After a burger tasting planned for a well-known burger haunt fell through, I walked aimlessly and annoyed that my burger craving was postponed and prolonged -“What else is in this area” ? I asked myself “Minetta Tavern”, “Five Guys” ? Not willing to deal with the waiting and unsure chance of getting a table at Minetta, or needlessly following the hordes of burger reviewers that flock after Five Guys, I was lost for ideas. Reluctantly I decided to expel my idea of a burger mission, and just go to a normal brunch, perhaps giving my arteries a rest -and maybe order a salad? I noticed that there were swarms of people outside Jane, an American bistro and sister restaurant of The Smith, a partnership of Glen Harris and Jeffrey Lefcourt. I asked myself- “Could this have a decent burger”? I quickly scanned the crowded room hoping to catch a glimpse of other burger fanatics nourishing themselves on my unsuspecting prey. I noticed a guy, about to devour this surprisingly gorgeous specimen, and I was sold. I approached the maitre’d and asked for her next available table, then lounged on the front bench basking in the welcomed sunlight that was beating down on the city. The menu at Jane consists of your usual brunch/lunch favorites: Caesar Salad, Eggs Benedict, BLT and Vanilla Bean French Toast, the latter of which is supposedly their signature. The decor is modern contemporary with wide panoramic windows and comfortable banquette’s along each wall, the scene is a retrospect of Soho-fashionistas meets NYC students, with some restaurant savvy tourists thrown in for good measure.
My party and I were seated in the back of the packed dining room. Excitement suddenly came over me that I had found a great new burger place, my hopes of being the first to discover this new burger find, were dashed when I noticed on my handy Google App , that every man and his dog had reviewed the place! Happily there weren’t too many distasteful slurs, so I felt confident that we were in for an unexpected treat. The burger was slated on the menu simply as “Jane Burger” with white cheddar, double smoke bacon, special sauce and fries. After careful interrogation of the waitress, I found out that there was a creamy mayonnaise based jalapeno marmalade and tangy green pickled tomatoes hidden in there also. The burger arrived, and was gargantuan! Served on a fat brioche bun with crispy french fries and cheese oozing out the side-I was a happy camper. My first bite was powered by the smokiness of the bacon, and crispy dill flavor of the pickled tomato. This was a novel and inventive alternative, capturing the flavor of a tomato and a dill pickle together. The beef was 100% ground sirloin, that was dripping with juices which quickly ran down my hands and forearms, like a rapid river. This was good in a way, because it told me that the burger was juicy and full of flavor. However it also told me, that my last bite could likely be dry. The flavor and texture was above average and I enjoyed it immensely, savoring every bite, unfortunately the last few bites were definitely dry, and drained of juices. This tiny detail may seem trivial, but previous giants of the burger world have been known to avoid this paltry dilemma.
Jane restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy good decent brunch fare, while shopping in Soho, or maybe before catching a frou-frou artistically saturated film at the Angelika ? On the weekend expect to wait 10-15 mins. for a table, but if it’s a nice day you can work on your tan, take your mind off the stresses of life, and gawk at the brunch searching masses walk by, undoubtedly on the hunt for something fabulous and ever so popular. Well next time you’re in Soho and on that same hunt, the DMANBURGER say’s “look no further than Jane”.