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burgers, burgers everywhere burgers!

hardcore Sep 4, 2006 08:41 PM

Of course you've all heard that Thomas Keller is opening a burger joint in Napa...What you may not have heard is that he is also scouting locations in our very own NYC...
Geoffrey Zakarian is teaming with restaurateur Jonathan Morr to open a burger joint on 12th and university (old Yujin space)..
Laurent Tourondel is opening a burger joint called BLT Burger at some point this year...location TBA
Even Tom Colicchio was looking to get into the burger wars with of course Craftburger....Due to a less than stellar response to Craftsteak...He has decided to postpone further expansion and focus on his existing empire...
All of this begs the question: What is missing in the New York burger world?
I believe we are well covered in the lower end burger market with such luminaries as Shake Shack (despite the filth), Corner Bistro and The Burger Joint...Likewise the high end burgers are pretty well represented by Peter Luger, Blue Smoke and The Spotted Pig...But whats missing for me, is a casual place with a high end burger and bar...that doesn't cost an outrageous amount or demand too much of your time...Anyone else?

  1. livetotravel Sep 4, 2006 09:57 PM

    "a casual place with a high end burger and bar" - sounds like you just described JG Melon, or McSorley's.

    1. f
      fauchon Sep 4, 2006 09:59 PM

      Melon's! Great burgers & fries...excellent & consistent...

      3 Replies
      1. re: fauchon
        G3B Sep 4, 2006 10:42 PM

        I love Melon's but the wait is usually long unless you go very early.

        1. re: fauchon
          TipsyMcStagger Sep 5, 2006 02:18 AM

          Am I the only one who thinks Melon is way too expensive? You get a tiny burger, ala Carte sides and a small beer for about $20...and then leave hungry. It’s a good burger, but I always feel I’m paying way too much for what I’m getting.

          I prefer to head in the other direction to Rathbone’s. The burger is always cooked perfectly, comes with a generous helping of crispy fries and to boot, it’s only $10 with a beer on Mondays. One of my Top 3 favorite burgers in the city.

          Of course, my favorite is still Molly’s...which has taken over the number 1 spot since McHale’s closed.


          1. re: fauchon
            Kanger Sep 5, 2006 02:26 PM

            Agree; Melon's is awesome. Skip the sides, skip the overpriced beer. Just get the burger.

          2. m
            mr_fro2000 Sep 4, 2006 10:37 PM

            What's missing is In N' Out.

            1. b
              bluecrayola Sep 5, 2006 12:37 AM

              One of the best burgers around can be found at Moda in the Flatotel.

              1. tbear Sep 5, 2006 12:55 AM

                PJ Clarke's. Good burger in a great old saloon. Go during off hours- since the restoration they are really busy during peak times.

                1. h
                  hardcore Sep 5, 2006 02:04 AM

                  while I like those places...I don't think of their burgers as high end or even good...just sort of passable

                  1. w
                    wingman Sep 5, 2006 02:11 PM

                    Totally agree with Rathbones - my favorite in the city, i also think they have the best wings.

                    1. g
                      gingersweetiepie Sep 5, 2006 03:43 PM

                      totally weird. my post about what nyc needs in terms of burgers evaporated overnight. i repeat: burger meister.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: gingersweetiepie
                        hardcore Sep 5, 2006 07:21 PM

                        whats burger meister?

                        1. re: hardcore
                          gingersweetiepie Sep 6, 2006 12:22 AM

                          burger meister: 1/2# niman ranch patty, niman ranch applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, fries, the works 8.75. super good service, no pretense, old fashioned burger joint setup, yummy milkshakes.

                      2. a_and_w Sep 5, 2006 06:06 PM

                        "But whats missing for me, is a casual place with a high end burger and bar...that doesn't cost an outrageous amount or demand too much of your time..."

                        IMO, this type of place is presently over-represented in NYC. I echo the comment about the need for In 'n Out or places like it. I also wouldn't mind an old-school establishment like Joe's Cablecar in San Fransicso that grinds its own meat.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: a_and_w
                          hardcore Sep 5, 2006 07:28 PM

                          ok...so then I don't know of them...can you please share?..I've been all over the place and most of the burgers I've had...simply weren't very good i.e. pj clarkes, dumont etc...so when i say high end...i mean undeniably delicious..not just expensive

                          1. re: hardcore
                            a_and_w Sep 5, 2006 09:03 PM

                            hardcore, forgive me but I'm really the wrong person to ask. This is not my preferred style of burger -- I was mostly just complaining. Aside from those already mentioned, maybe Pete's Tavern?

