Tag Archives: burger

Beetlehouse

A friend of mine’s cousin is the chef here at Beetlehouse, a Tim Burton themed bar/restaurant in the East Village, that delivers quality in both the food/drink and atmosphere/decor departments.

You’ll feel like you stepped onto a movie set when you walk in.

The bar is incredible. I really hope NYC starts allowing people to actually sit at them again soon.

They mix up some really nice cocktails, many of which come to the table bubbling and smoking like magic potions!

This place is definitely for the Burton fans. They even have hired actors walking around the dining room and performing, giving you a show along with your meal.

They currently have a $50 price fix menu, where you get an app, an entree and dessert. We started with the pork belly and the Fanta sesame wings. Wild flavor! They even have root beer and Pop Rocks flavored wings.

Between those two, we preferred the pork belly. It was just so tender and flavorful. It even comes plated up on a bed of tasty grits, like a composed entree!

For entrees, we had the filet mignon and the burger.

Both were cooked perfectly, as you can see below:

Between these two, we preferred the burger. I generally don’t love egg on a burger, but I went with the way it was presented on the menu and it really worked! Delicious. The fries were perfect by the way. Highly recommended.

Dessert was the same for both of us – a pudding of sorts, with crumbled chocolate cake, whipped cream, and Nerds candy. I fucking loved it, and ate both mine and my wife’s.

This place is a blast. The menu is basically bar food that has a fun twist, so don’t expect something like Per Se. We felt that both the wings and the filet could have benefitted from a hit of salt, but otherwise all good. I’d definitely go back for the pork belly and the burger. They also have some topped french fry appetizer items that I want to try, now that I know the fries are absolutely perfect.

BEETLEHOUSE
308 E 6th St
New York, NY 10003

Smashed

Smashed is a new smash burger joint on the lower east side. They just opened four days ago. My wife and I stopped by to try a few items out. We went with the classic double and the blue cheese and bacon burger.

I was blown away by the flavors and the quality. This joint uses fresh beef, and they grind their own burgers in house.

The burgers were perfect in every way. Great toast on the bun, perfect crisp on the patty, great melt on the cheeses, nicely prepared griddled onions, and a killer, unique sauce that really puts the “special” back in “special sauce,” because these days everyone is really just using thousand island dressing. That’s lame.

I preferred the classic double, since the meat really shines there. I can’t wait to go back and try their rendition of a smashed Big Mac.

And the fries? Excellent as well. But I’m looking to try their smashed potatoes on my next trip.

SMASHED
177 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002

Wagyu Social

I recently got delivery from Wagyu Social and it was a really fun experience. Everything came nicely packaged in round boxes, no spillage, still hot and crispy, and everything neatly organized.

This place is doing some high end burgers that range from $35 for hybrid wagyu burgers to $85 for 100% A5 Japanese wagyu burgers. They even have some sushi items too.

I tried the curry burger and the high roller. The curry burger is a wagyu/angus blend that comes with a delicious sauce for dipping, and it even pairs well with the crispy shoestring fries.

I also tried the high roller, which is their 100% Japanese A5 burger that’s topped with foie gras and truffle sauce. Total decadence!

I think I liked the curry burger best. It was a totally unique burger, and the flavors worked great. Give it a shot!

WAGYU SOCIAL
238 E 53rd St 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Gupshup

Gupshup is an awesome Indian joint in Union Square that serves up some amazing meat-centric items.

Their pepper beef appetizer is one of the best things I’ve eaten so far this year, and I’ve been on a serious meat binge. Super tender, great spice levels, lots of freshness popping from the greens and pickled radish, all delivered on a light, crisp paratha. I can’t get enough of this dish!

Their spicy double lamb cheeseburger is really great too. There’s a hint of mint chutney for brightness, and a wild special sauce slathered onto the underside of the top brioche bun.

Cooked to a perfect medium rare, and paired with their magic masala shoestring fries, you can’t go wrong!

But the real attention grabber here is their large format roasted leg of lamb.

This is 3.5lbs of juicy, tender, perfectly roasted lamb, accompanied by lamb jus, crispy roasted potatoes, pickled red onion, roasted cipollini onion, roasted garlic and paratha for making tacos.

At just $75 this platter will feed three to four people without breaking the bank. That’s a steal! You just need to give the restaurant a 24-hour advance notice if you want this, since it takes some extra time to prepare it just right. I could eat this every week.

Also worth mentioning; fantastic cocktails here, with Indian flavor profiles worked into the mixology. Really delicious. Pictured below is a gin, chai and cardamom martini, and a bourbon cocktail that was going down WAY too easily.

Oh and check this out – The Foodie Magician!

GUPSHUP
115 E 18th St
New York, NY 10003

The Otto Wilde Grill + Promo Code

This thing is a BEAST!

This is pretty much as close as it gets to having a professional level steakhouse broiler at home. With ripping flames that reach as high as 1500ºF, you are putting a serious crust on your steaks when you toss them in here.

