After a month long philosophical journey, I was finally ready to get back to the important things in life, like figuring out where my next burger would come from. I began by perusing some Facebook recommendations before deciding on a relatively new spot in Oxford called Native Grill and Wings.

Located in a small strip mall behind a gas station on Sutton Avenue, tucked alongside a pet store and a Dollar Tree, lies an unassuming store front. I entered Native Grill and Wings with optimistic skepticism, not knowing what to expect. The eatery featured a large dining room off to the left and an extensive bar area that offered stellar views of any number of flat screen televisions hanging on the walls. I thought, ‘This would be a great place to catch a game, share some wings, drink a beer and just relax.’ But, this trip, I was here for one thing and one thing only: a burger.

I took my time with the menu, salivating over some of the most unique wing flavors I have ever seen, before I regained my focus and decided on the Hangover Burger ($10.99). This burger consisted of hardwood smoked bacon, hash browns, a fried egg, avocado, lettuce and pepper jack cheese. As I anxiously awaited my burger, I enjoyed a loaded tater tot appetizer while watching the Golden State Warriors championship parade. I continued to get whiffs of tangy wings as they were delivered to tables around us. I managed to resist.

It was a good thing, because when my burger arrived, the smell was intoxicating. The aroma of the freshly charred meat and the salinity of the fries lingered in the air. At first bite, the burger put forward extreme flavors, albeit the patty itself had been slightly overcooked. Luckily, the meat was still juicy, and the interior had not dried out. My substantial helping of bacon was assertive and its maple character reminded me of a hearty breakfast sandwich. The creamy avocado and the runny yolk of a fried egg added rich texture to the burger. The kicker was the hash brown patty. Crispy potato was not something I had experienced in my burger travels and it was certainly a welcome addition. The fries were properly seasoned with both salt and pepper. For such a new and relatively small establishment, I was surprised to find that they were probably the best fries I have enjoyed in recent memory…kudos!

I feel confidently that this unique wing restaurant is going to be a Godsend come football season. I can’t wait to belly up to the bar and enjoy a dozen of my favorite wings while watching the Patriots beat whatever hapless team they might be playing that week. I have been lucky enough to consume some of the best burgers that Worcester County has to offer, and for that I am grateful. Still, I know there are countless other burgers waiting for me to try, so if you have a favorite, please tweet me at @EDioufUC5 and I’ll take your suggestion under consideration.

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