A burger from The Abbey Burger Bistro in Ocean City

A burger from The Abbey Burger Bistro in Ocean City (Rachael Pacella, For The Baltimore Sun / August 22, 2013)

Baltimore’s own Abbey Burger Bistro opened up shop in Ocean City this June, and despite a slow summer for many businesses, owner Eric Leatherman said he has seen a steady increase in customers during the past two weeks.

The original Abbey Burger Bistro could be described as a hole in the wall down an alley near Cross Street Market in Federal Hill. Like the original, this place has fantastic burgers and a healthy selection of beer. Unlike the original, the Ocean City location isn’t small -- the new restaurant has easily twice the seating of the Federal Hill branch.

The Abbey Burger Bistro does the basics right. They make their burgers with quality, local black Angus beef from Roseda Farms and they also have more than 100 beers available, including local microbrews.

However, the true beauty of the restaurant lies in the complexities -- the ability to customize your burger however you’d like. You can pick what keeps your burger together, whether it’s a bun, English muffin, pretzel roll or lettuce wrap. If you don’t want black Angus you can get tuna, chicken, or even kangaroo. There are vegetarian options as well, like fried green tomatoes and veggie burgers. You can pick from goat cheese, feta cheese, American cheese and many more. A customer can even order a burger with peanut butter, grilled pineapple, a fried egg and crab dip on it -- if anyone would ever do such a horrible thing.

This level of customization allows the customer to truly get what they want, down to the very last detail.

The restaurant is family friendly. There is a small arcade, and each table is covered in a white sheet of paper, perfect for drawing. The bar area is clearly separated from the dining area as well.

On the quality of food and service, The Abbey Burger Bistro in Ocean City lives up to the original. The one thing that couldn’t be replicated is the atmosphere. It’s not a hole in the wall anymore, and it doesn’t feel nearly as homey as the small Federal Hill pub. Hopefully as time passes and the restaurant settles into the community, that will change.

Leatherman, the owner, said he expects to be open year-round, depending on how well the business does in the off season. He also said the bar will be very active once the Ravens are back on the field.

The Abbey Burger Bistro is located at 12601 Coastal Highway. 410-250-2333 www.abbeyburgerbistro.com