August 22, 2009

Burger Alert!!!

While New York City has more than its fair share of fancy-shmancy eateries, sometimes a gal just wants a good burger. And oh mercy, did I find one this week! My friend Carlota, she of the native New Yorkness, took me (for my birthday-yay!) to a small but stupendous spot in the East Village: Black Iron Burger. It's small, it's hot in the summer (no A/C), and it's pretty dark at night, but trust me, none of this matters.

Carlota and I hiked over there Thursday night after I worked the late shift. She warned me that the burgers are huge, so I should come hungry. I took her a little too seriously and ate very little that day, leaving plenty of room for the coming feast. I was maybe a little too hungry by the time I got there, feeling the blood sugar levels dip to a shaky low. Whatever, I was ready: BRING ON THE MEAT!

We both ordered the Black Iron Burgers, which are their specialty: two patties with horseradish cheddar and sautéed onions. I normally prefer raw onions on a burger, but Carlota had raved enough about this place that I was just going to do as in Rome and whatnot...and thank goodness I did. The burgers are SO succulent, so I appreciate that they take the time to toast their sesame-brioche buns. The meat was tender and juicy, dripping down my hands as I ate (it was almost burning the tips of my fingers at one point but I surged on anyway), the horseradish cheddar was so creamy, and the sautéed onions were perfect: still a bit crunchy, not overly-caramelized, and a nice addition to the layers of fantastic flavors. Carlota also ordered tries and the fried green tomatoes. Yeah, we were gonna eat. The fries were well-seasoned, but I much preferred the fried green tomatoes (which I've had at other places and not really enjoyed). The seasoning on the tomatoes is zing-zang-tastic, and it's exponentially better when slathered with a bit of Dijon mustard (another trick Carlota shared). Holy YUM were these little babies yummy.

We also ordered some Abita root beer, which they have on tap. It was sharp and not too sweet--the perfect foil for the salty burger, and a cool relief on that toasty, humid, August night. I believe they offer a free refill with your soda purchase, but there was no way I was letting even delicious root beer take up space where there could be more burger!!

Don't doubt me: this is a lot of food. Once I devoured my finger-licking-good burger (the 'after' photo is just above), I sat there in a bit of stomach shock, amazed at how much food could fit in one belly. There was no way I could finish the fries, but I did have one or two more fried green tomatoes, because YUM. The fries are good, but if you have to pick between the two, pick the tomatoes!

The service was also great--I have to salute the cook, who was kicking butt at the grill while suffering in some serious heat. He churned out so many burgers so quickly, and man were they tasty. I wouldn't want that job, but like he said, someboday's gotta do it, and I'm glad he does it so well! Kudos to him and the bartender, who were both friendly even under the stifling heat they were working in that night. I also noticed the bartender was very on top of keeping things clean: as soon as I'd used up a whole napkin to soak up the grease or the ketchup or whatever, he'd come by and swipe it, putting it in the trash. Once we finished, he wiped down the bar with a cloth soaked in a mild bleach solution (I LOVE that smell!), and it left the bar clean, smooth, and not at all sticky, which is shocking considering how messy those burgers are. I really appreciate a clean establishment, as I know how hard it is to keep it clean, and this one stood out to me. I will definitely go back again. You should go, too--but remember: GO HUNGRY!

Black Iron Burger
540 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-6067

1 comment:

MTL said...

Oh, you're killing me here.
Of course, AFTER I move away from NY, I find out about all this stuff. If I ever go back for an extended visit, I am definitely looking this place up.

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