The best thing is to see for yourself just how incredible this monster is in action:

More here, from when we christened it at our annual “Meatfest” in the Summer:

I’m so into this thing that I have two of them, the “Otto Lite” and the Pro, yet I have nowhere to use them. I stashed them at friends places, and they reap the benefits more than I do. HA! But if you’re interested in this amazing piece of equipment that will take your steak game to the next level, you can get 10% off with promo code Johnny10. DO IT! You are going to love this thing. Click HERE to explore the Otto Wilde products.

Empire Burger House

Opening up a new restaurant during this madness takes balls. The folks from Empire Steakhouse are evidently chock full of balls. Not only have they just launched Empire Burger House, a really friggin great restaurant that delivers steakhouse quality beef burgers in smaller, more affordable sizes, but they’re really upped the game in terms of comfort and class in their outdoor dining space. I saw with some friends for a full steakhouse dinner on a very cold night, and I was wearing just a long sleeved shirt. Awesome!

Anyway I tried their single, double and spicy chicken sandwich. I was really impressed. The double was by far my favorite of the three – just the right ratio of meat to bun and toppings. And the special sauce on the burgers is incredible. It’s almost like zingy ranch of some kind, or an Alabama white sauce.

Call this place right now for delivery, or go sit outside in their warm outdoor dining space.

EMPIRE BURGER HOUSE
147 E 50th St Second Floor
New York, NY 10022

Strassburger Steaks

Strassburger Steaks‘ “Steakhouse Collection” of home delivery chops is wonderful. Thick, aged cuts of highly marbled beef are vac sealed and shipped right to your door in tight styrofoam coolers, surrounded by ice packs.

The first thing I made was a rib eye. I overcooked it a little, but here’s my video:

It was really flavorful, and the aged profile really came through nicely.

Next up, I did a Philadelphia Italian-inspired twist on taco night: ground beef, blue cheese and broccoli rabe.

These were incredible! The beef was 80/20, really brightly colored pink and delicious.

Then I tried a “dry-brine” on a highly marbled porterhouse. Here’s a pic before brining.

And after:

Check out the video:

As you can probably see, with the exception of the area right near the bone on the strip side, this technique made for a really great Maillard brown crust.

I undercooked it a bit, but thoroughly enjoyed.

I still have a lot more to try, but this is a great start. I definitely recommend these steaks for home delivery. And don’t forget, I wrote an article about Suzy Strassburger and this company way back. Check it out HERE if you haven’t read it yet.

Zafi’s Luncheonette

Zafi’s Luncheonette is a small, old school counter-service diner on the lower east side.

They do have some regular seating, but the counter is the best way to enjoy an old school diner like this. If indoor dining resumes in NYC, you’ll be able to pop a squat there with spacing between stools.

I had their burger, which was meh at best, but the vanilla milk shake made it all worth while. That thing was absolutely perfect.

I’ll be back here to work my way through some of their more traditional diner menu items, like a gyro, club sandwich, chopped steak, etc. Hopefully they will all be better than the burger.

Stay tuned…

ZAFI’S LUNCHEONETTE
500 Grand St
New York, NY 10002

Dudley’s

Just a quick note here about Dudley’s, which has a great brunch on weekends. My wife and I tried their Bloody Mary with “chicken salt” rim – delicious. I got mine with mezcal, she got hers with vodka.

They make a great double cheeseburger, reminiscent of Big Mac flavors. I’ll definitely be back for this more often, now that I live close by.

And on the healthier side, poached eggs with smoked salmon and salad. Very nice.

DUDLEY’S
85 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Brad’s Burgers & BBQ

It’s been a while since I’ve been out to eat at a place I haven’t yet tried, and that means it’s been a while since I’ve posted a review. Well, here is my latest and greatest.

Brad’s Burgers and BBQ is a small spot on the Upper West Side that slings burgers and BBQ, as you might have guessed from the name. I tried a few of the BBQ-sided items on my visit last week.

Their brisket platter is different from what you normally expect from a BBQ joint. Here, the brisket is shredded instead of sliced, and it’s already hit with some vinegar-based BBQ sauce.  I guess you can call it “pulled beef.”

Despite being a fan of the more traditional sliced style, this was fine. The meat was cooked nicely, and it had nice flavor to it. The cole slaw was good (I usually don’t like coleslaw much), and the waffle fries were perfectly crisped.

The corn bread was standard issue, but we also tried the Mexican corn on the side. This just needed a hit of some salt and pepper to make it pop. Perhaps a little jalapeño heat would have helped too.

The pulled pork sandwich was hearty. It comes dressed with sliced pickles, tangy sauce and coleslaw.

The star of the meal, however, was the fried chicken sandwich. This was marketed as spicy, but it didn’t bring much heat. However, it did bring some great flavor and textures. Happy to report they use thigh meat for this baby. This comes with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, sautéed onion and special sauce.

We also tried their coconut cake, which was almost like a cross between cake and a cookie in terms of density and flavor. The cream cheese frosting was nice.

This place is no Hometown, Fette Sau or Pig Beach, but it should get the job done if you’re in need of a fix and don’t feel like traveling all the way to Brooklyn for some ‘cue.

BRAD’S BURGERS & BBQ
522 A Columbus Ave
New York, NY 10024