Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien – 119 West 56th St,
Midtown West, New York, NY, USA
Burger:
The Works Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$7.50 USD
Summary

After wandering past the the swanky Le Parker Meridien Hotel’s check-in counter, the best place to head is towards a dark curtained wall. There you will find a dim, narrow hallway with a neon-lit burger at the end of it. Usually – as was the case when I arrived – there will be a line of people, all with the same goal in mind, waiting patiently in the shadows. The anticipation to see whats inside the doorway grows with every minute, until finally you can peek in and are transported to an entirely different world. In stark contrast to its most of basics of exteriors, you end up in a joint filled with menus written on cardboard, a collection of retro movie posters and a barrage of pen and texta scribble all over the walls. Getting some Seinfeld Soup Nazi flashbacks are understandable as their (at first) intimidating instructions on how to order threaten having you look like a chump, or worse yet, endure the pain of being sent to the back of the line if you’re too slow. But don’t fret. There are only 2 options of burgers, so if you get it wrong – yeah, you’re a chump. I went with the Works Cheeseburger that came on a humble hamburger bun with a classic beef pattie (cooked medium-rare), cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, sliced pickles, mustard, ketchup and mayo.

Comments
“When I’d heard that this burger was Heston Blumenthal’s favourite burger in the world, well, I had to try it! Admittedly, I got a little lost and ended up walking into the hotel’s restaurant. But they were kind enough to point me in the right direction to where I would find a dark hallway filled with a queue of people. The place inside is amazing. One minute you’re standing outside in a fancy hotel foyer and then you’re in a dingy, graffiti covered diner. This really is my favourite kind of eatery: where they have a very very limited menu but they do it exactly right over and over again. These guys are confident, know what they are doing and if you dont like it then leave. Once my name was yelled out I eagerly ripped open the brown paper bag and saw a big awesome mess of a burger. The charred beef was cooked evenly and complimented the crisp bite of the spanish onions and the sweet pickles. In defiance of all odds, the soft bun did its job and some how managed to keep it all together. Overall, quite a juicy and most delicious mess.”
Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien on Urbanspoon


The Ludlow Formation

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Ludlow Formation – Building 3, 6 Riverside Quay,
Southbank, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
4 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t Bother
Price:
$22
Summary

Looking out at Melbourne’s skyline at the foot of the Yarra River you have The Ludlow Formation. Nestled amidst several other restaurants, bistros and buskers, its a classy looking establishment with stone, raw steel, recycled timber and other designy jazz as far the eye can see. Their Head Chef Marc Brown has quite the rep behind him. Before arriving in Australia in 2001 from the UK, he trained at some of London’s top restaurants, including several Michelin-starred establishments, and worked with some of the world’s foremost chefs including Albert Roux, Anton Adelman, and Michel Lorain. But whilst at Ludlow he’s crafted the menu to take on a more Southern European feel with everything from Slow Braised Rabbit to Coconut Parfait – quite the extensive menu. We’d heard a thing or two about their burger so, sitting outside with live music at our backs we ordered their Wagyu Burger that comes on a brioche bun with Mahon Cheese, thick-cut Istra Bacon, spanish mojo (code for secret relish), lettuce, mayo and a side of fries.

