Posts Tagged ‘best burger blogs in nyc’

Hidden in the outdoor pavilion of One Worldwide Plaza between 49th and 50th Streets in the Theater District of Manhattan, you’ll find Mother Burger. A burger joint with an outdoor beer garden/college campus type feel, Mother Burger also slings out, kobe dogs, grilled cheese,wings and $2.00 brews to urban youngsters, theater tourists and nearby locals. Created by Blockheads Burritos brothers Don and Ken Sofer, Mother Burger specializes in smashed fast-food type burgers reminiscent of a faux-In-Out style burger.I sat outside and gazed around at happy tables enjoying the spring weather, guys were downing jugs of amber and girls were sipping high potent umbrella drinks, I felt like I was on a Carnival Cruise in the Caribbean not a few blocks from Times Square-which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

Our waiter, who looked like the singer Moby, and was clearly still feeling the effects from “The Adult Flu” sauntered over and inaudiably mumbled the specials. His focus was  momentarily taken from our attention as he became increasingly worried about the flocks of “air rats” (pigeons) that were wreaking havoc on a nearby table. Reminiscent of that movie The Birds it was one of the more stranger events that have occurred during my burger dining days. Suddenly our whiskey-logged waiter came to the rescue, by banging two large plastic drink trays together. The sound was a loud and annoying clacking sound, that consequently caused the filthy flying rodents to scatter above the skies. Now that the drama was over I pondered on which burger to get, and I decided on the Single Mother with cheese and a double order of fries which are ordered separately. The burger arrived open-faced cradled in a tacky red basket,with a side container of “special sauce” which was undeniably Thousand Island dressing. The burger was relatively moist and decent, the flavor was good, and the fries were crispy. I tasted the freshness of the red-onion,pickles and tomato and the sharpness of the cheddar cheese as I consumed the little mother quicker than a pigeon picks up scraps.

Mother burger is cheap and cheerful and a moderately good burger joint with a colorful and friendly staff, if the weather is pleasurable, so will be the atmosphere. Indoors is more of a dive bar type feel than a restaurant, so stick to the outdoor seating, where you can bask in the sun and drink $2.00 Pabsts and watch the city walk by. The menu has some solid choices but stick to the simple items such as the burgers, kobe dogs and grilled cheese. And watch out for those umbrella drinks, they could leave a mark !

Mother Burger on Urbanspoon

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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”.

Jane

Around the corner from Freeman’s, the taxidermy laden, clandestine tavern that has been repeatedly reviewed by food paparazzi over the years lays the charming cafe/restaurant -The National. Opened by Jeremy Hogeland and partner Julie Dickstein 7 months ago, they have dodged the press radar relatively well, a tactic to achieve their excellence before the hordes of foodies sunk their teeth in, literally! I was interested to learn that the namesake was inspired by Hotel Nacional de Cuba, featured in Godfather II .It was the  real-life La Cosa Nostra meeting spot for charismatic hoods Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, back in the 40′s, and also featured in Godfather II. Jeremy informed me that his personal vision was to practice their “schizophrenic like” menu, which was jointly created by him, Julie and Chef Zoe Feigenbaum, and incorporates endless international eats and inspirations. The decor is cafe style cozy, scattered flea market trinkets and adornments, mother of pearl shades, antique mirrors, with the Cubano style name sign splashed high above with floor to ceiling white surgically clean subway tiles that plaster the walls. Oh –by the way – if you are wondering where the tables that you are eating on are from- none other than Meyer Lansky’s old haunt- Lansky Lounge!

The National originally opened as a cafe, so hence I decided to sample the expert young barista’s handy work, that was hurriedly serving cap’s and latte’s to a fashion forward crowd at her tiny mini coffee bar. The coffee was insanely good, with just the right amount of foam to put a smile on my face on this gloomy afternoon. The space was tight, but I had adequate room at which to perform my burger surgery, seated in front of the door, I glance around at the crowed dining room filled with Euro hipsters and East Village type style mavens, undoubtedly stopping for some quick sustenance before browsing through over highly priced duds and haircuts and next doors Freeman’s Sporting ClubFrench Culinary Graduate, Chef Zoe Feigenbaum at the helm, and was busy creating in the kitchen, a selection of tasty brunch treats such as Shrimp and Grits, Lobster Roll, Jerk Pork, Fish Tacos and Banana French Toast.

