What is there to say about Corner Bistro that hasn't already been said? Constantly landing at the top of most best-of lists when it comes to New York City burgers, they are delicious, if a bit hyped.
The Corner Bistro, located in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood, is an unassuming little joint that serves some serious sandwiches. Cooked in a small broiler just to the left of the bar, these burgers have been a friend to boozers for years on end.
The fat patties are served open-face on a toasted bun with onion, pickle, tomato, and lettuce resting on the roll top. This serving arrangement allows you to choose which toppings you'd like to dress your sandwich with, instead of making you open the roll to pick off those you don't. This, of course, is critical if you order a cheeseburger, as discarded toppings (if any) won't then stick to the gooey stuff.
This reporter and his friend tried to visit recently on a Saturday night but were discouraged by the packed house and what promised to be an hour-long wait for a table. Feeling a touch of the anxiety coming on, I convinced my companionafter a grouchingly minor rowto come back with me the following day. We did, and though the place was less crowded, the only spot we were able to secure without measurable wait was at the bar. (It appears that there is no good time to go to avoid a crowd.) Our barstool seating was fortuitous, however, in that we had a nearly perfect view of the burgermeister at work in the "kitchen" area (left). His technique was to place the raw burgers on a slide-out grate for a measure of time under the broiler, at which mark he flipped them to cook on the reverse side. At some point, he removed the burgers to add a tray of buns for toasting.
We each ordered a cheeseburger, cooked medium, and while the taste of the meat left nothing to be desired, it was a bit dry. The patties were a tad thicker than I like but weren't so thick that I couldn't fit the burger in my mouth. (Oversized burgers are the bane of my existence.) I left feeling satisfied, even with the small debacle of the night before, but feel that I've had better burgers here in New York City.
I know that Corner Bistro is a hot topic when it comes to Big Apple burgers, so this won't be the final word we say about the place here on AHT. I hope my esteemed colleagues weigh in. Until then, enjoy some outtakes from our visit.
Location: 331 West 4th St., New York City NY 10014
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.; Sun., noon to 4 a.m.