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.”

For even more awesomeness from BURGERMARY click here

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


Kua’aina Burger

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Kua’Aina Burger – Maison du Yuu Bldg. 1F, 1-10-4 Shibuya,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (東京都渋谷区渋谷1丁目10−4)
Burger:
Avocado Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
¥1080/$13.60 AUD/$14.06 USD
Summary

Say it like this: “Koo-a eye-na”. It basically means redneck/hick/bogan, depending on where you come from, but for native Hawaiians it refers more to those who actively live Hawaiian culture and keep the spirit of the land alive. So by now you would’ve guess that this burger joint is in fact originally Hawaiian. With 2 locations in Obama’s home-town, 1 in London and a whopping 15 across Japan, it’s safe to say the Hawaiian-Japanese relationship has moved on since Pearl Harbour. As you walk in you can’t help but notice the “Hawaii-ness” (it’s a word, look it up) of the place. Lining the walls are surfboards, photos and memorabilia from it’s 35 year history including shots of the original owners and even some of the main man himself, President Barack Obama- we hear he’s a big fan! So if it’s good enough for him you’re darn right it’s good enough for us. Along with their burger selections you’ll find a tonne of different sandwiches ranging from East Coast favourites like Pastrami and Roast Beef, to the more tropical Mahi Mahi and Teri Chicken. We asked our friendly Hawaiian shirt wearing cook what burger Obama enjoys most and so we went for their famous Avocado Burger. It came on a Kaiser Roll with a char-grilled 1/3 pound U.S beef pattie, butter lettuce, avocado, mayo, herb butter and a grilled onion.

Comments
“When you first think of having a burger in Japan the last thing you think of is a Hawaiian burger chain. But I thought, “Hey… nothing in Japan had managed to disappoint me yet”. What they offer is a really simple burger, add avocado and turn it into a suprisingly awesome creation. My charcoaled beef pattie was well cooked, but I thought a tiny bit dry. With only mayo in the burger the grilled onion added the sweetness you need and the avocado gives the burger a creaminess like you can’t even begin to imagine.”
“I absolutely loved this burger! So much so i had it twice. Was I even hungry the second time around?- No. Was it my 16th burger for the trip?- Yes. Do i want one now?- Yes! I’m honestly disappointed in myself that I have never had avocado in a burger before this, but it’s subtle flavour and texture just compliment the beef so well. They also used one of the best burger buns I’ve had: it was soft and fluffy but still strong enough to keep everything in tact.”
“When I heard we were going to a Hawaiian burger joint, my first reaction was pineapples on burgers and Ukulele themed music in store. I know I was pigeon holing the whole experience, but I’m a “glass half-empty” type of guy. Oh boy was I wrong about this place. The Hawaiian theming that went on in there wasn’t too intense; they just kept true to its Hawaiian roots in a tasteful manner, even playing Hawaiian online radio. More importantly, the burger was great. My pattie was on the dry side but made up for it with seasoning that was spot on and a nice char-grill flavour. The generous amount of avocado mixed nicely with the mayo to add a nice creaminess to each bite. The char-grilled onion slice did add a nice sweetness and crunch to each bite. I do recommend having it with the Ginger Ale and ordering the chips which, are semi-skinned, double-fried and F’n amazing.”
“Holy Ben Affleck I loved this. The meat was flame-grilled, filling it with that supreme charcoal goodness. It was pinky in the centre and cooked the best way possible. The tomato was brilliant as was the Kaiser bun. The perfectly ripe, seasoned avocado ended up acting like a creamy butter throughout the whole experience, making me think you probably wouldn’t even need to add cheese to this bad boy. Never having added avocado in a burger before made this the ultimate in cherry popping – I even cried like a true first timer. Seriously good burger.”