Comments
“I really hope these guys were having an off day, because this burger had so much potential, however, it was absolutely horrendous. The two most important elements of a burger are the beef and bun. In this case both were terrible, both of them burnt to an absolute crisp. I’m not exaggerating when I say the beef could survive a full 60 minutes as a puck in an ice hockey game. If you combine this food with the bogan tourist clientel that filled the remainder of the restaurant, your not going to find many repeat, local customers, myself included.”
“Ok before I get stuck into it, from the top, there is a lot of potential here. But with a burnt beef pattie on the outside and an almost rare/ pinkish inside I really didn’t get the opportunity to taste much. The bun was a waste, such a beautiful bun burnt to s^@t. I was devastated to see the way this promising, beautiful bun was treated on the grill – for shame! The “Mojo sauce” that comes in the burger really missed the mark and delivers a healthy punch of garlic that will leave you reaching for after dinner mints. What added more insult to injury was the cover band! There is something about Southbank that always brings out the worst in a Melbourne dining experience: from the table service to the meal and the over priced restaurants full of cashed-up bogans, it will take me a while to to get past this anger for Southbank. Chips were ok, tasty and crispy.”
“This is a chefs worst nightmare. You take a day off to feed baby ducks by the pond and the kitchen turns into a black hole. On paper, and on previous tips, this burger sounded the business. Sure it was unforgettable, but for the wrong reasons. I won’t spout them all again, but when you burn 3 potentially delicious patties and buns something has got to be done. The most enjoyable part of the meal was when I tore out the bacon and ate it solo; quite decent in-fact. There’s a lesson to be taken away in all of this and it’s all about being consistent. Whether you’re cooking for the King of England or John Smith from next door, always deliver your best. We never announce ourselves or tell the wait-staff who we are. We’re just a couple of dudes ready to smash some sweet-ass burgers and we expect our burger to be just as good as anyone else’s on any given night. Noone’s a winner here. A really sad day for everyone involved.”
The Ludlow Formation on Urbanspoon


Cheeseburger Baby

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Cheeseburger Baby – 1505 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Burger:
1/2 pound Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
0 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t Bother
Price:
$6.50 USD
Summary

Touted as the ‘oldest burger joint on South Beach”, Cheeseburger Baby appears to have stood the test of time in a city where you’re either hot or you’re nothing. The menu is simple and uncomplicated, with fries as a separate order and the option of some sandwiches and hotdogs. The service that sets this place apart is their offer of free delivery to the entire South Beach area. If you’re game, you can also try “The Punisher” – a 5 pound burger which gets you a free t-shirt and photo on the wall of fame if you finish it. No mention of a free visit to a cardiologist.

Comments
“Well yes, I’m the sucker that fell for the free delivery. Smart of Cheeseburger Baby to capitalise on the thousands of hotel rooms in the area – theoretically, it was supposed to be a cheap and delicious alternative to room service. Unwrapping the burger, it was clear from visual inspection alone that things did not bode well. The meat was horrendously overcooked, terribly seasoned and was falling apart. Quite possibly the worst burger I have ever eaten, second only to Misty’s Diner.”

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Cheeseburger Baby on Urbanspoon


Pop Burger

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pop Burger – 14 E 58th St, Midtown East, New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Pop Burgers
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12 USD
Summary

Located in one of the most iconic locations in New York City, opposite the Apple flagship store, FAO Shwartz toy store and adjacent the Plaza hotel and Central Park, Pop Burger offers up 6,000 square feet of designer eating and drinking space split over 3 levels. On the ground level you’ll find the takeout counter and casual seating. Go one level up and there’s the lounge with table service. Then on the 3rd floor is another bar with a pool table. So all-in-all they are catering to practically everyone from holidaying families to the hungry/thirsty after work crowd. They’ve even got the capability to throw up-market large scale events with their very own full-time Event Director. Owner and famed New York restauranteur Roy Liebenthal talks about where the POP burger concept came from saying, “Warhol is my favorite artist. What I liked about him was, he was all about commercial consumption and the ordinary object. It wasn’t only for the intellectual financial elites. That’s what I find exciting about Pop Burger, is creating a product that everybody across cultures—depending on where their finances are – everybody likes Pop Burger.” So I ventured upstairs to the Lounge to see if I would love it as much as he does. I ordered the Pop Burgers that came with lettuce, tomato and American cheese, all on mini brioche buns with a side of onion rings.

Comments
“On a very rainy, wet and miserable day, Pop Burger came to the rescue. To escape the rain and to chill out for a while we decided to head past the Andy Warhol lined downstairs restaurant and venture upstairs to lounge about on one of their large couches. The only thing better than one burger is three burgers. Even though they were mini, they still packed a huge amount of flavour. The beef, being so small, was cooked a little more than I like and was a little charred, but the brioche style bun held it all together perfectly. I’d love to see these guys add a regular sized burger to their menu, as I think, with a bit of tender love throughout the cooking process, it could be simply amazing. The wait staff were also extremely friendly, constantly refilling my coke. And as many of you know, I’m a simple man and free refills are one of my favourite things in the world.”
Pop Burger on Urbanspoon