on duck with a burger that’s earned its own fans. The 7-ounce patty of ground Pekin duck is treated with flavors inspired by the classic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.

There’s minced ginger and garlic mixed into the meat, along with scallions and fish sauce. There’s also a handful of panko breadcrumbs, said Dino DeBell, the chef at Cole’s, who developed the burger with Blue Monk owner Mike Shatzel.

“When that burger starts cooking, and the fat in the duck starts rendering, I want that fat in the burger, not out on the grill,” DeBell said. “So when you’re biting into this thing, you’re getting all of that yummy duck flavor.”

After it’s grilled, the burger is finished with a hoisin glaze and served on a brioche roll with Sriracha mayonnaise, topped with pickled daikon radish, red and yellow peppers and fresh cilantro sprigs.

The idea for the burger started with the fact that Shatzel’s “in love with the banh mi,” DeBell said. “We go over to Niagara Seafood and eat the one over there. When he goes to San Francisco, he eats them daily.” The new burger tips its hat to the flavors they missed.

It’s $15 with chips, but for another $2? Duck frites for double duck action.

For more information, call 882-6665 or visit


Foodie find:


German music, bratwursts, sauerkraut, pretzels, kuchen and other German food, beer and more at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at 3937 Bowen Road, Lancaster. Cost is $8 advance, $10 day of event, free for children ages 12 and younger. Call 864-1965 or visit