Tag Archives: burgertime

Kings of Kobe

Kings of Kobe is a newly crowned burger and hot dog monarchy that rocks some royally special menu items.

They use high quality Schweid & Sons American Wagyu in all of their burger offerings, and their Snake River American Wagyu beef hot dogs are topped with things to make them international in scope, in addition to domestic.

For example, the Vietnamese sandwich inspired “Banh Mine” dog is topped with marinated cucumbers and carrots, cilantro and sriracha aioli to harness that banh mi flavor profile.

In fact, the hot dog products here are the best I’ve had in the city. They’re thick, delicious and satisfying.

The Notorious P.I.B.
Waffle Hot Dog

In scanning the menu, my eyeballs instantly went to the King’s Standard burger: roasted tomato, white cheddar, pickles and cherry pepper aioli.

This baby was bursting with flavor. The roasted tomato is such an awesome substitute for ketchup. The patty was cooked perfectly. It had a nice crisp char on the outside. It was think enough to remain pink through the center, without being too thick that it becomes unwieldy to eat. My only gripe is that I wished there was one more slice of cheese on this baby, to satisfy my love for cheese-laden “roadside” style burgers.

We also tried The Queen Rules, which is topped with prosciutto, pepper jack cheese, frisee and sweet chili jam.

The sweet chili jam was similar to a relish. I generally dislike relish, but this one was tasty. I liked this burger a lot but I still prefer the King’s Standard over this one.

The battered fries are super crispy and nicely seasoned.

And of course, we tried a chocolate shake.

The full spread:

The menu is really interesting, and the prices are extremely fair for these high quality offerings. My buddy Rev told me about this place and hooked up a comped press visit for me and my wife. I am eternally grateful. My burger delivery options just went bonkers.

KINGS OF KOBE
790 9th Ave
New York, NY 10019

Hard Times Sundaes

If your taste in burgers is anything like mine, you like to keep it fairly simple but always delicious. They say “you don’t mess with perfection,” and I believe that’s vital when it comes to the outstanding combination of meat and cheese. That perfection, for me, is a classic flat top griddle burger with crispy edges and a medium center, covered all over with melted American cheese, and topped with lettuce, tomato and fresh jalapenos. It must also be slapped on a potato bun with a bit of mayo.

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One of the best places to get this style of burger is Hard Times Sundaes at Urbanspace Vanderbilt.

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What started out as a meager food truck venture turned out to be one of the most sought after “roadside” style burgers in the city. Two years later, this place is consistently hailed as one of the best burgers in town by some of the most respected burger critics around. I agree with them.

I came here to celebrate their second “BURGthday” with a bunch of other NYC food scene press people.  Since this was my first go at this place, I kept it simple, sticking to my favorite style, as outlined above. I was impressed! Everything was perfect – seriously.

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A bunch of people were getting triples, because they do look amazing in photos, but I really wanted to experience the single in all its glory, perfectly ratio’d between bun, meat, cheese and toppings. It was so fucking good, and I wish I had more right now.

But I also got to try their bacon wrapped hot dog as well. These are not dick pics with toasted foreskin. These are delicious hot dogs.

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I had this once with avocado at Crif Dogs, WAAAY back in the day, before I started reviewing restaurants. I loved it then, and I love it now. I like glorified hot dogs, and wrapping them in bacon and deep frying them is probably one of the best ways to do it. I liked it so much on that first bite, that I totally skipped any additional toppings like mustard, ketchup or onions.

Do yourselves a favor and get your asses over here ASAP.

HARD TIMES SUNDAES
At Urbanspace Vanderbilt
230 Park Ave
New York, NY 10169

Jones Wood Foundry

JWF is a dynamite place on the upper east side that serves up some really nice traditional British style pub fare. I’m talking everything from scotch eggs, to bangers and mash, to bubble and squeak, to toads in the holes (get your minds out of the gutter).

Me and two “mates” of mine (see how I used the language of the Brits there?) popped in for a quick look-around, and to try the burger. Here’s what we stumbled upon.

