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Worst Burger in Manhattan

So much talk about best burgers, anyone remember a burger they were served that was a disgrace to burgers?

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  1. maybe not the worst, but the new Clarke's Standards that have been popping up are super mediocre and equally expensive. it's my new most hated.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        yeah...this burger made me ill.

        ill also throw in johnny rockets on the low end.

      2. Silver Spurs, the 2-diner chain in the Village.....like a 10oz underseasoned brick on a bun.

        1. I have become indifferent to the burger. But that indifference seems to be in sync with the fever.

          Allow an explanation. Berger meat, is ground meat, that is then molded together in its moist state.

          Then it is cooked. Recent decades have seen items such as blue cheese or other, applied it its center, as well as other vanguard ideas.

          I somehow become displease with all burger eating. This is due to what I had done to minced beef, when I lived next to an Indian grocer some years ago.

          Minced is so good. One fries it, on a iron pan, skillet, or recommend wok as well.

          Mashed and hammered garlic, much of it, along with axed to death ginger (use machine), begin the fry session.

          The minced just gets poured into the pan, and then use black pepper, hot peppers of varying sorts (scotch bonnets my fav, not so chopped).

          Soon apply the contents liberally from bags of individual items and even the mixed curry from an Indian or Bangladeshi grocery.

          Then you know you will never go back to the burger. Some yogurt and other items for dipping. Have flat bread, roti, etc. Eat primarily with hands using the bread.

          I have had burgers here and there, from time to time, and I always say to myself eating it "why did I order this".

          Mince. It too could be a fever.

          That said, tell me where my indifference may be stirred to delight!

          11 Replies
            1. re: jonkyo

              I had a White Castle this morning.

              I went for the classic cheese 'slider'.

              The pickle's texture and flavor, mingled nicely with the cheese and the slim slab of square meat. One was enough.

              The fries were crunchy to perfection.

              I can do without the catchup packets, as they are inconvenient. Of course, a more up market and independent venue usually view such packets as taboo, and one can indulge in the petroleum based squeezable container.

              Certainly not the worst burger, whether devouring many after a night of festive imbibing, or indulging in a meal.

              I have a nostalgia for this place, as an ex-girlfriend loved the tiny squares.

              Wendy's might be worst, in my reference to chain brands.

              1. re: jonkyo

                I absolutely love white castle and its ilk - grew up with a now departed chain called royal castle. Same idea but round paties.

                Burger King is my kryptonite as far as fast food, for what it's worth. Worst fries by a mile and mealy, unusually non- meat flavored 'meat.'

                1. re: debinqueens

                  Having a single White Castle is like having a single potato chip or cashew nut. They must be eaten in quantity. For some reason uneven numbers work best - 3, 5, 7, 9.

                  Although I have worked hard at this for years I am unable to crack double digits in White Castle consumption. That's probably a good thing.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    in college i got halfway through my 18th before abandoning any hope i had of completing my "crave case challenge"

                    a friend made it through 22 but was stymied by some "reverse eating"

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      Performances like that are what separate the seasoned professional from the talented amateur. I tip my cap.

                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        Well, I eat in manners that most americans do not understand. Small portions.

                        With the small order of fries, the one slider with cheese, did actually more than a full toasted bagel with cream cheese would do, in the morning.

                        I can eat one after another, hand fulls of pop corn, as well as sticks of barbecued meats the likes found on 8th avenue stalls (chinatown) and in Mainland China, but to view the White Castle square the same, I dare not imagine the physical and medical results of that.

                        But I understand your drift totally.

                        The double digits, well, your are lucky having not 'cracked' them with regards to the White Castle Square.

                        It might be interesting to view those who can. Perhaps dibs on their medical state, as they age, could function similar to Betting on Football.

                        No pun intended.

                        Its the land we live in.

                        I have done two, after a night out in the bar.

                      2. re: debinqueens

                        Burger King is good for not much.

                        I wonder if the burgers would stick on the windows if one threw them in the manner we threw Sliced Bologna in my high school?

                        Otherwise, sometimes nice to take a cup of coffee there.

