Thursday, May 5, 2011

Celebrate National Burger Month in NYC

May is National Burger Month and New York City is no stranger to good beef. So where can you try some of the best burgers in NYC in honor of Burger Month?

If you are looking for some quick grub, try Burger Joint, which I have blogged about before, Shake Shack, with five current locations (including a stand at Citi Field), and two more opening this year, Blue 9 Burger, Island Burgers, or Five Guys, a national chain with locations all around NYC.

For a solid burger at a location where you can sit and make a meal out of it, one of my favorite burgers in the city is at Arctica Bar and Grill, located on 3rd Ave at 27th Street. Their signature burger, the "Arctica" burger is always cooked fresh, encrusted with spicy peppercorns and topped with french Roquefort bleu cheese and portabella mushrooms. This burger needs no ketchup, devour as is.

Another signature burger I thoroughly enjoy is the "Original 5 Napkin Burger" at 5 Napkin Burger, an upscale burger restaurant with locations in the Upper West Side, Hell's Kitchen, and Astoria. Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions and rosemary aioli sauce really make this 10 oz. burger made with "custom ground beef" stand out.

If you live in Queens, or don't mind taking a train ride (20-25 minutes on the 7 train from midtown, or 12 minutes on the LIRR), Donovan's Pub in Woodside, Queens, serves up a juicy, filling beef patty in traditional pub-fare style, and while I'm not sure I agree with some of my friends that it is the best burger in New York, it is certainly high on the list.

Have a little dough to spend and/or want to split a large, gourmet burger with a friend? Try the 20 oz. Kobe beef burger at Old Homestead Steakhouse in Chelsea, served with chipotle ketchup and a side of tater tots. At $41, this may be the most expensive burger in NYC (overtaking celebrity chef Daniel Boulud's "DB Burger," a $32 patty filled with surprises like braised short ribs and black truffles, and offered at his restaurant, DB Bistro Moderne). However, if you head over at lunchtime, you can grab their $19 lunch special, which includes a 10 oz. version of the kobe burger, salad, a glass of wine, and tater tots.

Some runners up, where burgers have been lauded by others, but that I have not found extremely impressive: Corner Bistro, in the West Village, and Stand 4, in the East Village.

Finally, some burger restaurants are offering special deals in honor of National Burger Month:

Tuesday special: Every Tuesday in May, Bill's Bar & Burger will post two winning burger numbers on its facebook and twitter sites, one for its two locations in the Meatpacking District and Rockefeller Center. If you are the lucky patron who orders at the right time, you will win $500 on the spot! I highly recommend Bill's "Classic Burger," which is served on a toasty sesame seed bun, and is topped with a secret sauce, that I have on good authority is a mix of BBQ sauce, from sister restaurant Wildwood BBQ, and mayonnaise. Bill's has also created a unique ketchup concoction by adding a hint of cayenne pepper to its tomato paste. I am a fan of Bill's Rockefeller Center location, as it is rare to find good, affordable food and spirits in that area.

Wednesday special: Stop into any one of six locations at fast-food style burger joint, Goodburger, between the hours of 3pm and 5pm on a Wednesday, and enjoy a single burger for only one dollar!

Also see LookyTasty's National Burger Month post for more great burger ideas.

UPDATE: Reader Fred S. notes that "Burger Heaven belongs on any list of reasonably-priced and really excellent burgers, and understands better than most the crucial concept of RARE."

WGINY and Companions Chow Down at Bill's Bar & Burger
**Note: I have not personally been to Blue 9, Island Burger or DB Bistro yet, so references to these restaurants are based on word of mouth. All others I can attest to from personal dining experience.

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