A beautifully renovated lower level:

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A warm, friendly bar atmosphere:

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And a fantastic fucking burger:

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I’ll definitely be back up this way to try out some of their other menu items. But let me tell you: this burger comes in as one of the best I’ve had in the city so far. Really juicy. Bun could use a slight upgrade, but otherwise this shit is legit.

SECOND TRIP UPDATE – 8/1/16

The bun certainly got an upgrade in quality, but  unfortunately the burger itself was a bit overcooked. It was a bit more like medium well than medium rare.

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Fries were pretty great.

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JONES WOOD FOUNDRY
401 E. 76th St.
New York, NY 10021

The Ainsworth

My wife paid a little under $50 for a Gilt City flash deal that got us two drinks each, an app to share, two entrees and a side to share at The Ainsworth. Pretty great deal if you ask me.

We started with these crab tacos. These are $21 regular price, so I thought that was a bit high considering that these are small and the plate comes with four pieces. Do these look like they’re worth $5.25 each (before tax and tip)? I don’t think so.

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They were tasty – good crunch on the shell, though I wasn’t sure if the crab meat was actual lump crab or some kind of crab substitute. Either way, I wouldn’t pay that kind of money for them.

For a nominal upcharge ($12), I went with the 20oz bone-in, 28-day dry-aged rib eye.

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This was spectacular. The aged flavor really popped for just a 28-day stint in the aging box. I could taste the nutty and funky qualities with ease. While it was grilled instead of seared, didn’t have much of a spinalis (fat cap), and there was a bit of hard gristle in the meat, the cook temperature was a perfect medium rare and the flavor in the eye was excellent. 8/10.

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As you can see, the steak was topped with some crispy fried shallots. Nice touch!

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At $42, this is a great deal, especially considering that the flavors of this thing can easily rival some of the best steakhouses in town. I guess it was just a bummer that I got a cut with little fat cap and a few bites of gristle.

My wife went with the famous mac and cheese burger.

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That’s a fried mac and cheese patty on the bottom, a cheeseburger patty on top of that, and then mac and cheese on top of the burger.

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While that is all totally unnecessary and probably only done for Instagram fodder, it was indeed a fun item to eat. Here’s a little animated image for you to ogle:

It didn’t taste that special to me, but it sure did make for some handsome photos.

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French fries came with that burger, as if there wasn’t enough to fill you up with the burger itself.

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These could use some work. Some were a little bit un-crisped and heavy, but otherwise decent.

On the side, we shared the asparagus with a fried egg on top. Both the asparagus and the egg were cooked perfectly and had good flavor. Look – it was either this or more fries, so give me a break.

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THE AINSWORTH
122 W 26th St
New York, NY 10001

New York Burger Co.

This place slings a decent fast food style burger, but the bacon was rubbery on both my and my wife’s burgers, and the fries were soggy and dense. Stick to the basics here and you should be fine. Don’t waste money on the extras. And it’s still not on the level with places like Smashburger, Shake Shack or Lucky’s Famous.

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The good thing is that my wife paid about $10 for $30 worth of food and drink here through a flash deal. So all in, this was not too bad.

NEW YORK BURGER CO
678 Ave of the Americas
New York, NY 10010

Church Street Tavern

I went to Church Street Tavern with my wife and the founder of The Dishelin Guide and the DishEnvy app to finally check out their acclaimed burgers. The talk is accurate. These burgers are fantastic! We tried two: The Wellington and the CST Burger.

Let’s start with The Wellington: the patty is topped with mushroom duxelles (french for chopped mushrooms, onions and shallots sauteed with butter and herbs), foie butter and a cheesy pastry crisp that mimics the puff pastry that typically surrounds a Beef Wellington dish.

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You can see it sticking out the side here like a piss-clam tail, or a limp geoduck phallus.

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I guess those words aren’t the best to use when describing delicious food, but that’s what comes to mind. Anyway, I was expecting the burger to be wrapped in the pastry, just like traditional Beef Wellington (pictured below), but that wasn’t the case.

The burger was good. It was cooked to a nice medium rare, and the toppings were delicious. The bun held up nicely, didn’t crumble and wasn’t too stiff.