                        They might be in the run for an award in the Worst Burger, chain category.

                        1. re: jonkyo

                          I find BK to vary widely by region. Good meat in one area, crap in another. But still better that McD or Wendy's.

                      3. re: jonkyo

                        l've got a soft spot for White Castle, too. ln high school, we'd just refer to them as "murder."

                    2. The thankfully closed Stand 4. Good shakes, terrible, terrible burgers.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: howdini

                        The toasted MAshmellow Shake may have been the greatest first gulp of a shake ever.

                      2. Jackson Hole. They put a stainless steel dome on them as they're cooking and they steam. The burgers come out an unappetizing shade of gray and they taste watery.

                        Simply awful.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          i'd second the jackson hole nomination. was taken there as a teenager by a "cool" friend who insisted it was new york's best. i was kind of intrigued by the dome thing, but when the medium rare came out grey through and through,yikes!

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            I used to love Jackson Hole, it as like eating down in the subway, always dirty, lol. The steaming must be new? I haven't been to a JHW in more than a decade but I don't recall ever getting a grey steamed burger.

                            The pickles were always crazy ass good though.

                            1. re: mushroomaffairs

                              My first bad experience with the grey steamed neat - went back one more time, same result - was in 1985. Second visit was '97 or so.

                            2. A wiatress talked me into ordering a burger at a French owned cafe / restaurant up near 59th street on 1st Ave.

                              Cafe Joul, it is called. Nice place, but in a French owned place, how one is talked into ordering the burger, well, has a lot to do with a pretty face, and sweet delivery of the sell.

                              I was so displeased. Major mistake.

                              Burgers are American, as may be it's origin, correct me if wrong. (see footnote)

                              Worst burger? to find it, the first step is to get out of the national regional origin, in the venue's ownership and chef.


                              "Hamburger ....According to the earliest citations, the name originated aboard U.S. Navy ships, due to the way greasy burgers slid across the galley grill while the ship pitched" wikipedia

                              1. Tri Tip's burger is just awful. Very poor quality meat, if you could call it that.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tbone

                                  I often went for the burgers with the soy bean filler, in high school. I found them delicious to some extent.

                                  It was the bologna in the sandwiches, that would end up sticking on the cafeteria windows, after our measures that included flinging.
                                  These days though, I take more to bologna that burgers, soy or not.

                                  Of course, I continue the boycott of Boars Head that I began in the 1990s, as Boars Head is too monopoly-esque.

                                  Better cold cuts are found in Russian and Polish places.

                                  Head cheese is so good.

                                  As for worst burger, I had a Nathan burger, just weeks ago. I have to say I was not impressed in the least.

                                  A repeat of the "why did I order this".

                                  Then the woman talked me into cheese fries, as well.

                                  One can read on the internet "Nathan's Famous Cheese Fries".

                                  Well, no comment.

                                  Afterwards I headed to a watering hole and down a bud or a coors to get rid of the taste, the textures, and the other extremist and nihilistic invaders that simply arrived due to a smiling friendly face, and my being a pushover.

                                  gullibility will get you the worst burger, for sure!

                                2. A Swiss friend visiting insisted upon going to The Corner Bistro.
                                  This was ten years ago. I had stated some years back it had slid in its quality presented in its burgers. He still insisted.

                                  I did not envy him, as I sat and observed him eating what could have been found in better quality, elsewhere. I slugged a beer in haste as it was painful to see such intelligent individual succumb to trendy tourist pamphlets.

                                  It maintains its presence due to the name it made one time.

                                  Chumley's was far better for the Burger before it closed, in the same neighborhood.

                                  1. Dylan Murphy's on 3rd Ave (UES) makes an atrocious burger. Cool bar and friendly people though.

                                    1. The High Life (UES), unbelievably bad. When I said something to the waitress, she shrugged and walked away. However, the world's worst was at a Wimpy's in London.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: GaryUES

                                        Yeah, Wimpy's was open in SF..briefly. Hard to beat Wimpy's.

                                        1. re: mwhitmore

                                          Wimpy I have not happened into.