                        2. g
                          guide boy Sep 5, 2006 06:26 PM

                          Hardcore, check out the Old Town Bar, off Union Square. Excellent burger.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: guide boy
                            hardcore Sep 11, 2006 03:32 AM

                            thanks ..went by on your suggestion...ok burger but nothing special...appreciate the attempt though

                          2. m
                            Markauf Sep 5, 2006 06:36 PM

                            Had a terrific burger at Chumley's in Greenwich Village last time I was in NY.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Markauf
                              Alan Henderson Sep 5, 2006 07:58 PM

                              Tir Na Nog across from the garden makes a very good burger with irish cheddar and tasty irish bacon.

                            2. livetotravel Sep 5, 2006 09:24 PM

                              hardcore - I am but a paltry follower of the real expert on burgers - Mr Cutlets - let him lead you to burger nirvana . . .

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: livetotravel
                                hardcore Sep 5, 2006 11:40 PM

                                hey thanks livetotravel....great article....though I disagree with Mr. Cutlets strongly regarding american cheese

                                1. re: hardcore
                                  livetotravel Sep 6, 2006 03:38 PM

                                  I'm with you - I'm very dedicated to that "greasy cheddar."

                                  BTW - Have you tried the burger at Le Parker Meridien - the "burger joint" behind the curtain in the lobby? Superb!

                              2. j
                                jordana Sep 6, 2006 12:53 AM

                                I can't believe a that this is a burger thread without mentioning the innovativeDB burger.
                                What do u think of the DB Burger? I think its in a nice bistro that is casual in the sense that you can walk in and sit at the bar no reservations needed the food is great.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jordana
                                  hardcore Sep 6, 2006 03:05 AM

                                  oh god I hate that frankenburger .........I think of it more as PR than burger...dont like the room...I really dont believe what i'm currently looking for exists in the city

                                2. a_and_w Sep 6, 2006 03:30 PM

                                  hardcore, I think maybe we're having some difficulty understanding what you're asking. Can you give us some more examples of burgers you've enjoyed ?

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: a_and_w
                                    hardcore Sep 6, 2006 04:19 PM

                                    sure....I'm just saying..that for a high end burger...you can go to peter luger or blue smoke but both are formally restaurants....The closest to what I'm seeking is Spotted Pig but you can only get their burger one way...I would love to find a casual (not dirty) spot with a high end classic burger and a great beer/ wine list...I don't care if it costs $15 as long as its ethereal

                                    1. re: hardcore
                                      ESNY Sep 6, 2006 07:05 PM

                                      So in English, you want a great burger in a casual spot with a good beer or wine list?

                                      No sure why you think Blue Smoke is so formal, but that would seem to fit your bill. You can easily find a seat at the bar pretty much any day of the week besides Friday night. Another one is Molly's which has a nice selection of Irish beers and pours a good pint of guiness.

                                      1. re: ESNY
                                        hardcore Sep 7, 2006 04:15 AM

                                        what's with the "so in english" comment....I didn't say blue smoke was formal....I said it was more of a restaurant...and a suburban feeling one at that....

                                      2. re: hardcore
                                        a_and_w Sep 6, 2006 10:40 PM

                                        Shoot -- just occurred to me that Judson Grill used to do a burger that would have fit your bill perfectly. Anyone know if Bill Telepan's new place does a burger?

                                        1. re: a_and_w
                                          ghbrooklyn Sep 7, 2006 02:23 PM

                                          It does, and supposedly it is the same as the JUdson

                                          1. re: ghbrooklyn
                                            tron Oct 25, 2006 08:37 PM

                                            had the Telepan burger for lunch today. might only be on the lunch menu, though. $28 prix fixe. delicious. comes with a ton of house-cured pickles and great fries and onion rings.

                                            but the burger: almost identical to the spotted pig in texture, quality, and taste. brioche bun. cheddar and bacon. definitely more of a restaurant, of course, and a bit stuffy at that? but great burger.

                                            also, the smoked trout app (available for both lunch aand dinner) is phenomenal. would go back for that anytime.

                                    2. j
                                      john Sep 6, 2006 06:40 PM

                                      Ill give it a shot.

                                      1) Houston's - I hate chains, but love Houston's. The burger is awesome and served with a mountain of good fries. Not great fries, but good. The meat is always tasty and it is served on a brioche that I think must be buttered and grilled. It is big and good. They also have Brookyln Lager which always makes me happy.