Zoe’s contribution to my appetite today was The National burger, an 8 oz.  Pat La Frieda blend burger, served with colossal chunks of Smokey blue cheese, slabs of rosy red tomatoes on a toasted brioche. Jeremy Hogeland explained to me that their genius method of pan-frying the burger in a cast iron skillet, than broiling it under the Salamander, seals the juices and makes for a tenderer succulent patty. My plate arrived with a gorgeous looking specimen of burger handy work, winning top marks for looks alone. The chunks of blue cheese had a subtle coating of bronzing, just ever so slightly tanned. The brioche bun was delicately toasted with the right amount of give, when poked with my finger. The French fries were cut in exact symmetry and crispy to the taste, with a generous burst of herb after flavor. The patty itself was juicy, plump and charred to perfection, as I gorged into this delicious burger, I really tried hard to find something wrong with it, but I just couldn’t!! I thought it was pretty much as close to perfection as a bistro style burger gets, just as Lucky and Meyer were the mastermind’s of crime, The National was this day the mastermind of the burger.

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I also tasted the Fish Tacos which were crispy fried little pieces of Cod, adorned with zesty pickled cabbage, Pico de Gallo and a homemade tortilla. I can tell you as a Taco fan, these babies rated high on my list for some of the best I have ever had!  The National is a charming place for a coffee, brunch or dinner, with an evening menu that some say surpasses its more famous neighbor. So if you’re growing old waiting in line for a Freeman’s table, stop that insanity and dine at The National!!

The National

In Italian, Scuderia means stable or team, and the team at this Northern Italian Trattoria is delightfully headed up by Leyla Marchetto and Alessandro Bandini. The decor is ingeniously adorned with illustrations from New Yorker cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Vintage rock anthology and strategically splashed Italian graffiti. The dining room features family style communal tables, bar and private mezzanine, with seasonal access to 35 more spaces al fresco. I heard about Scuderia from the culinary fame that surrounds her location- Da Silvano.It was comforting and refreshing to know that this charming Greenwich Village spot has created its own confident gallop on such famed Italian piatti as Carpaccio di Manzo, Parpadelle al Cinghiale and Saltimbocca alla Romana. Scuderia is also famous for their thin and delectably scrumptious pizzas, which include ravishingly topped pies such as Piccante (Spicy Pork, Taleggio, Rucola), Tartufata al Formaggio ( Four cheeses, Black Truffles) and signature Scuderia (Fig Jam, Blue cheese. As the DMANBURGER I never expected to find among all these wonderfully inherited Italian specialties another inherited American treat; the burger!

The Scudburger, as it’s affectionately called is a perfect Pat La Frieda blend of assorted rich prime cuts of which has been especially crafted for Scuderia. Open for a little over a year now, Scuderia has the brainchild of Chef Carlo Appolini in the kitchen, whom was former culinarian of such exorbitant upscale eats as Le Cirque at The Bellagio in Vegas and Osetria del Circo in New York. I sat in a comfortable window seat and was treated to a taste of Crostini Misti a Modo Nostro, which tonight was robust and hearty boar Ragu, white Cannelini beans hinted with Rosemary and fresh sautéed mushrooms, all of which were fantastic! I couldn’t wait to sample the burger which was looming in my thoughts as I contently watched Fred Astaire dancing in an old movie which was playing on a screen perched above the service line. ” Why was I watching Fred Astaire so intently”  I scarily asked myself ? Normally I wouldn’t be able to focus on such a film, but tonight a peace and certainty came over me that could only be attributed to my calm and pleasant surroundings. The burger arrived which quickly took my attention off Daddy Long Legs and on to the mammoth beauty that was in front of me. The Scudburger was seated on a well toasted  roll, oozing creamy good Caciocavello cheese, fresh Rucola, crispy fried Speck, dark caramelized onions and spicy mustard. The flavor was heavenly as I bit over and over into the complex layers of the burgers ingredients; the smokiness of the Speck, the velvety richness of the Caciocavello, the tartness of the Rucola and the delicate earthiness of the mushrooms. My only slight criticism would be the bun or roll, the bread was a little too coarse and cumbersome in my opinion, and rather hard on the tooth. Having said that though, I ate every bit of the leftover top-side of the bun using it to mop up tasty olive oil, which I thought was more suited for this type of bread.

I had a wonderful time at Scuderia! Leyla and Alessandro are wonderful people  who  entertain their customers with the utmost respect and attention. The Scudburger wreaks of flavor and goodness and is definitely up there with my favorites in terms of flavor and originality. I look forward to returning to Scuderia, not only for the food, but  for the World Cup Soccer festivities that they are planning in July as a wonderful place to park my caboose, eat my face off and watch some worldly competitive team football…….Ci vediamo presto Scuderia !!

