Archive for the ‘best burgers in Brooklyn’ Category

 
On a recent trip to the Opera, in Brooklyn no less-and yes- the DMANBURGER has culture ! I was forced to put aside my aspirations of an elevated meal prior to a saturated artistic evening. Having not made a reservation first, was a big mistake because we never knew this oasis of over- crowed restaurants in Ft. Greene existed. As an alternative, I was hoping to get into the likes of the Smoke Joint, and maybe chow down on a plate of ribs and multiple side of collard greens , cornbread and baked beans, perhaps a succulent steak frites from Cafe Lafayette. But much to my disappointment I was shunned away because of “no tables for the rest of the night”-lucky them. After a long trek in the rain, restaurant after restaurant but to no avail would my taste buds be satisfied. I wasn’t in the mood for a burger, especially before the Opera, I felt I should have something more. Drenched and annoyed , I succumbed to 67 Burger, with negativity that my snarky palate could not be satisfied ….I was wrong….! The burger was pretty damn good!  My first impression of 67 Burger was a well organized chaos. Attractive, young hipsters behind the counter dealing with the craziness with poise which made me feel happy and comforting. The menu here is simple- a list of juicy burgers either from the signature creations or an ala carte version-pick your toppings and choice of either beef, turkey, grilled chicken or the dreaded and a pointless veggie burger- why bother?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here at this bustling little community of burger fanatics are all sorts, families with screaming kids, a skateboarder clearly happy, an awkward first date and a lonesome guy on a rainy night, clearly cheered up by his first bite into simple burger pleasure. The aforementioned gleeful staff greets you and simultaneously brands you with a steel staff with a number so after a short wait, I hear “number 14” then you are sitting. My choice was the signature 67 burger ($9.25), a large 7oz. patty dripping with fat and meaty juices and dollop with creamy blue cheese and crispy slabs of smoked bacon, placed beneath.
 
The 67 burger was a party in the mouth, the funky goodness of the cheese and the crispy pork love, that is bacon, all complemented by a solid pairing of a fluffy muffin tin baked sesame bun, fresh tomatoes, thin sliced red onions, whole leaf lettuce and thick crinkle cut garlic pickles.67 burger is not without creation; get the Oaxaca burger ($10.00) a plump burger with the fresh avocado slices, homemade chipotle mayo, Cajun spices, and cheddar cheese. The gamut of burger choices don’t stop there! There’s a Greek, Italian and Parisian version of the humble sandwich, a little overkill- but admirable.
 
 
 
Let’s talk the obvious burger accompaniment-the fries. Here they are done well, fried sticks of potatoes that crunch in the mouth with a hint of salt and a soft center. The curly fry, previously created by that sub-par fast food joint Arby’s are done with perfection and showered with a helping of Cajun seasoning.67 Burger delivers a quality burger with superior service and a smile, although it comes with a price. Burger prices are definitely on the high side at this neighborhood burger shack. The everyday burger budget (with a couple of beers) is compromised. Put it this way, my opera ticket for “La Traviata” at the BAM was cheaper than my burger bill.But the juiciness, peppery flavor that you will receive is forgiving.
 


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Under the Brooklyn Bridge inside the roofless skeleton of the Tobacco Warehouse last night, was the closing ceremony for this year’s NYC Food Film Festival. The event ran from June 23-27 and showcased foodie films which featured eye-popping images and poignant stories about several of America’s faved food haunts and tastes. The event culminated with an award ceremony/All you can eat Burgers n Beer Garden, hosted by NBC’S Cat Greenleaf. A proud Brooklyn resident herself, Greenleaf happily remarks “I love food and this event, and any burgers with bacon.”

Festival Creator and award winning filmmaker George Motz came up with idea of the event, when friend Harry Hawk suggested he screen his movie, Hamburger America, at Hawk’s restaurant. Motz recalls, “It rained, but 200 people still came!” He described the experience of creating the event similar to “throwing a wedding, it has been a tremendous success”. Someone who knows a little something about weddings- Josh Osersky, complimented his burger friend and colleague by saying “Motz coming out of documentary filmmaking, and not being a food guy, makes this event transcend from the usual feeding trough, it’s not just some event you go to-there’s an actual spirit to it and the fact that George and Harry are so passionate about the event shows through.”

