Lions Tap serves the classic ideal of a burger (described as a "purist's favorite" on the menu) and is better for it.
Umami Burger just doesn't hold up against similar burgers in its price range. While the Manly Burger is a solid choice, the Original lacks balance and highlights the problems with making "umami" an end in itself. Like someone overloading a dish with bacon or fiery chilies, the end result is one-note and, frankly, misses the point.
Before Mayor Bloomberg shut them down in 2010, off-track betting parlors, or OTBs, were a bastion of classic NYC seediness. Earlier this year, the OTB was revived in the form of a bar/restaurant in a prospering section of South Williamsburg. The cheeseburger is a classic, straightforward rendition, but it's the crisp, chili-brined fries that are the real winner.
The Odeon has a more interesting history than most other restaurants. In fact, Gael Greene named it one of the top ten "most important" restaurants in New York City. Their exceptionally beefy burger has been a standby since the beginning over 30 years ago.
As a Bushwick resident, it's exciting to find any new restaurant in the neighborhood, let alone one that serves a burger as meticulously crafted as Fritzl's. At only $8 ($9 with cheese), it's a bargain. Patties are close to six 6 ounces; a combination of chuck and cheek, which chef Dan Ross-Leutwyler estimates to be about 75/25 meat to fat. Ross-Leutwyler grinds it himself, throwing slightly more chuck in the mix.
If I placed Burger Joint head-to-head, Burger Week-style against its most obvious competitor, Shake Shack, I can't see myself recommending Burger Joint. While I may return to the Greenwich Village location once the bar area is finished, the original location is best left as a novelty.
Ron Swanson would find himself at home contemplating a burger from Peter Luger, the haven to the art of dry-aged meat in Williamsburg. While dinners are booked months in advance, lunch is a simpler proposition. The burger, served daily until 3:45 p.m., is exactly what you would expect from Luger: a study in simplicity.
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