Note: Today we're introducing a new feature where we ask burger-loving food reviewers from major cities around the country what their favorite local burgers are. Starting with the AHT crew, here are the top burgers from our New York City-based correspondent, Nick Solares.
"Anyone who doesn't think that their home town has the best hamburger place in the world is a sissy."—Calvin Trillin
As much as I hate top lists, I can understand the value of them. Indeed, when I travel I invariably consult a list or two to get ideas on where to eat. But I understand that all lists are invariable flawed because how can anyone possibly try every hamburger (or pizza, or hot dog) in a particular city? Here is my top 5 list, not of the best burgers in the city but of my favorite burgers in the city.
1. Minetta Tavern: The $26 Black Label burger is made from dry aged ribeye. Unlike prior efforts at constructing the ultimate hamburger that involve using extraneous ingredients such as foie gras, the Black Label blend from Pat La Frieda is an earnest attempt to elevate the hamburger experience while staying true to the fundamentals of burger-craft. [Review] 9 Minetta Street, New York NY 10012 (map); 212-475-3850; minettatavernny.com
2. Shopsin's: When Josh Ozersky named Shopsin's sliders the best in America I remember Kenny calling him an "a-hole" and following it up by stating that he had "bad breath." I expect to be spared no quarter for calling Kenny's not only my favorite sliders in the city, but also one of my favorite hamburgers anywhere. [Review] 120 Essex Street, New York NY 10002 (map); 212-924-5160; shopsins.com
3. Shake Shack: I order my burgers commando style at the Shack—no cheese or anything else. The beef is so superb, the bun so perfectly executed that the burger needs nothing else. [Review] Madison Ave and East 23rd Street, New York NY 10010 (map); 212-889-6600; shakeshacknyc.com
4. HB Burger: Newcomer to the burger wars HB Burger serve a hamburger with the most impressive crust I have ever had. Add to that a juicy, flavorful patty and a classic potato roll, and the result is one of my favorite burgers. [Review] 127 West 43rd Street, New York NY 10036; map); 212-575-5848; hbburger.com