Is the spot cursed? I have no idea. When I first moved to Montauk, in 2013, the spot now housing Montauk Circle Burger, across the street from Tauk and just off of Montauk’s main drag, was the original location of the Irish pub O’Murphy’s (RIP, 2019). For a while, it was the Old Salt. That went by the wayside, too. For a long time, the space remained vacant, and it was unclear, until recently, if any other restaurant would take up post in that renovated space. That question has now been answered.
In late June, Montauk Circle Burger opened, boasting local ownership and local food. It isn’t just burgers (there are five on the menu, all of which come with French fries, or, alternately, a cucumber salad). A fried chicken sandwich serves up the chicken side of the menu, and, in lieu of a hot dog, an Italian sausage plays an admirable stand-in. Vegetarian? Meat-averse? Circle Burger offers a vegan burger, mushroom burger, and complete burger. Got kids? A few options (small burger and fries; hot dog and fries; mac and cheese) appeal to the easily underwhelmed. There are also a selection of salads (garden, avocado-arugula, wedge), and a long list of appetizers.
Actually, the appetizers are the most compelling section of the menu, with butter-poached Long Island corn, slathered in queso fresco, littleneck clams steamed in herb butter, firecracker fried shrimp served with sweet chili sauce, steamed mussels with sliced jalapeño and crumbled sausage, and onion rings served with a remoulade.
Montauk Circle Burger provides something for everyone on their slim-yet-not-anemic menu. Only time will reveal whether or not they can overcome the curse of a difficult location.