                                          I have found Twin Donuts burgers quite pleasurable to eat.

                                          It is stated on signs that they are fresh and not the factor prepared frozen kind.

                                          I only ate one once, though. They beat the more gourmet places, that use the Burger Craze to sell their products.

                                          Keeping it simple is best, besides, a fatty meat as opposed to a lean meat, makes it taste all that much better.

                                        2. re: GaryUES

                                          London has a Wimp Burger place?

                                          In London always burger, the ground meat kind of course, never ever entered my imagination. Seafood renditions do have appeal.

                                          The Donner, and Fish and Chips as well as those large greasy sausages one gets on the street after rolling out of a pub at 11:30, all with grilled onions etc. just take precedence.

                                        3. On behalf of my bf fatburger- he claimed it was the driest most dense horrible burger he has ever paid for....

                                          1. Oh, a few years back l tried GoodBurger a couple of times: it seemed so promising! lt was crap.

                                            1. I think the burger at PJ Clarks is way overrated

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: princeofpork3

                                                I have never been to PJ Clarks. I have avoided invites or dissuaded the initiator from such a choice.

                                                It is overrated..

                                                On the east side it takes up space in an antique building, and there are other locations. It is a nice place for those succumbed by mass appeal.

                                              2. I am convinced that for the worst burger, or soething nearing its title, go for a refined dining establishment's rendition of a burger, and if it is something in the lines of a French, Belgium, or Italian place, it is sure to be quite bad.

                                                I love the beer selection, and waitresses at Petite Abeille Tribecca, though looking at the food that comes from the kitchen does nothing to stir my appetite.\

                                                Burgers are as Belgium as Fried Grasshoppers are New England.

                                                Remember, the burger was first named such on a Navy ship of the US Navy.

                                                If one would like to indulge ones senses within the interior of the oral regions of the human you so are, I recommend, going for a sloppy diner-esque burger, in a diner-esque place.

                                                One could do a bit of homework, find out if it is fresh or frozen premade boxed patties.

                                                Frozen boxed patties are the ones to cause illness too, so make sure it is fresh.

                                                Burgers with french fries stuffed inside, by the chef or by the customer are sure to be quite good. Regions other than NYC, going east, over the vast expanse of water, falafels are done up in such a manner, with french fries stuffed inside, ie: Lebanon, North and West Africa, Israel.

                                                For a bad burger go for the gourmet with french mushroom sauces etc. Make sure there is a white dining cloth over the table, and even Waterford Crystal. It is sure to be bad.

                                                I think my point has been made. I am confident that my argument can be confirmed to be correct, if anyone is willing to pay for overpriced bad food.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: jonkyo

                                                  Thanks for making me wish i was teaching SAT prep (or hell, even writing the exam).

                                                  "Burgers are as Belgium as Fried Grasshoppers are New England."

                                                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                                                    "_________ are as ________ as ___________ are ____________."

                                                    Burgers are as splendid as falafels are bland.

                                                    Mince dishes are as tasty as the best pizza slices in new york are no secret.

                                                    I plan on writing to dispel the burger myth. I am ordering a missile defense system, against potential retaliations from cable network affiliated militants.

                                                    All of these lost souls devouring burgers, confined, in manners due to market forces, and failed diplomacy in terms of negotiating one's ontology in the face of Time Warner.

                                                    The burger is best experienced in venues that keep to the orthodoxy of preparations, as well as ambience .

                                                    This is the purest argument against the forces that try and try again to redefine, re-represent, and re-make.

                                                    It is like the repeated productions, by others, in Hollywood of movies, such as Superman, the Brady Bunch.

                                                    Quality can no doubt be found in the burger's rendition of its initial stages.

                                                    The meatball is quite different in regards to morphosis beyond what our parents and grandparents knew of what a meat ball (was) is, or what is generally known as the basic meat ball.

                                                    That is due to meatball's ingredients. The ingredients allow for more. Creative desires of the individual chef or preparer to take initiative and decide what spices, what kind of filler, may be used, just one facet of the meatball's versatility.