Brasserie Les Halles

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brasserie Les Halles – 411 Park Ave South, Murray Hill,
New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Hamburger Rossini
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t bother
Price:
$20 USD
Summary

When mentioning Les Halles to most New York foodie folk, the first remark is usually “Isn’t that Bourdain’s restaurant?” Well, sort of. Previously the executive chef, Les Halles now call him their “Chef at Large” as he travels the world writing and filming his hit show “No Reservations”. Its story runs a little deeper than celebrity chefs though; the Brasserie pays homage to its roots in French cuisine, named after “Les Halles” the historic central wholesale marketplace in Paris. As well as providing Manhattanites with “American Beef, French Style” they serve simple and classic French dishes such as escargot, foie gras, steak tartare (prepared to order at table side) and their renowned pommes frites. The Park Avenue location even features a butcher shop that specialises in French cuts of meat. Hoping that with all this hype and “French Style” beef talk they’d have an awesome burger I ordered the Hamburger Rossini that came with char-grilled ground beef (made to order), a slice of house made fois gras terrine melted on top, dip of black truffle and red wine sauce, plus a side of pomme frites.

Comments
“I felt this thing was beef overkill. There were so many strong, gamey flavours going on that they all clashed making each bite so so heavy and filling. The large chunk of beef was cooked well, however I felt it was a little bit too big for the burger. The fois gras and truffle oil were just so unnecessary; it was like they wanted to sound French and extra fancy in an attempt to try and impress the local Americans who were looking for a bit of culture. Having said all this, the chips (pommes frites) were absolutely amazing! Had this burger been in any other city, I’m sure it would of rated higher. But when you’re in a place like New York City and you’re exposed to a myriad of awesome burger options, some even at a quarter of the price, I’d say you’re better off skipping it.” ”
Les Halles Park Avenue on Urbanspoon


Beer DeLuxe Hamburger Bar

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beer DeLuxe Hamburger Bar – Fed Square, Cnr Swanston & Flinders St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Burger DeLuxe
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$9.50 (Thursdays After 6pm Only)
Summary

Just outside the historic icon that is Flinders St Station sits Melbourne’s favourite eyesore: Federation Square. But with a quick push and shove past all of the 12 year olds, the tourists and day trippers, and you’ll stumble upon Beer DeLuxe and it’s Hamburger Bar. First and foremost, these guys are all about the Amber Liquid. They pride themselves on having a forever evolving Beer Bible that showcases beers from all over Australia and the world. So what do we all know that goes splendidly with beer? Burgers! With their very own dedicated Hamburger Bar that on a Thursday night offers a Burger, Chips and Beer for $9.50, I just couldn’t turn it down. I ordered the Burger DeLuxe that came on a toasted hamburger bun with 2 handmade beef patties, lettuce, bacon, onion, cheese and a touch of American mustard. Plus a side of chips and beer of course.

Comments
“Having received a number of emails and Facebook comments about this place, I decided to grab my camera, some local cool-cats and head down to Beer DeLuxe for a Thursday evening burger session. Talk about value right? For that $9.50 price tag it pretty much turns the rest of the game on its head. Once ordered, it practically flew out of the kitchen – I’m saying 2 minutes tops!? The burger itself was crazy simple. Highlights included the sheer size of this sucker, delicious fried onions and one of the most perfect amounts of lettuce I’ve seen in a burger: bare minimum. Although hand made, the patties didn’t taste of the highest quality, needing more fat through the mince to give them that melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness. To add to that, the burger was way too dry. Whether this be to encourage patrons to drink more beer, I don’t know? But c’mon guys, sauce these bad boys up. No brownie points either for unmelted cheese (that should’ve been double if you’re using 2 patties anyway). If I were to go back I’d spend the coin and throw in the extras adding more cheese, tomato, mayonnaise and egg to the mix. Without these additions it regrettably gets into the Don’t Expect Much category. But if you’re passing through one Thursday night I suggest you spend the extra $3 and give it a crack. There’s honestly some potential here.”
Beer DeLuxe on Urbanspoon