I'm something of a hamburger aficionado. Or a burger snob. However you slice it, I like hamburgers; I'm quick to praise the good ones, even faster to lambaste the crappy ones and the average offerings are forgotten more quickly than the promises of an alcoholic on her third drink.
Which brings us to this evening. I'd had a very, very long day and a friend was coming over to do a quick cameo in my latest sketch video and I promised to feed her. I'd normally cook, but I was beat, so after a little brainstorming on where to eat I suddenly remembered that there was a BRGR hamburger joint on 7th Avenue near my place that I had never tried.
Now, I had avoided this place on purpose. It screamed hipster trash, in it's decor, pathetic portions, pricing... even it's fonts. It featured a 1/3 pound burger, which is, coincidentally, the exact weight of mediocrity. Their basic burger was SEVEN dollars, AND they sold their fries separately - red flags galore. I had my burger oven set to pre-hate this place.
Yet here was an opportunity to finally give it a chance, so in we went. Got myself the BRGR burger - basic cheese, onions lettuce, tomato, pickle and BRGR sauce. Rare, as all burgers should be. With a side of sweet potato fries ($2.75) and a black and white milkshake ($5.50). My friend also got a basic burger and lemonade. Total came to nearly $30. For TWO people! Eating HAMBURGERS.
Must... stay... calm...
Flavor of the Burger: Meh. Slightly too greasy. Huge bun, pathetic vegetables and cheese melted onto the bottom bun... wtf is that? You might as well put the cheese under the table. You can't taste the damn cheese unless it's on top of the meat. That's burgers 101. Amateurs. The beef patty itself was a thin, rather mealy patty that reminded me of the consistency of frozen pre-made hamburgers, despite it's supposedly organic, freshly-made construction. I mean look at that thing; that's a burger that's just given up on itself.
After I took a few bites of the burger, I took a sip of what appeared to be about a 16-oz milkshake - seemed a little small for my taste. I was all ready to hate on it as well for it's rather hefty price-tag, but when it hit my lips I was forced to admit that it's a really, really good milkshake. Pretty much worth the money.
The fries, on the other hand, were crispy, but for being sweet potato fries, rather flavorless. They needed some sort of seasoning, and the sea salt on the table wasn't doing it. They should consider having a version with a bit of cayenne or garlic.
The real giveaway about the burgers though? At the counter next to our table was a mother and her 3 or 4 year old girl. Angelic little slip of a thing, blond curls falling around pink cheeks. She was peering back over her chair at us and I smiled at her, then suddenly realized she was in the process of FINISHING her burger. When a 3-year old girl can finish your hamburger without so much as a fuss, you FAIL. COMPLETE LOSS!
Michael Kane of the New York Post has named BRGR burgers one of the Best Burgers in Town, ranking it BETTER than Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian, and on the same level as P.J. Clarke's and frakkin' Peter Luger's burgers.
Note to self: Michael Kane of the New York Post is a moron.