Guests drifted around tasting burgers from 3 different meat vendors, Whole Foods, Pat La Frieda and Burger Maker with the “World’s Longest Topping Bar” to dress their creations with an infinite array of condiments and toppings. Anat Baron former executive of Mike’s Hard Lemonade screened her film to 600 burger eating guests- “Beer Wars”, which is a David and Goliath story reporting on the infighting of Americas Beer industry. Baron, with an allergy to alcohol, has never tasted beer, but after speaking with all the brewers, who specifically matched the flavors of the beers selected for the event, she says “Burgers and Beer are all American and apparently- the flavors go well together”. One of those beer flavors included at the event, was from star of the Beers Wars film Rhonda Kallman, who plays herself in the film. Kallman otherwise known as “Queen of Beer” and founder and CEO of New Century Brewing Company, offered up two of her new brews, soon to hit Manhattan bars-the light and crisp Edison and Moonshot, a pilsner with 69 mgs of caffeine added.

A “Queen” of a different kind, was honored in the film “Florent-Queen of the Meat Market“, which is the rise and fall story of West Village iconic diner Florent, and it’s charismatic beloved owner Florent Morellet. Florent auteur, David Sigal, last night accepted the “Made in New York Award” as well as the “Feature Film award”. Sigal received his award ironically from Mayor Mike Bloomberg who was in attendance, “I was honored to get the award from Mayor Bloomberg since I love New York City, this little diner in New York’s meatpacking district had so many stories to tell” says Sigal. An avid burger lover himself, Mayor Bloomberg sauntered around the event, politely cutting in line for toppings, while gorging on burgers and chatting with people. “So far I’ve had 2 beers and the reason I’m talking funny is because my mouth’s full of my second hamburger, if that’s not a testimony of the fact I like the event I don’t know what is” says Mayor Bloomberg.

Motz recalls “I sent the Mayor my book Hamburger America and he wrote me a letter back saying, I love hotdogs but hamburgers are a close second”. Next stop for the NYC Food Film Festival is Chicago, where Motz will franchise his festival for the First Annual Chicago Film Festival Sep 24-25.

As for the mayors favorite burger in the city…..he’s a JG Melon man.


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 George Motz burger impresario and filmmaker of award-winning film Hamburger America teams up with Food Bank NYC, the James Beard Foundation and former Schnack Dog and Water Taxi Beach Chef Harry Hawk-to bring us cavalcade of documentaries, features and short films highlighting the globes favorite foods. The Fourth Annual New City Food Film Festival is the arena where food and film blend together to make a delicious meal of sight and taste. Awards will be given out for excellence in categories such as, Best Feature, Best Short, Best Super-Short, Best Film Made in New York, Food Filmmaker of the Year and the Audience Choice Award.                                           

all photos courtesy of http://www.nycfoodfilmfestival.com

 The festival is already underway (started June 23-27) and I have the privilege of a special assignment involving pigs ears and of course, burgers. First on the menu will be Edible Adventure #001 Smokes, Ears and Ice Cream– which takes place Friday June 25th at Water Taxi Beach. The night will showcase films from various film-foodies (full list here) and offer up some delectable film nosh like: Pig’s Ear sandwiches from Big Apple Inn, Jackson Mississippi; Smoke Meats from Fatty Cue; and Ice Cream from Max and Mina’s.  A number of liquid pleasures are also in the cast of stars-featured, are Cucumber Soda from Dry Soda Co. And potables from Mixologist, Allen Katz.                                 

Sunday June 25th the NYC Food Festival comes to a close with an abbreviated screening of George Motz’s Hamburger America and Anat Barons “Beer Wars” followed by the coveted awards ceremony, which is hosted by NBC’s Cat Greenleaf. The whole evening titled, “All-You-Can-Eat Brooklyn Burger N’ Beer Garden” at the Tobacco Warehouse under the Brooklyn Bridge, promises to be a glitzy burger-poolaza with burgers from Pat La Frieda and Whole Foods and growlers of beer to be guzzled from Craft Beers.                                    

all photos courtesy of http://www.nycfoodfilmfestival.com

 For a complete schedule and tickets go to:http://www.nycfoodfilmfestival.com/tickets.html                                             

………..and the award goes to?                                                


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Open for only a few days, Black Swan NYC is the latest in the Gastropub craze sweeping New York. Located in a restaurant starved section of Bed Stuy-Brooklyn, the owner Sershan Pather wanted to open a nondescript neighborhood spot, Sershan says, “where people could just hangout”. The ex-auto shop is shielded with a black fortress like front,the dining room is plastered with black wood paneling, hefty hand carved recycled wooden tables, banquettes and a long communal that completes the room. At the entrance, the bar is large and comfortable with various ales,stouts,and lagers from the four corners of the globe, all supplied by Craft Beers. The menu is nouveau pub fare,with Chef Cynthia Walker late of Brown Betty turning out plates like, Salt Cod Fritters with Carmel Ginger sauce, Roasted Island Spice Chicken with butter Rum plantain mash and sautéed collard greens and Chicken Wings [served at the bar] with sweet & spicy Thai or Jerk sauce. Sershan says,” This is a culturally rich neighborhood, with no real quality place to eat, it was nice seeing the guy that’s lived in the neighborhood for 40 years eating next to young students who just moved in”.

