687 6th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215 (b/n 19th and 20th streets; map); 718-499-5623; lot2restaurant.com
Cooking Method: Griddled in a pan, finished in the oven
Short Order: A thick, juicy, beefy burger topped with aged cheddar and pickled onions and cukes = happy belly
Want Fries with That? Comes with great duck fat-enhanced potato wedges
Notes: Open for dinner Tues. - Sat. at 6 p.m.; fixed price Sunday Supper at 5 p.m.
Sometimes I pick a place to review based on recommendations from other people. Other times I pick a place because I happen to be walking by a restaurant bearing a chalkboard sign in front that says, "BURGER WEDNESDAY." And by "other times" I mean last Wednesday when I unintentionally passed Lot 2 off the southern edge of Park Slope. I'd heard good things about Lot 2 before, but this was the first time I had ever walked by it—and on Burger Night, no less. It was meant to be.
Wednesday isn't the only time Lot 2 serves burgers, though; it's the night where they serve a one-off burger (usually announced on Twitter) in addition to the burger on their daily menu. That night's special burger was topped with aged provolone, bibb lettuce, and tomato, but previous weeks have featured toppings like housemade bacon with double cheddar and fried scallions with goat cheese.
I went with their regular grass-fed cheeseburger with pickles and duck fat potatoes. The thick half-pound patty made from grass-fed, pre-ground short rib blend beef from Pat La Frieda was well salted and got a nice hit of pepper. I'm not usually a fan of strong cheese on my burgers, but the slight funk of the one-year aged Vermont cheddar complemented the flavorful beef, as did the tartness of the housemade pickled onion and cucumber. The burger comes with stone ground mustard, Heinz ketchup, and housemade aioli on the side, in case you want to dress it up.
Cooked medium-rare as requested, the fairly lightly packed patty was moist without being messily juice-oozing. Any more juice and the bottom bun of the soft sesame seeded brioche bun from Balthazar would've been in worse condition; as it was, it was quite soaked, but held together well enough.
The twice fried duck fat potato wedges aren't fried in duck fat, but get brushed with duck fat after being fried. Does the duck fat add anything? I couldn't say for sure, but the nice salting and double frying certain do, resulting in an awesome lightly crisp crust all around the wedge. And while three pieces may not seem like much, keep in mind that sitting next to it is a half-pound burger. You could eat more, but three is just the right amount. I wish the wedges were a bit less thick to allow for a greater crust-to-innards ratio, though.
Overall, the burger was more than satisfying and didn't feel too heavy despite its hefty size. After cleaning off my plate, I felt comfortable enough to indulge in dessert without falling into food coma territory (a territory I waddle into far too often—the rest of the Serious Eats office can attest to my feeble moans of overeating regret). If you live in the neighborhood you should definitely check out Lot 2, especially if a Wednesday night special catches your eye. I'm looking forward to eating more of Lot 2's burgers after I move to the neighborhood next month.