Chefs David Murray and Walter Gouldsbury have a hit with their scratch kitchen sandwich shop, Crumb. They’ll parlay those gains into a new concept featuring burgers, cheesesteaks, and chicken sandwiches.
By Matt Skoufalos | March 6, 2023
Since launching Crumb, their scratch-kitchen sandwich shop in downtown Haddonfield in 2021, chefs Dave Murray and Walter Gouldsbury have fielded question after question from customers who wanted the one thing they couldn’t make: hamburgers.
It’s not for a lack of desire; their location at Lantern Lane isn’t equipped with a grill or ventilation system to facilitate such an order.
So on a lark, Murray decided to sling burgers at the Bordentown Crumb location over Memorial Day weekend last year.
For fun, he called it Gouldsburgers as a play on his partner’s name in the style of Wahlburgers, the burger chain founded by brothers Paul, Mark, and Donnie Wahlberg. The reaction was instantaneous.
“We had a line out the door for a one-day pop-up,” Murray remembered. “It was absolutely insane,” he said.
Almost since that moment, the duo began searching for a storefront in which to launch their hamburger concept in Haddonfield. After the closure of The Fare Porter, the kitchen at 109 King’s Highway East opened up, and Murray and Gouldsbury saw their chance.
“I’m a passionate burger person,” Gouldsbury said; “Haddonfield needs a good burger.”
“We’ve been looking for a fourth location for Crumb,” he said. “This was just an opportunity that presented itself.”
Gouldsburgers will be built around “the highest-quality meat we can get,” Murray said; and, like Crumb, its recipes will feature scratch-made ingredients, from the buns to the sauces.
“If we aren’t doing everything we can possibly do in-house to have an original product, there’s no point in doing anything,” Murray said. “We’re grinding our own USDA Prime beef in-house. We will be baking our rolls in-house.
“This is going to be a scratch kitchen, from the fries and the onion rings to the fried pickles,” he said. “We’re frying everything in 100-percent olive oil, which retains 40 percent of the nutritional value, even at a high smoke point.”
In a departure from the popularity of smash-style hamburgers, which are made by flattening a small, thin patty onto the grill for a crispy edge, Gouldsburgers will be six ounces and puck-shaped.
Burger buns are modeled after challah bread, and made with pasture-raised eggs.
The signature “Gould Standard” burger will feature a chiffonade of iceberg lettuce, crispy dill pickles, yellow cheddar, shaved red onions, and special sauce.
A house-made veggie burger also is in the works; it will be beet-based.
The chefs say guests can expect the occasional hot dog as well.
To supplement the burger menu, Murray is also reviving his Cluckwerks fried chicken concept, a pandemic project born out of the kitchen at his former Haddonfield restaurant, Denim.
Cluckwerks sandwiches are build around young chicken thighs that are brined before frying.
The menu at Gouldsburgers will launch with a Cluckwerks Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich along with specialty chicken sandwiches and burgers of the week.
The game-changer, however, will be the incorporation of the Prime Cheesesteak concept.
Based on a recipe that Murray and Gouldsbury debuted at Crumb Medford with chef Jack Kramer, the Prime Cheesesteak features 12 ounces of shaved, USDA Prime beef brisket, topped with hot peppers, fried red onions, a braised mushroom blend, and either melted Cooper Sharp or a house fondue, on a house-made roll.
After debuting as a specialty item, demand for the Prime Cheesesteak spiked to a level that none of them could have anticipated. (A mushroom cheesesteak for vegetarians is in development, along with a buffalo cauliflower sandwich.)
“We sold 200-plus feet of cheesesteak for the super bowl,” Murray said.
Rounding out the menu will be desserts and beverages from Gouldsbury’s homemade dessert business, The Custard Cart. Guests can expect organic homemade ice cream and root beer floats.
“The only thing we’re going to buy is Heinz organic ketchup,” Murray said. “We want to make things with integrity. We want everyone who comes into this place to feel like a guest in our home.”
Although the eatery will focus mainly on takeout, Gouldsburgers will feature bar seating for a dozen people onsite.
Another key aim for Gouldsburgers is its price point: no single item will exceed $16.
“Nothing on the menu is going to break the bank,” Murray said.
As successful as the duo’s Crumb partnership has been, which spawned locations in Medford and Bordentown after Haddonfield’s launch in 2021, they believe Gouldsburgers can build upon their reputation for quality.
“We built the [Haddonfield Crumb] concept around the space, and we’ve done that again with every other space we’ve done,” Gouldsbury said. “We’re making all the rolls, and we’re staying true to what we’ve been doing.”
“We’re going to fill another void of items that are missing in town,” Murray said. “It just makes sense to give people variety.”
Gouldsburgers anticipates a mid-April opening at 109 King’s Highway East in Haddonfield. Hours are yet to be finalized, but an 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. operating window is likely to start. Stick with NJ Pen for updates.
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