Scuderia

On Bleecker and Grove Street in the restaurant saturated West Village, lies newly opened Choptank. Named for the river that flows into the Chesapeake Bay where the owners grew up, this upscale seafood shack is inspired by the very cuisine of that Maryland region. Native proprietor Bobby Werhane famed for other well-loved comfort spots such as Dell’Anima and L’Artusi, came together with Chef Matthew Schaefer and culinary servant Kevin Patricio, featuring a varietal menu consisting of Binkert’s German Sausage, Fried Oyster Po-boys and Fried Chicken with Black pepper honey. I was greeted by kind and gracious  Bobby Werhane who ushered me through his modern, yet contemporary maritime decorated split level restaurant, complete with a charming outdoor space where he says “We’re going to have some killer crab boils in the summer”- the sound of which made my ears perk up! Hoping for an invite to such an auspicious seasonal event, I stared and daydreamed that I was lounging outdoors slurping oysters and chomping on peel your own Gulf shrimp while downing cold beverages and enjoying witty banter with friends and passer bys…..alas not just yet ! I would be content tonight in a warm cosy nook gorging on my warm hearty burger watching pedestrians lumber along clenching their coats against the last of New York’s winter.

Before long, my lovely waitress served me some tantalizing Old Bay seasoned potato crisps, which were accompanied by a tangy smooth crab dip which was very rich in flavor and insanely tasty. The signature burger that I was to choose, featured a goliath 8oz blended patty, juicy and full of flavor slathered in rich creamy aged Wisconsin cheddar, pickled pepper mayo, fried onions and bacon-jam, all nestled on a perfectly toasted speckled sesame seed bun. I grabbed the burger like fisherman hauls a catch, trawling the sandwich into my mouth savoring the flavor as my eyes closed with content and delight. This was a good catch, not going to throw this one away! However, when practicing the same action on a lightly fried Oyster po-boy, I was greeted with an uninviting flavor which caused me to want to throw this catch back ! I was disappointed, and left the Po-Boy to revert back to my delicious burger. I chatted to a couple of regulars at a nearby table who swear by the crispy Fried Chicken, Virginia Ham, and zesty rock shrimp tacos. I was really happy with the burger and was very impressed with the friendliness of upfront and hands on owner Bobby Werhune, and his competent staff.

Choptank has various seating options such as an oyster bar, dining room and cosy window nooks. The bar is full featuring a plethora of micro brews and wines if that’s your thing, Choptank is a great neighborhood landing spot to enjoy all varietals of tasty Maryland inspired fare and one heck of-a-good burger. I’ll be checking back in when the weather’s warmer for those crab and shrimp boils, maybe you should do the same !

Choptank

I trudged through the torrential blowing rain to a dark, enigmatic burger den on the Lower East Side. Located above speakeasy style bar Cabin Down Below, this dim-lit former pizza shop was quietly opened a couple of weeks ago by muffled owner Johnny T. Also owner of eclectic night haunts, The Bowery Electric and Niagara, Johnny was quite clear about keeping his restaurant free from the riff -raff of the press world. Fortunately the benefits of being a lowly burger blogger and not a superstar food journalist, is that I got carte blanche of this mysterious hideaway, for a brief moment. Black Market’s sexy decor consists of jet black leather banquettes, antique chandeliers and marble counter tops. A friendly group of hipsters are at the helm serving a minimal menu featuring oysters, burgers, tuna rolls and crudités.

 

 

I sat alone in the front of the restaurant and pondered, confused and asked myself two questions. The first was where were the gorgeous hip models and chic-punkster types that were supposedly frequenting? And secondly, why the bejeezes were the front steel shutters closed?? I decided against asking for the answers to those questions, fearing that my short right of passage as guest burger scribe would be revoked…. somewhat like the Soup Nazi …..NO BURGER FOR YOU!!! I quietly sat there and waited patiently for my burger, a blend which was yet again, flawlessly provided by Pat La Frieda’s. I watched the capable workings of my burger builder Mike, as he thrashed around the tiny counter kitchen to expertly assemble my tasting. He was joined by “Spanky” and “Reynolds” making up the trio of front men at Black Market that evening. My burger arrived with a perfectly toasted soft bun, crisp dill pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and a generous portion of crispy French fries. My first bite was another heavenly mouthful of well blended, strong flavored beef that brought a smile to my face. I immediately thought Shake Shack …not because I was comparing it as better or worse, but because it reminded me of a simplistic, beautifully constructed burger that I could eat over and over.