                                      2) Woflgang's - If you go at lunch you can get a 16.95 burger and fries (only at the bar). The meat is awesome and again the french fries are good. They have a better wine list then Houston's and IMO the burger itself is more tasty.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: john
                                        livetotravel Sep 6, 2006 08:50 PM

                                        Bruni absolulety loved Houston's - I've gotta try it to see what's up

                                        1. re: john
                                          Kanger Sep 6, 2006 09:15 PM

                                          I just tried the Houston's burger on Monday and it really was delicious! Without a doubt the best burger I've ever had at a chain restaurant.

                                        2. b
                                          billyeats Sep 6, 2006 09:40 PM

                                          When I don't want to go high-end or low-end, I go to BarSix (6th Ave & 13th St.) They have an outstanding burger that I rarely hear mentioned. It's kind of a french bistro type spot but is neither super casual, nor is it high end - kind of right in the middle. Full bar and wine list too, but the burger...excellent!

                                          1. j
                                            john Sep 6, 2006 10:41 PM

                                            Has anyone else ever tried the Wolfgang's burger. I would be very interested to hear other people's thoughts.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: john
                                              hardcore Sep 7, 2006 04:13 AM

                                              yeah tried houstons...not a fan...the burger was alright but the room...ugh....i appreciate the suggestion though

                                            2. m
                                              mudge Sep 7, 2006 02:33 PM

                                              Blue 9 offers a really good burger at a decent price

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mudge
                                                hardcore Sep 9, 2006 09:50 PM

                                                yeah not at all what i'm looking for but thanks again

                                              2. megaepicure Sep 9, 2006 10:17 PM

                                                Steak n Shake. We NEED this.

                                                1. r
                                                  ruckus2330 Sep 21, 2006 02:10 PM

                                                  Bar 89 in Soho has a very cool, casual atmosphere and an amazing burger that is very affordable. And while you're there, you should definitely start with the bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Oh yes.

                                                  1. s
                                                    Sweatshirt Guy Sep 21, 2006 05:36 PM

                                                    The Wollenky grill of Smith and Wollensky on E49th/3rd Ave has exactly what you are looking for. Great high end burger and nice wine/beer selection in a comfortable atmosphere.

                                                    1. a
                                                      alex70 Sep 21, 2006 06:19 PM

                                                      looking for a burger similar to the burgers at Camelia grill in New Orleans

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: alex70
                                                        Hungry Celeste Sep 28, 2006 07:30 PM

                                                        Sadly, you can't even get one of those in New Orleans anymore. But a big banner outside Camellia Grill says that it will reopen soon, and a new owner plans to expand beyond the original location.

                                                        1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                          alex70 Sep 28, 2006 10:15 PM

                                                          I heard emrils partner bought the place. I really love those burgers. There is a flavor to them that I have never had anywhere in Manhattan

                                                      2. n
                                                        nyc girl Sep 25, 2006 03:11 PM

                                                        If you're in the downtown area, or want to make the trip, there's a great place in the seaport area (but not in the actual south street seaport) called The Paris Cafe. Awesome burgers (BIG patties) and a mountain of fries, all for $10.00. Nice selection of draft beers including Hoegaarden. Pretty big bar area and all the games are always on, football on the big screen. One plus open pretty late, even during the week, which is unusual for the downtown/ wall street area. Speaking of which...anyone live, work, frequent downtown? Always looking for a recommendation...an excellent bite for a decent price? All types of food ok.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: nyc girl
                                                          Jack_ Sep 28, 2006 12:45 AM

                                                          I work by city hall and we go to Spaghetti Western on Reade (Bway and Church). Good food, good sevice, nice aptmosphere

                                                        2. Zion Sep 25, 2006 03:25 PM

                                                          hardcore, tell me more about the burger joint in the old yujin spot..do you have any more info on the concept and timing of it?
                                                          also, the thomas keller joint will not happen for a while, still developing the concept out west.