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The better burger of the pair, however, was the namesake CST (Church Street Tavern) Burger, which was topped with bacon-onion jam, aged cheddar, and arugula.

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It was seved on the same toasted brioche bun, but this burger had a much better flavor to the meat, perhaps from better seasoning and searing. Cooked to a perfect, juicy medium rare, this burger really hit the spot. I’d definitely go back for another.

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The big surprise of the evening, though, was this amazing porchetta sandwich that we saw on the menu.

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It’s a nice, tender pork sandwich with sauteed spinach and melted Swiss cheese. There were even some crispy pork bits in there for texture. The spinach had a nice hit of garlic to it without having any chunks of the breath-killer hidden inside. And the Swiss was surprisingly tasty to me. I didn’t expect to like Swiss with Italian pork, but it worked. I highly recommend this sandwich.

The fries here are equally satisfying. They’re slightly more squat and thicker than most places, but they’re cooked perfectly and generously-yet-simply seasoned with salt and herbs.

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The bar here is pretty nice too, and at happy hour you can get $4 select beers. I had a Session lager:

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CHURCH STREET TAVERN
313 Church St.
New York, NY 10013

The Whiskey

For our first meal down in Orlando, my wife and I tried this whiskey- and burger- centric place for lunch.

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They had something like 200 types of whiskey, rye and scotch. Impressive.

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The food turned out to be pretty good, so let’s get right into it.

We started with some cocktails and an order of whiskey sauce wings.

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The wings were pretty good. Not QUITE as crisp as I like, but the flavor was tangy, garlicky and sweet from the sauce.

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I ordered “the whiskey” burger, which has smoked gouda, bourbon bacon, whiskey onions and a dill aioli. Pretty solid burger!

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It was cooked to about medium well, despite my order of medium, but the burger was good and juicy from all the toppings.

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I had the regular fries with my burger, which were crispy and well seasoned.

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My wife ordered “the royal,” which was similar to mine, only with wagyu beef and garlic aioli.

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Her’s was cooked to medium rare, nice and pinkish red throughout a thick patty.

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She also went with truffle parmesan fries, which were a nice touch.

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Teddy’s Bigger Burger

Teddy’s Bigger Burger

This is a Shake Shack / Smash Burger type of joint here in Hawaii. You can order your patties in three different sizes: 5oz (big), 7oz (bigger) and 9oz (biggest). Then you can go double on them if you want.

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For my 5th burger of the trip, I went with a biggest (9oz) burger with American, jalapeños and all the fixings. Take a look:

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It was slightly over medium, but not by much. I liked this burger a lot. It had a good bun (though not potato, or “King’s Hawaiian” as I might have expected), great cheese coverage, and quality toppings.

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On the side we tried the tater tots, which were awesome and crispy, and the garlic fries, which were really overloaded with minced garlic.

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Cheeseburger in Paradise

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Tourist trap? I don’t care. The food and atmosphere were awesome here. You’re right on the fucking pacific.

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In fact when waves roll in hard sometimes you can get sprayed if you’re at a table on the first floor in the back by the windows. There’s a little tiki bar on the second floor, along with a Jimmy Buffet-esque singer/guitarist playing tunes.

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I ordered the classic cheeseburger as my 4th burger of the trip, which came with pepperjack, lettuce, tomato, onion and special sauce on a salt and pepper bun. Really nice looking burger.

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It was cooked perfectly at medium, super juicy and good cheese coverage. The soft bun added a lot of flavor with the seasoning on top. I devoured this thing!

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Drinks were fun here too. I had a Maui lemonade of some sort, which was gin or rum, lemon, soda, and thyme, if I recall correctly.

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L&L Drive Inn

This was a kiosk at the Cannery Mall food court in Maui, Hawaii.

L&L Hawaiian BBQ is a fast food type restaurant that has locations all over the place. There even used to be a location down by NYC’s South Street Seaport, but that has since closed. Anyway, this place has a take on the ramen burger, called the saimin burger, which I tried as burger #3 of the trip.

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It was dry as fuck and hot as fuck, but it was a fun item to try. No cheese, just lettuce and a soy-BBQ type sauce drizzles on. I’d pass on this item unless you really need to try it.