Tag Archives: spotted pig

Salvation Burger

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

SALVATION BURGER
230 E 51st St
New York, NY 10022

The Spotted Pig

It was PACKED when we arrived at around 1pm on a Saturday, even after all these years of being in business. Good for them! We were looking at roughly an hour wait unless we grabbed a seat at the bar. So we put our name down on the list to be seated, and headed upstairs to the second bar in hopes of scoring a seat a little faster. To our great fortune, a group of four people were getting up from the bar to be seated at their table. When I went to grab a pair of stools for my wife and I, a woman slid over one seat and was claiming the two bar stools in the middle of the four. I asked her politely if she could move over in one direction so that my wife and I could sit, but the loser wouldn’t move.

Four spots open up and she jumped into the center two, by herself, while waiting for her guest, who wasn’t even there yet? That’s just bad social etiquette. She was nasty, too, and had horrible breath. When I explained that there are four available seats and four people who want to sit, she started to argue “but we are getting lunch.” Newsflash: so are we! And she was getting aggressive and loud! So I alerted the manager. He politely asked her and her guest, “Ken,” who had lightly shoved me at one point after his date called me “scary,” to move. They wouldn’t move . The manager kindly sat us right away when they wouldn’t shift, I assume effectively jumping us ahead in the wait line. We ended up with a much better seat anyway, downstairs, with plenty of elbow room.

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My wife had one of the $14 cocktails called “Novo Mundo,” made with a Brazilian rum type booze (cachaca), egg white, sugar and lemon.

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I had a pair of Naragansett beers, which I like to call Manhattan’s new PBR, because it’s cheap, in a can and because I’ve been enjoying it way before it made it onto the Hipsters’ radar. They always seem take what I like and fuck it up. Whether it is gentleman’s caps, twisty butcher mustaches, vintage graphic t-shirts, bacon, beards or beers. Fucking animals.

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We ordered some starters. The pickles were WAY the fuck overpriced, at $6 for what is typically a free amount at a place like Keens. The deviled egg was a little pricey at $4. Both items were tasty. The pickles were bright and tart, and consisted of carrots, gherkins, radish and green beans.

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photo by my wife
photo by my wife

For the entrees, my wife ordered sisig pork. It had some bits of pig ear and other nice things, topped with a runny fried egg. Essentially this is their English “bubble and squeak” dish, but with Filipino spices and herbs like cilantro. It was good, lots of pork meat, but too salty, and a little greasy as well.

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The burger I ordered was good, perfectly cooked. The bun was great, durable and grilled. The negatives: the Roquefort cheese was a little overpowering of the burger meat, and it definitely could have used a slice of tomato and some lettuce. I’ve had this burger in the past, about 10 years ago. I think it may have cost around $16 back then. It’s $21 now, but since it comes with “fries” the cost is very fair.

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The shoestring potatoes had fried garlic slices and fried rosemary mixed throughout, and tasted and felt, crisp/texture-wise, like the old school potato sticks snacks.

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The banoffee dessert was very good – not too sweet; just right. Essentially this English dessert pie is made from bananas, cream and toffee made from boiled sweetened condensed milk.

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THE SPOTTED PIG
314 W. 11th St.
New York, NY 10014