                                                          on a side note, anyone know any other places for "alternative burgers"? such as better burgers ostrich burger (it is good, no, really...)new concepts , etc...thanx

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Zion
                                                            hardcore Sep 25, 2006 10:25 PM

                                                            no...not really....i heard it woud be "high quality" with a bar...I first heard Zakarian was doing the food but then I read in the TImes that a famous"french chef" was doing it....I went by and asked about opening and was told the first of July....I once had a good ostrich burger at 8 mile creek but the food there hasn't been the same in years....let me know if you find anything relavatory

                                                          2. chowcito Sep 25, 2006 04:30 PM

                                                            While you wouldn't think to order a burger at a seafood spot --Lure Fishbar in SOHO has an excellent burger in a great looking space. Top notch bar and service too. The burger is $14 and served with pretty good fries and topped with two delicious onion rings. If you can manage to get there during the week for lunch you'll have no problem getting a seat.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: chowcito
                                                              hardcore Sep 27, 2006 08:07 PM

                                                              gave it a try..it was ok nothing special...also went by Diner and was woefully disappointed...place is great but burger was much too finely ground (more like meatloaf) and meat was flavorless....thick fries were delicious...as was bun

                                                            2. Polecat Sep 27, 2006 11:41 PM

                                                              For my money, a "high end burger" is one that is made with love and that tastes great, up, down, backwards, forwards and sideways. I don't care who sells it, what it costs, or what the ambience is like.

                                                              That said, given what you've written, you might dig the burger over at Donovan's in Woodside, Queens.

                                                              As far as what NYC needs, the Steamed Cheeseburger. I hate the fact that I have to drive all the way up to Meriden, Connecticut to try one.

                                                              1. j
                                                                Jack_ Sep 28, 2006 12:39 AM

                                                                All this burger talk. Does anyone do a burger with grass fed beef?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Jack_
                                                                  erha Sep 28, 2006 02:20 PM

                                                                  i believe that goblin market does a burger with grassfed beef.

                                                                  1. re: erha
                                                                    alex70 Sep 28, 2006 07:12 PM

                                                                    you can get it at dinner in williamsburg

                                                                2. f
                                                                  Felixnot Sep 28, 2006 03:00 PM

                                                                  Burgers and Cupcakes. 9th Avenue, btwn 35 and 36. The name says it all.

                                                                  1. livetotravel Sep 28, 2006 07:40 PM

                                                                    speaking of burgers, someone was speaking about burgers, right?

                                                                    I home-grilled two bison burgers last night that were absolutely fantastic. The meat was tender and surprisingly juicy considering the very low fat content. I purchased the burgers at Fairway and had them with grilled onions, tomato slice and Vermont cheddar on a brioche with a litte mayo. Heaven. I may open a franchise ;-)or has Ted Turner beat me to it?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: livetotravel
                                                                      hardcore Sep 28, 2006 07:57 PM

                                                                      with the exception of the mayo...sounds great...why does it seem to be so hard to find?

                                                                    2. p
                                                                      pulsemaker Sep 28, 2006 07:58 PM

                                                                      The burgers at The Vertigo on 26th & 3rd are pretty good.

                                                                      1. a
                                                                        Aurorasbored Oct 1, 2006 10:48 AM

                                                                        The Corner Bistro in the West Village. Just tons of succulent meat.

                                                                        1. MaspethMaven Oct 1, 2006 12:00 PM

                                                                          I;m seconding Polecat's suggestion of Donovans. Truly delicious burgers. I also enjoy the burger at Mugs Alehouse in Williamsburg. It's a fantastic beer bar, and the burger with onions and blue cheese hits the spot.

                                                                          1. s
                                                                            Sean Dell Oct 1, 2006 12:40 PM

                                                                            Ok, for high end burgers in low-key bar settings, and without breaking the bank, here's a shortlist:

                                                                            Cafe Luxemburg on 70th St, and Amsterdam. Great burger, even if the beer selection has gone a bit weird lately.
                                                                            Balthazar (it's low key at the bar, or during the day). Fabulous burger and the best fries in town)
                                                                            The Odeon. Perhaps the best burger I've ever eaten. Again, at the bar, with great fries.
                                                                            Pastis. See Balthazar. Same excellence

                                                                            And I'd also endorse the burger 'behind the curtain' but you have to be in the humor for the hustle!

                                                                            - Sean

                                                                            ps I agree about Union Sq Cafe

                                                                            1. a
                                                                              annies Oct 1, 2006 08:58 PM

                                                                              Teddys in W-burg has good burgers (acually haven't tried them but friends have told me they are great and they look really good)

                                                                              1. s
                                                                                sarapeater Oct 24, 2006 02:29 AM

                                                                                Royale is absolutely not worth the trip (esp if you are not drinking). Terrible service, marginal food.