The French Fries were doused in black pepper and salt, rendering the flavor spicy and addictive. Not wanting to outstay my welcome, I snapped up my fries, took the last bite of my tasty burger, slurped my diet coke, and asked for the check. The price was affordable at $11.00, which was great for a burger of its quality and taste. I hope and wish Johnny T and all the guys well in their new venture, I am sure that if his other projects are any indication, he won’t have a problem.

Black Market on Urbanspoon

The famous Spotted Pig was the scene for my most recent burger gorge, the otherwise known Gastropub with famed pork servant April Bloomfield at the helm was a long-awaited treasure. I finally worked up the courage and patience to face the long sometimes 2 hour waits that were promised, only to be pleasantly surprised and whisked upstairs by a more than capable “piglet” for a spot at the bar. I look around at the room and was in bewilderment by the amount of people devouring the juicy signature burger! “Could it be that good”? “Could it be that popular”? The answer to that will be revealed, for now I was taking in the sights of the trend setting fashionista’s and urban pop foodies dining and chatting in a decor that resembles someone’s Grandmothers house rather than a critically acclaimed eatery. With old-fashioned trinkets, pig ornaments and flea market type memorabilia, it made for a visually entertaining rest while I waited for my famous beef party on a bun. The Michelin star winning “Pig”-as Ms. Bloomfield calls it-came about in 2004 after partnering with other culinary giants Ken Friedman and Mario Batali-whom she is also in cohorts together with many other restaurants, such as John Dory and newly famed Breslin.

 The much written about burger that I was about to sample, was everywhere on diners plates, seemingly calling me from every angle of the room with its perfectly grilled bun creamy Roquefort and tangles of rosemary strip fries. I grew impatient as I smelt the aroma’s of rosemary and beautifully pungent cheese waft through the air as yet another burger was served to a nearby customer. ” When was it my turn”? I thought to myself. After some witty jovial conversation with the bartender, my wait was over….this glorious beast of a burger was placed down on the bar in front of me, it’s pure beauty captivated me for a second as I decided which way I was going to bite into it, with condiment or without ? I opted for it as is, and my taste buds were swamped with an overwhelming flavor combination of superior beef quality and excellence in creamy Roquefort. My knowledgeable cheese source (MB) informed me that the much sought after Roquefort cheese featured on the Spotted Pig burger was in very near danger of being ousted by the triple increased tariff placed on luxury goods. Thankfully the Gods saved us all from such a travesty and future happy burger eaters can continue to savor this delightful creation as nature and Ms. Bloomfield intended.

 

I enjoyed every last morsel of my burger as I occasionally paused not wanting it to end, the strands of rosemary fried potatoes were insanely good and crispy. I found myself shoveling these fries into my mouth as onlookers watched in amazement. I could have eaten everyone else’s plate in the place!  I was like some hunger crazed animal let loose in a cage of harmless and defenseless prey, gorging till there was no tomorrow. But sadly after a few minutes, my Spotted Pig experience was but a memory. In case you haven’t realized by this story, this portion of my quest at the Spotted Pig was pretty much perfect! The staff was pleasant and professional, the atmosphere was fun and lively and most of all the burger was in a word “AMAZING”. At $17 it’s on the high-priced side for a burger, but personally I thought it was worth every penny.
 
 

Spotted Pig on Urbanspoon

PJ Clarke’s has been an old favorite weekend spot for me for many years, I have many fond memories of Sundays tasting such home-made delights as Blue cheese wedges, Meatloaf and Reuben Sandwiches. Since 1884 PJ’s saloon as been doling out mugs of ale and jovial chatter to a patronage which can read as a who’s who from the history books, yet still keeping the feeling of an everyman’s bar. PJ’s has been affectionately loved by those who frequented her stools and red checked tables. After long time owners lost hold in 2002 it was painstakingly renovated by actor Timothy Hutton and restaurateur Phil Scotti. Not being able to secure a table, I opted to perch myself at the bar and watch punters guzzle their Boddington’s Ale and Bloody Mary’s which were expertly flung to them by bartenders donned in white antique style aprons. I stared amazed at the history and nostalgia plastered on the walls above the gigantic mahogany bar that had seen the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jackie O and Louis Armstrong lean on while waiting on their favorite pint.

