I found myself in Greenport this weekend, a quaint little seasonal fishing village located on the North Fork of Long Island. After consulting with some burger loving locals, they all directed me to O’ Mally’s. Situated about 10 minutes drive from my hotel, I got behind the wheel of my KIA rental and trudged my tiny car through the snow, which had fallen the evening before. I arrived to a cozy roadside tavern with Irish and European accents complete with classic Tiffany style lamps and large stuffed Moose heads mounted on the walls. I was seated in the back and given a menu that consisted of 33 artful variations of the classic roadside burger particularly the Alien Burger, Saloon Burger, Marinated Florentine Burger and the Supa Duper Burger which was a 1 pound of meat with every topping available in the kitchen for $75.00.
The owner Phil Mannino has been in the restaurant business for over 45 years, and was reminiscing the story of how he created this colossal burger menu over martinis one night long ago. He proceeded to share with me the process of his brilliant creations was like many other burger connoisseurs, which was a good local butcher that supplied a careful combination of beef that was catered to his liking. I was given a rare tour of a behind the scenes look at the painstaking process that goes into this meaty morsel. I made my way back to the table past happy patient patrons who smiled and looked on with jealously that I was getting the special treatment. After pondering over several selections I had decided on the Burger Papa, a towering 7 oz. burger with creamy Gorgonzola cheese, frizzled fried onion rings, lettuce, red onion and juicy tomato. It was suggested by my confident and knowledgeable waitress that “some Saloon Sauce would go perfect with that” I obliged her suggestion and settled in for the wait which was sure to be worth it.
The Burger Papa arrived and I could see why it was named this, it was the Papa of all burgers with a giant stack of frizzled fried onion rings and Gorgonzola cheese slathered over a juicy generous patty. My first bite was moist and absolutely lovely tasting the strong powerful flavor of the cheese and the crispy delightfulness of the fried onion rings. The quality of the meat was superb and the dressing of the Burger Papa was nothing short of spectacular. I also had an opportunity to try the O’Mally’s mini’s, gourmet version of White Castle burgers which featured tiny little chopped onions and delectable dill pickles that exploded with flavor in your mouth after every bite. All the burgers at O’Mally’s are served open faced and with lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and a generous bed of steak fries or shoestring fries.
I really enjoyed meeting Phil and the people at O’Mallys and was honored and privileged to be able to witness such gentleman and genius of the burger world.