                                                                                If you're looking for a decent burger in Manhattan go to:
                                                                                burger joint
                                                                                good burger
                                                                                PJ Clarke's
                                                                                and any number of Irish pubs like McCormick's on 3rd Ave

                                                                                I am sure everyone has their own favorites, I'm just saying: Avoid Royale

                                                                                1. m
                                                                                  Manhattan4Life Oct 24, 2006 02:23 PM

                                                                                  Its probably a bit out of the way for most people but Piper's Kilt on Broadway on 207th Street has one amazing burger. Better than corner bistro IMO. Its a great old school bar to boot.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Manhattan4Life
                                                                                    Sweatshirt Guy Oct 24, 2006 03:24 PM

                                                                                    Piper's Kilt you say? I will give it a try this week!

                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                    jth Oct 24, 2006 06:13 PM

                                                                                    Is this Pipers Kilt any relation of the Piper's Kilt in Eastchester? Obvoiously the wrong board, but the eastchester Piper's Kilt has better burgers at a better price than most if not all the NYC places

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: jth
                                                                                      salty_sticky Oct 24, 2006 07:57 PM

                                                                                      yes, they are related! http://www.piperskilt.com/

                                                                                      And I stand by the opinion that the Piper has the best burger in the city.

                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                      jdf Oct 25, 2006 01:32 AM

                                                                                      Agreed. I hit the one in the Bronx about once a month and its great.

                                                                                      1. LeBone Oct 25, 2006 01:34 AM

                                                                                        3x3 animal style no lettuce no tomato fries well @ in n'out.

                                                                                        1. y
                                                                                          yorkchu Oct 25, 2006 03:10 AM

                                                                                          SO..what do u mean by high end burger & bar?? Mcsorleys is not high end.... Burger joint is not a bar, and their teny weeny burgers dont really cut it.

                                                                                          Have u been to Donovan's Pub in Queens? (57 st & Roosevelt) Fantastic burger (big, juicy, fresh)..It is an Irish pub with a rather large dining room that has fantastic burgers...Way better than burger joint, corner bistro, good burger, rare, (shall i go on?) Did I mention that u can get beer, wine, booze, etc..(being a bar and all)

                                                                                          If u just want a decent burger (go to the bar afterwards) go to Big Nicks on B'way...Not the prettiest place, but decent for the money).

                                                                                          IMO what makes a wonderful burger is the freshness of the meat, the nice fat content, and the wonderful sear on the outside. Alot of places overcook the outside (they claim its to sear in the juice) so while juicy inside, its kinda "crusty" outside..Not my favorite way to eat a burger...

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: yorkchu
                                                                                            Polecat Nov 8, 2006 08:53 PM

                                                                                            Agreed on Donovan's. Fantastic burger. Not too big, just big enough. And juicy. Plenty juicy. Like an old pro with nothing to prove, just doing it for the love. Wash it down with one of the best chilled pints of Guinness in town, and that's a little slice of heaven right there. Also agreed on Burger Joint, which I find to be overrated. Decent burger, not worth the wait.

                                                                                            You're batting a thousand, Yorkchu, because - as I posted before - I'm also wondering what the poster means by "high end burger". I can only assume he is talking about atmosphere, price, sophistication perhaps. Maybe DB Bistro (which I haven't tried)? For me, "high end" means just plain good.

                                                                                            1. re: Polecat
                                                                                              hardcore Nov 8, 2006 09:58 PM

                                                                                              shake shack and in and out are excellent "low end" (meaning small, fast and paltry) and spotted pigs is "high end" (meaning large, succulent, cooked to perfection on great bread)...if spotted pigs was on something other than a brioche, offered different toppings and came with perfect french fries...it would be the one

                                                                                              1. re: hardcore
                                                                                                Polecat Nov 9, 2006 01:25 AM

                                                                                                Okay. Thanks for the clarification. P.

                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                            aimansmith Nov 6, 2006 10:41 PM

                                                                                            One of my favorites has always been the Knickerbocker on University. Had the steak once and wasn't terribly impressed (maybe b/c I happened to have gone to Peter Luger the week before), but the burger has consistently made me happy. Oddly enough it doesn't seem to be on the menu but you can just ask for it, also you can have it at the bar if you want to be casual or low-profile. Don't remember how much it costs but it's about normal for a restaurant (I think about $10). Don't know if I'd get it rare (I'm a medium guy when it comes to burgers).

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: aimansmith
                                                                                              hardcore Nov 8, 2006 04:29 AM

                                                                                              yeah...it's funny but I had knickerboker recently and was surprised...i don't like the place much and the service is sloppy but the burger was fresh, tasty and cooked perfectly.....I looked into it and it turns out that it is one of the few places in New York that grinds its meat fresh to order (or so hey say)...not a great burger but better than most

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