PJ ‘s menu consisted various nouveau pub fare items, including a day by day menu featuring old-time favorites such as lasagna, Short Rib Sandwich and Lobster Roll. Of course I was going to sample the creation named by Nat King Cole in the late 50’s as “The Cadillac Burger” . While I waited for my anticipated delight I wasn’t short of entertainment, with the Olympics playing on a big screen and the patrons jostling for positions to get their much-needed hangover cure , I was reminded that after so many years this place could still pull in a hefty bar crowd ! I could see my burger stationary at the other end of the bar, I watched with impatience as it was overlooked again and again by the busy staffers. “That’s mine, that’s mine” I cried ! Starving beyond belief with hunger drool collecting in each corner of my mouth, I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever taste this illusive beefy delectable. At last a competent and speedy bus-boy snatched up my order that was lonely sitting at the end of the bar and rescued it from the impending spills and hand gestures of the staffers, and into my capable clutches. My first bite was fresh and tasty, with the flavor and blend of the meat flowing through my mouth with hints of charcoal and cheese. The bun was moderate in flavor but rather small in size. Despite the first couple of bites being decent, the burger then began to diminish in flavor and ended quite ordinary, the meat was just not cooked to perfection as this burger had been in the past for me and I was left with a ho-hum state of feeling about the “Cadillac” of burgers.

The French fries that accompanied the “Cadillac” burger were crisp and scrumptious, crammed into a wrapped aluminum tin, they were what satisfied my hunger after my less than large burger was inhaled. PJ Clarke’s is an iconic New York establishment wrought with history, fame and nostalgia. The flavor of the staff and the patrons of this 126 year old saloon is what make this a great place to spend a weekend meal with friends and family. Unfortunately the flavor of the burgers today was not that memorable.

P.J. Clarke's on Urbanspoon

On 59th and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan you’ll find Bloomingdale’s, the iconic department store famous for such historic events as the invention of the hoop skirt, the modern shopping bag and one of the stops on the Queen of England’s 1976 New York shopping spree. Flip burger shares the menswear floor with such labels as Helmut Lang, Viktor Rolf and Hugo Boss. It caters to high-end Euro-shoppers and opulent Upper East Side families hoping to keep their ankle biters at bay, while they take a break from browsing the latest fashions. The decor is sparse and light with minimalistic fittings, subtle backlighting, that tightly seats about 70 hungry shoppers. The menu offers signatures burgers, salads and also a create your own burger section where one can mix and match their burger fixings choosing from several burger building materials, such as a unique variety of buns, side sauces and other accoutrements.

My server Jodie was a smart and knowledgeable, flitting about the room offering stumped and indecisive customers; such as me, help in selecting the greatest burger combination. She suggested the wasabi and ginger brioche bun with my choice of the hearty /short rib blend, coupled with the rich smoky homemade BBQ sauce and velvety blue cheese. As an extra treat I sampled another burger with the sweet/brisket blend, sweet pickle relish and rich gooey Jack cheese .Unfortunately my choice of BBQ sauce was quite overpowering to a delicate and beautiful La Frieda blend of patty, the meat flavor was superior and was melt in the mouth good with every bite. The soft yet toastiness of the bun was the last foundation to an exquisite burger creation. The sweet/brisket blend was refreshing, bursting out with flavor by the “tangy sweet pickle relish” that was so good that it would make a Southern Grandma jealous. The Jack cheese was divine and was perfectly slathered on the patty and paired with a plain perfectly toasted brioche bun. The French fries were shoestring thin and crispy, served with a plentiful measure in a cone of paper, but they were mundane to taste, lacking in flavor and seasoning. Unfortunately Flip burger is not cheap, with French fries at $5.00; create your own burgers staring at $12 and signature burgers from $16 to $23 for the Wagyu Benedict burger.

Flip burger was an adequate in-department store eatery and worth a visit while, after meandering around Bloomingdale’s on a busy Saturday shopping, I would recommend that you keep it simple, and try not to get too adventurous with the multi-condiment menu, the beef blend is well worth trying with minimal condiments. If you are not sure ask your server I found them quite helpful and knowledgeable with the exact flavor match that will comfort your carnivorous palette. Flip is solely owned by the Bloomingdale’s Corporation and is the guinea pig restaurant for them, to judge whether they will appear in other stores. Honestly if I wasn’t shopping at Bloomingdale’s I probably wouldn’t eat there again, not because it wasn’t good, but because I find eating in a department store kind of depressing, it brings me back to my childhood waiting around for hours at some basement department store eatery while my mother shops the unmentionables counter and my father screams frustrated about where my mother is and………..well, you get the picture!

Flip

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