Summer 2008 Challenge: To Find the Best Burger in New York City
Nice buns!!! crispy, large brioche buns. The first thing I noticed on my cheeseburger that I didn't like was the shredded lettuce. I HATE shredded lettuce on a burger because it doesn't have much of a taste (I'm guessing it's usually cheap iceberg lettuce) and tends to fall off more. The bottom of the bun got a little soggy, I'm not totally sure why - maybe the caramelized onion something or other, but it didn't bother me that much because the top was a little toasted I think. Overall it was an expensive okay cheeseburger. Things of note, the onion rings are fried like tempura, on certain nights after 10:00 burgers are two for the price of one, and most importantly their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard! Their milkshakes are so thick and tasty that I'm sure Mr. Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood would DEFINITELY drink your milkshake. If I had a third milkshake reference I would use it, but I can't think of any more. Anyway, I chose the banana and will be back to try the toasted marshmallow.
I really like the mahogany bar atmosphere of this place, though it is really tight quarters, very loud, and a long wait. I enjoyed the burger immensely, I just wish there were a little more of it. It felt like my southern brother-in-law's tasty grilled burgers. Like I said it was slightly smaller than I had expected, but there was no shredded lettuce on this one!
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian
I remember the excitement the first time I went here years ago. I had heard about the famous burger joint (no exact phrase intended) located in a secret part of a nice hotel behind a curtain. Behind a curtain! It was like being Toto and spying on Oz all over again. Whatever, I just wanted to pull away enormous curtains to hopefully reveal burger Narnia if you will. I remember thinking once on the other side of the veil that the place looked kinda dumpy - a stark contrast to the pristine marble lobby of the Le Parker Meridian. Don't get me wrong, I like that whole-in-the-wall look; it didn't distract me from my real purpose in going there...the burger. I remember thinking, the burger was alright. Everyone raved about it, but you have to remember this was the first burger I had in the city since moving from the South where grilling out is pretty much a sacred ceremony. I went back a few years after that and liked the burger, but noticed it had lost some weight if you catch my drift. I'll go back. It's fun to take visitors there. I think more so because of the whole curtain, Oz, surprise thing.
Paul's is a pretty good burger and it's even better because it's a hop skip and a jump away from my doorstep. It's not the prettiest looking place, but I really like the ornaments they have hanging from the ceiling, the men grilling the burgers behind the bar, and especially the giant statues of a burger and french fries outside the front door of the restaurant. It's also nice because it's not saturated with tourists, or always a long wait to get in. If you're in the East Village you should swing by - I don't know that I would say it's a place someone living in Inwood should travel down for (unless you too are on a best burger hunt), but it's a hardy burger.
We've all been there. It's a great cheap burger. The first time I went there, the burger I ordered wasn't so good, but I think it's because I didn't like their special sauce. I'm pretty sure since then I only order a regular cheeseburger. The concrete ice cream stuff is good too. I still don't totally understand the difference between concrete and regular ice cream, though. It seems like another word to describe thick ice cream. Its always a long wait, but if it's a nice day it doesn't really matter. Besides, who can resist eating a burger outside in the park with white lights strung above you and the occasional firefly around you.
It used to be better. Now it's a little closer to a fast food burger in my opinion.
I know they're a chain and anyone can get one, but I have to say it's a pretty good little burger and I can't seem to shake the whole 50s nostalgia theme (nor the mini juke boxes). It's worth mentioning 'cause it's in the city.
Oh the places I'll go this summer:
The Stoned Crow
Donovan's Pub (Queens)
Dumont Burger (Brooklyn)
Burgers and Cupcakes
Please feel free to add restaurants to the list in the comments section as well as any additional thoughts or experiences you've had with burger hunting in the city.
Labels: Best burger in NYC