Best Pub/Low rent Burger
I find the best burgers are the ones from Pubs-- perhaps it's also that I like good value for my food. I'm a simpleton and prefer my burger with quality meat (not mixed with shortribs, etc.) and seasoned just with salt and pepper.
I recall Ship of Fools on the UES having a solid burger. These days I like Hurleys, just had a good one at Blind Pig (a tad small for my tastes), wasn't crazy about Molly's and definitely disappointed at Corner Bistro (their meat quality was subpar). Can't stand JG Melon for the service. Also need to give a shout out to Reservoir for their inexpensive yummy wings (6.50 for 10 and 8.50 for 20!) and a solid burger.
What pub burger do you like? The closer to EV the better :-)
My favourite burger in NYC wasn't at a pub, but from Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien hotel (find it behind the red curtain to the side of the reception desk). They've also recently opened a second outlet at 33 west 8th street.
Simple burger - meat, cheese, tomato, pickle, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, mayo. Tasty as!
I'll echo the Walker's and Waterfront Ale House.
(I have had some unexplainable clunkers at Walker's though)
I find it's often the less celebrated pubs the put out some good burgers. I've had some luck at The Watering Hole (formerly Tracey J's). Does Brinkley's or Spitzer's count as pubs?
Meat quality on some of the more beloved pub burgers is pretty iffy, so based on the OP's take on Corner Bistro, I wouldn't think they'd be too impressed with Ear Inn, or PJ's.
Just had the Ear Inn Burger tonight and agree the meat quality wasn't fantastic but something kinda worked for me there.
1) It was a nice size burger (8oz)
2) No frills (tomato & onion), salted, probably peppered
3) Had to have been flamed grilled as it was well charred on the outside
4) Pretty Juicy
5) While I prefer a Martin's Roll, the bread wasn't overly bready and did well with the meat
6) The side salad was a nice touch (but I should have asked for a different dressing).
Still behind Hurleys, Walkers, and Blind Pig but above Molly's and Corner Bistro.
Had the meat quality been a bit better (ahem, Ottomanelli's) this could have been one worth traveling for...
Will need to try the Watering Hole next as it's not to far from me.
I can see how that's exactly the appeal for those that appreciate the Ear Inn burger. It's very classic, no thrills. It does have that char taste, which is a saving grace for the meat. To me it's too generic and close to a diner burger, in a cooler room.
With Waterfront, you can expect something attempting to be a little more high end.