The Black Swan burger is available loaded with assorted toppings, such as bacon, avocado, goat cheese or fried egg.Today I’m having it the way owner Cynthia likes it, with white cheddar, caramelized onions and a little ketchup. The beef is from The Piccinini Brothers, who also supplies Dumont burger. I sat in a banquette and watched Palermo beat AC Milan in the Serie A soccer, anxiously awaiting Cynthia’s handy work. My burger arrived perfectly stacked with white cheddar, an 8 oz. patty smothered in caramel brown onions, on a well toasted brioche from Balthazar Breads. The fries were stuffed into a chinese take-out box, and were crispy thin, with just the right amount of salt. The burger was juicy and forthcoming with plenty of flavor, the crunchiness of the brioche was a little troubling and crumbly, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. If I could change anything-that would be it. The burger was fat, pretty and had plenty of personality- not a bad first time Black Swan burger.

After a Planes,Trains,and Automobiles type trek to Black Swan NYC, I was greeted by an excitement and fledgling restaurant staff, that were generally happy and looking forward to serving their neighborhood,mostly locals, some of which decide to hangout there on their night off. This attitude and commitment, and good solid Gastropub chow , will hopefully keep this place a float. I enjoyed my experience at Black Swan, and the burger was worth the 35 plus minutes it took me to get there by the MTA’s shoddy haulage.

Black Swan on Urbanspoon

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On Grammy Awards Sunday I thought it was appropriate to catch the final day of the Brooklyn Museum’s Rock and Roll Photo Exhibit, featuring the worlds rock stars in various collections by famous shutterbugs. I meandered through Park Slope looking for a pre-museum snack, settling on Bonnie’s Grill a modest little home-style diner located on 5th Ave in Park Slope. With a long counter and a handful of tables, I propped myself at the bar and thumbed through the menu, which included such hits as Buffalo wings, Veggie Chili, and various homestyle dishes.

The Black Angus spiced rubbed burger had my name all over it. I watched in amazement as the cook served up dishes for the entire restaurant single handedly grilling burgers, frying wings and sautéing crab cakes but with relative ease. As classic tunes of Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater and Rod Stewart blasted out of the speakers, I glanced around and notice rockabilly college types, downing microbrews and devouring wings while watching ESPN on a flat screen over the busy open kitchen. My server offered limited information about the history of Bonnie’s opting for the 5th amendment approach to answer my question, however ,I did manage to squeeze out of him that they had been slinging out spicy burgers and other tasty treats for over 10 years.

My Spicy Black Angus burger was presented in front of me, along with a very tasty looking Veggie burger (pictured above)… yes Veggie burger!.www.onlineclasses.net can teach
you how to make these heart healthy entrees and others like them.I figured I’d try one for all you non-carnivores out there. My less than healthy ,but more deliciously divine burger ,was served on a plump fresh whole wheat bun, dill pickles, sautéed jalapeños and tangy chipotle mayonnaise. The patty was a Black Angus Sirloin dusted in a mysterious spice rub that gave it a serious kick; the overall taste was flavorful, powerful and insanely juicy in texture. I ravaged the burger bite after bite only pausing to taste the fantastic crisp French Fries that accompanied this delighted sandwich. The Veggie burger was great too, not a traditional favorite of mine, but surprised me with its robust flavor yet easy light texture. It was coupled with crunchy spicy coleslaw and topped with a gooey Swiss cheese and a lightly toasted poppy seed bun.

This up-scale rockabilly inspired and decorated diner is definitely worth the visit and with the $10.95 price tag for the Black Angus burger and $8.95 for the Veggie burger was in the right neighborhood in the money department. Despite the less than warm staff, I enjoyed sitting at the bar surrounded by rock n roll pictures and classic melodies that made for a pleasant and scrumptious afternoon. In fewer and more appropriate words, it rocked!!

Bonnie's Grill