Burgers Two Ways at Korzo in Brooklyn: Deep Fried and Non-Deep Fried
667 5th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215 (b/n 19th St. and 20th St.; map); 718-285-9425; eurotripbrooklyn.com
Cooking Method: Grilled (then fried)
Short Order: Is ever better fried? In this case, yes.
Want Fries with That? Skip em. Stick with the red cabbage slaw.
Price: Korzo Fried Burger, $12; Euroburger, $11; fries, $2
Notes: Thursday night is "Burger Night" when they feature three or more seasonal burgers on the menu. Don't eat here if you're in a rush; service can be on the slow side.
I don't usually seek out "wacky" burgers, but I'm a big fan of fried food. So when there's a fried burger in my midst, I'm down with that.
When I first heard of Korzo's deep fried burger in February, I thought, "HOW DID A FRIED BURGER ESCAPE MY RADAR?" especially one that's been around for about a year. A waiter at the restaurant told me that the burger had started off as a special, but since customers kept asking for it, they made it a permanent part of the menu. Although they also offer a regular non-fried burger, it's not as popular as the fried.
With the help of some friends—and you should share with at least one other person unless you want a 10-ounce patty all to yourself—I tried both burgers last month.
The Korzo Fried Burger is made of a grilled 10-ounce (or so) patty made from fresh coarse ground organic grass fed beef that's topped with Edam cheese, bacon, German mustard, and pickles, then wrapped in lángos, a fried yeasted Hungarian flatbread. It came pre-cut, looking like a burger pocket and revealing a pink medium rare center as ordered.
The first bite caused us to give a new name to the burger: Doughnut Burger. Its texture was soft, fluffy, and a bit chewy, similar to zeppole. It probably wasn't like eating a Krispy Kreme-bunned Luther Burger though, since the lángos wasn't sweet. That the burger and condiments were contained within a bread pouch made it much easier to eat than if it were on a bun, as we found out with the regular burger. Overall, I give it the thumbs up: The meat was juicy and adequately seasoned with salt and pepper, the toppings tasted balanced, and the bread held up to its fillings without overpowering them. Although I wouldn't dream about eating it again, I'd give it another go if I lived near Korzo.
Fries don't come with the burger, but a pleasantly crunchy red cabbage slaw does. You should just stick with the slaw; the fries are a funky mix of nubby slices of red bliss potatoes and sweet potato fries that doesn't really fulfill a french fry craving. Besides, you already have a fried burger; you don't need fried potatoes on top of that. (Not that you need a burger wrapped in fried dough either, but you know what I mean.)
Like the fried burger, the regular Euroburger is also made with a grilled 10-ounce-ish patty with the same kind of beef, but has different toppings of wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Emmentaler cheese, and comes on a lightly grilled
German kaiser roll Update: Although the menu said kaiser roll, on retrospect I realize it was more like a ciabatta roll. Although I was told that the patties' sizes may vary since they're hand packed, this one felt way larger than the fried burger—the bun could barely contain the patty.
Other major differences were that this burger was much messier and the patty was cooked longer, closer to medium than medium rare. It wasn't as juicy as the fried burger, but it wasn't dry either, as evidenced by the patty soaking the bottom bun in beef juices. The bun managed to evade complete disintegration, but the burger would fare better if the patty rested longer after it was cooked to prevent bun soakage, and were a big smaller to give a better meat-to-bun ratio. Otherwise, I liked the bun—chewy, soft, and not too bready.
Although veggie burgers aren't Korzo's specialty, the menu notes that both burgers come in vegetarian versions. The waiter told me that some people have ordered the vegetarian Euroburger, but as far as he knows no one has ordered the vegetarian fried burger. And there isn't much point in getting it when they offer three kinds of vegetarian-friendly topped lángos that are probably tastier fried options than a lángos-wrapped veggie burger.