Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mad Cow Desires: The Quest for the Best Burger

Following are the words of a bonafide city girl. Don't get me wrong, I looove to be in foreign lands, but I am a Brooklyn Babe at heart! I have cheated on The City and involved myself in fancy flirtations with Atlanta, San Diego and Orlando to name a few, but I have returned and am finding myself needing to get to know my beau once again...

I was a tourist in my own town, a sight for sore eyes wandering his windy streets. Visitors look to me for advice, something to soothe their souls in a spot that can, at times, be cold. What will I have to offer?

From this inquiry, the idea was born: I will set out on a journey to find all things at the top of their NY game... starting with food!

Why should you listen to me??

A wise City Gal once told me " there are TWO types of people in the world, cookers and eaters." Which one am I? I tried both to find where my niche lay! Cooking wasn't horrible except I felt I was setting women back 100 years staying in a kitchen that long (plus my curls wouldn't keep under the intense heat...) Eating? Well, that came more naturally. So, in the interest of suffrage and maintaining balance with the Universe, I hereby declare myself an EATER!

While there may be more important things to discuss in the world today, I plan to take a break from those worldly topics and discuss food and fun!! Of course, you are more than welcome to rant about politics and Niche over a suggested slice or that crab cake I recommend.

The 1st category: Where is the BEST burger??

As a child, my mother joked with me about how serious I was about food. I was adamant about flavor, decor and service from an early age. Over the years that trait has become fine tuned!I didn't just eat food, I savored it. One thing I did not sample living with my mom was red meat or pork. In undergrad, none of my friends ate pork or beef either so, I went along with life sampling a barrage of chicken dishes and relishing in succulent seafood until....

I was off on my own in Florida working at an office 5 minutes from a McDonald's. One evening, at the tender age of 23, I went and decided the cloud that suffocated my life, aka Mom (lol!), must be cleared away!! I was NOT ordering a fish sandwich dammit!! I would order a 1/4 pounder!! Freeeeedom!! One bite and I was ready to sue my mother for child neglect and ask for meat reparations. But if this 3 dollar beef treat was tasty, there MUST be better ones!! After a host of samplings it has been found that not all burgers are created equally, but here are a few created to keep you in bovine bliss....

5 Napkin Burger: This Hell's Kitchen diner-esque, trendy spot has one of the best burgers. Their burger menu is not extensive, but it is 10 ounces of goodness! The signature burger is placed on a soft, lightly toasted bun (no seeds) smothered in: comte cheese (Gruyère de Comté- a French, white cheese with a fairly mild flavor and smooth texture); caramelized onions; and rosemary aioli (basically this is creamy garlic mayo with a hint of rosemary) and served with thin cut french fries (the fries are OK)
They have other offerings besides burgers like Lobster Sliders, Ahi Tuna burger and sushi for your non-believer friends and they boast a full bar. The price is moderate, but probably thought to be expensive for a burger and fries at 14 bucks. You will abandon thoughts of recession once the juices and gooey cheese drip onto the plate!! I am sure you can ask for as many napkins as you want so, be ready to request at least 2!

Lyla's Cafe Creperie: Snuggled in the center of Harlem you will find this bistro modeled after life in Paris. It is not a burger joint, but they do it well. Their nicely sized burger is nestled within a brioche bun served with your choice of cheese (including Brie), a small mixed green salad or FABULOUS hand cut, thinly sliced fries. The seasoning is mild and tastefully blended and your taste buds will applaud once the morsels hit your tongue!! These prices are a bit easier on the pocket, especially for such obscenely good flavor, at 9 bucks. There is a pretty extensive menu, with breakfast served all day and their specialty is crepes. So, you can also experience this beefy goodness in a savory crepe (or "salty crepe" as we like to say in France, hi Clo Clo!!)

Honorable Mention (because it's not in NY, but if this will force a franchise opening so be it...)Backyard Burger-fast food that tastes like you came from a house party BBQ..amazing...if you're in the South go..NOW!!

While many folks visit NYC and hear wondrous tales of Jackson Hole, I will be the 1st to admit I was once a believer in their dry burger. But I have seen SOME of the light and urge YOU to do the same. Tell a friend! Let the revolution begin!! !
Whew! All of this tasting has me thinking I should probably do a sit up or two...Check back for a new section of Mad Cow Desires and look for future food frenzies! Off to the Wii!!



  1. Red Robin has a very good hamburg. It's a chain. So, you may have one.

  2. Hmmm. Let's get back to crab cakes. You haven't a clue what one is until you try it at Del Frisco's in midtown. There's not actually supposed to be cake in the crab. It's just cake in shape.

    Burgers. I'd hate to try one, like it, and be told by some doctor down the line that I have to give them up. I'll stay in the dark on that one.

  3. Ummmm..Tra Ari Meter, stop tryna block my shine!! I was getting to the crab and Del Frisco's!! Let's not even talk about their jumbo shrimp cocktail with THE best cocktail sauce I have EVER had!! I'm getting ahead of myself...just stay tuned!

  4. 67 burger on lafayette ave girl!