Enticed by the Smörgås Burger, optionally topped with Jarlsberg or Ski Queen goat cheese, we chose Smörgås Chef over a handful of restaurants we'd never visited. I should have walked out the door the second I realized the burger on the menu wasn't the one I had my heart set on, but at that point we had our drinks, and it would have meant being late to the awful play we had tickets to that night.
No, the burger on the menu was simply a burger, and no Ski Queen cheese was offered. It hardly mattered to me, as I happily asked for Jarlsburg. We also ordered Swedish meatballs and a herring plate, but that's only worth mentioning because later Mike asked if we were eating Polish food. He knows I love him because I thought really hard about whether or not to share that with the world. And you know I love you because I decided to share it.
The burger arrived on a nice sesame seed bun, utterly enrobed in cheese. No meat could be seen from any angle, and I figured that didn't bode too well. As it turns out, I was right. The patty was totally overcooked, save the furthest edge, located figuratively at twelve o'clock. How on earth does a burger get completely overcooked in the middle but stay juicy on one edge? I chalked it up to perhaps being cooked in a slot-loading toaster.
It was a pricey burger and utterly unsatisfying. We liked everything else, but this is a burger blog, and there you go. Nothing, save the cheese, made this a particularly Swedish (or Polish) dish. A definite "skip" in my book.
Compared to the play, however, the burger was outstanding.
Address: 924 Second Avenue (at 49th Street, map and two other Manhattan locations)
Short Order: Expensive, confusingly overcooked, and not worth it. Try the meatballs instead.
Want Fries With That? The shoestring variety is included with your meal.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.