                                                    Just filler itself, is an element that will change one meatball recipe from another significantly, depending upon the individual chef'f preferences.

                                                    So, the burger gets really boring. It is simply ground beef. The inventive side has usually been adding things such as sauces, garnishes, etc. In recent decades we have seen some quirky inventions in regards to the burger. Such has seen success and failure.

                                                    But in the end we are left with the boring taste of the ground beer, grilled or broiled. Garnish or not, my leftover burger, quarter eaten, and taken home, gets chopped up and redefined, as a stir fry.

                                                    Too many large circles with large grilled patties, have been left aside due to non-initiative. The initiative of consuming ends after the second bite.

                                                    Pizza has tremendous versatility.

                                                    The burger, well some in America are attempting to redefine this diner / picnic dish, giving it a new stage. I will stick to the diner counter.

                                                    1. re: jonkyo

                                                      Do you find steak to be boring?

                                                      1. re: howdini

                                                        I do not find steak boring. I have visited many steak houses in Manhattan. For a long while though, fell out of that habit.

                                                        Steak in a steak house is good.

                                                        At home I prefer to do it up in strips and use lettuce instead of a fork, with Korea sauce for dipping. All with slightly whole clove garlic, raw or cooked hot pepper.

                                                        In the steak house, it is quite food.

                                                        Burgers are boring simply due to constitution.

                                                        5 Guys has it right. Not only have they an excellent presentation on the menu, with excellent taste, their decor is vintage tile 1950s road side burger joint.

                                                2. Burgers follow egg dishes.

                                                  For some time on non-busy days or evenings I take coffee at Cafe Petisco, East Houston.

                                                  To give you an introduction to this place allow me. After getting some productive reading and such done, and after many a cup of coffee, time to close the books and drink beer.

                                                  They have Goldstar, the Israeli Beer has the same name of the fist TV I ever had, one that eventually got painted with acrylic, the words "let's Watch Television.

                                                  Goldstar (Israeli) is delicious, but eggs, in this place, might be like a grilled cheese in a pizza parlor. I should have been excommunicated. The only other mistake to make in such a place would be ordering the burger.

                                                  My point is, not Petisco, but using the egg and its grossly overstated manifestation as a culinary delight, and paralleling such an exaggeration with that of the Burger.

                                                  Having been sequestered to this location by a friend, out of my normal routine that may find me there, I looked at the menu in a different light.

                                                  Shakshuka may be good, as my palestine housemate years ago used to make this. Pitisco's egg dish, it was bland and boring. In such a venue with even exotic dishes, why in a Deity's name would one order an egg based dish.

                                                  Eggs are sloppy things, that involve one using implements such as hands and bread toasted to soak up the yoke, while fork is applied to home fries at 5 am after many pitchers or pints, etc.

                                                  In such a situation as I paint above, when egg dishes are not only permissible, but one that is favored, your neighbor, drinking mates, or friends may even have a rendition of the vintage burger in front of them, yet another favored late night delight in diners, or classic burger joints that somehow withstand the encroachment of high rent.

                                                  With the classic or vintage burger, in such a situation that I paint, one will witness those eating a vintage/classic (orthodox; customary; conservative; conventional) rendition of the burger, as they are engrossed in the nuanced flavors of mayo and ketchup, iceberg lettuce, raw onion slices. Sips of coffee helping to wash down the tasty open grilled burger meat, and french fries to munch as you ruminate on the discussion unfolding.

                                                  Vintage is appealing, even for the burger.

                                                  If there is ever an egg fever the likes one seen with The Burger, then one's only hope after succumbing to such a fever may be the radicalization of the cube steak.

                                                  We all can learn lessons from the "Worst Burger".

                                                  If all other disappeared from their menu, I might order one, a Petisco Burger. They use turkey as well a fish/chicken patty.

                                                  Yes, the Burger, not Ingmar, nor is it Ingrid. This pathology even makes inroads to fine Middle Eastern establishments. Hence, you have two choices, have a great meal, or have a bad one, and find that worst burger.....in Manhattan.