Perhaps there is no better endorsement of Elevation Burger than to have the Parkland High School football team wolfing down hamburgers made from grass-fed, free-range cattle next to vegans feasting on organic, locally sourced veggie burgers under the same roof on opening day.
Elevation Burger is the kind of restaurant where meat-lovers who abhor factory farming methods that inflict cruelty on animals and people who follow halal diets can dine with vegetarians and people who want to eat more healthfully.
"We don't cross-contaminate," said James Lee, who co-owns the restaurant, and another in Montclair, N.J. with his wife, Bo. That means food handlers don't use the same gloves or spatulas used for meat that would be used to prepare vegetables.
Elevation Burger grounds its beef on the premises to ensure freshness and quality. None of its items on the menus are made with trans-fats; the french fries, or "fresh fries" are gluten-free and made in olive oil. The restaurant uses environmentally friendly products, such as recycled wood, bamboo floors, energy-saving lights and water-based paint and it recycles its trash and fryer oil.
The restaurant is part of a growing trend where the food production is sustainable and local, when possible, Lee said.
The South Whitehall location is the fifth Elevation Burger in Pennsylvania. The first Elevation Burger opened in the Washington, D.C., area in 2005 and now has nearly 40 locations in 10 states and in countries as far away as Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
James Lee said he is still hiring part-time workers and managers with experience. For job inquiries, visit www.jointeameb.com.