April Bloomfield’s newest spot, Salvation Burger, is a dedicated burger joint that has been marketed as a fast casual bar atmosphere. However with a full wait staff, hefty pricing and less than speedy service, it falls more in line with a traditional restaurant than a fast casual burger joint.
This place has already built up some serious hype from the foodie community in the two short weeks that it’s been open. Instagram, Eater, Thrillist, and all sorts of NYC-centric publications are buzzing with glee over this place. My conclusion is that the hype is ill-placed, to put it lightly. Now allow me put it not-so-lightly…
The burgers are a fucking rip off, and they’re mediocre-tasting at best. Their “Salvation Burger” comes in at a whopping $25. It LOOKS pretty, but it also looks small:
The table next to us said, “Oh, this place has sliders!” They do not. However, while the burgers DO look small, they actually eat big. I was full. The Salvation Burger is probably 6-8oz, which is a decent size, but at $25 for a fucking burger I am expecting perfection in the execution. Let me explain…
Our waitress informed us that the chef suggests medium rare. Perfect. When good ground beef is involved, I’m all for medium rare. However ours was nearly raw. I didn’t mind as much, but my wife did, because parts of her half were rubbery and cold (we shared). My wife, like me, loves a medium rare piece of meat. We are regular steak eaters (obviously), and we regularly order our beef medium rare. On occasion I will even get a filet cooked black and blue. A FILET, with very little fat content. With ground beef, however, or a rib eye, for example, you need a bit more heat to render out the fat content. This burger was simply not cooked properly. Furthermore, the caramelized onion and tallegio cheese completely overpowered and over-funked the flavor of the beef. Failure.
We also tried the classic, which is two 3.5oz patties covered with American cheese and topped with pickles and special sauce.
This was the better of the two burgers in the flavor department, to me anyway, because I enjoy a classic American style double above all else. Unfortunately, however, the patties were way overcooked to a bone-dry-if-not-for-the-smothering-of-cheese well done. There was a good crisp in that first bite from the sear on the patty; I had high hopes! But then the grainy texture of overcooked meat kicked in, and the day was ruined. What a shame.
Both burgers could benefit from a leaf or two of crisp lettuce (which is similar to the comment that I made about the burger at The Spotted Pig), but on the plus side the buns were excellent. Soft and easy to get down on, yet supple and strong enough to hold up to the wetness of the shit between.
The fries were perfect. They were crispy and golden brown. Despite not coming with the burger (separate $5 charge for fries), they were a good value; one order is enough to share among two people.
We also each tried a milkshake. My wife had the orange creamsicle, which she liked very much, and I had the toasted marshmallow. The toasted marshmallow shake was a bit too salty. I understand the idea behind adding a pop of salt to this shake to simulate the toasted marshmallow, and to bring out certain flavors, but this was simply too much salt. And, again, at $7 a pop for milkshakes, one should expect perfection.
I am not a cheap person by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I a big complainer. I drop cash willingly on food, and I’m especially eager to do so when I find it to be worthy. I don’t even mind so much when I am not 100% satisfied with a meal. Every joint has an off day. But here, I left feeling disgusted with the amount that I paid for two underwhelming burgers, two mediocre shakes (on average) and an order of fries. All in, I spent $77. Look at this fucking bill.
For that price I can eat for three days and have more meal-satisfaction at a place like Lucky’s Famous, Steak n Shake or Genuine Roadside. In fact I would take those burgers over these any day of the week. What a complete and utter rip off. Sorry, fellow food enthusiasts, but I just can’t get onboard this hype train. Fuck that.
230 E 51st St
New York, NY 10022