Just thought I'd drop in today with a quickie on Brgr in Chelsea—on Seventh Avenue at 26th Street.
I've never done an in-depth look at the place, in part because it ended up being a go-to spot for me and the rest of the folks at the AHT–Serious Eats offices. And you know that old adage about not deficatin' where you do your domesticatin', right?
Not that I would slag the place—It puts out a solid burger.
Anyway, we've now been a number of times since the original mastermind behind the operation, Chris Russell, was ousted late last year, and I figured I'd blab about the changes and the state of the burger there. Burger blabbitation begins after the jump.
- Most important: The patties have gotten bigger and now use Pat LaFrieda beef
- Simplified menu: Gone are the array of confusing preconfigured choices. You can either build your own, get "The Brgr," or choose from some two nonburger sandwiches—"The Trky" and "The Vgbrgr" should be self-explanatory
- For the worse: The soft, white squishy bun Brgr used to use is gone. It's been replaced by a larger, more firm, and beef-overwhelming model. Not a good thing
The Song Remains the Same
- Reliably unreliable: Under Russell, the joint was terribly hit or miss for cooking burgers to temp. After a while, I gave up on getting a medium-rare burger. I chalked it up to the thin fast food–style nature of the patties. But with the thicker patty and LaFrieda meat, I expect a bit more. The beef bar has been raised. Unfortunately, the joint hits medium-rare only rarely.
- Shake it up: The Ronnybrook Dairy–based shakes have not changed. They were named "the best shake in New York," by one of the local rags, as a window display says. Why fix what ain't broke?
My favorite burger there is one that burgerman George Motz turned me on to—just a simple burger with blue cheese and grilled onions (above). I'd ask the place to go light on the blue cheese, so it's not absolutely overpowering.
287 Seventh Avenue, New York NY 10001
The Short Order: A respectable burger; good for the hood—for lunch or an uneventful dinner
Want Fries with That? Hand-cut, fresh, skin-on fries are available here. I'm not a fan, although Serious Eats head honcho Ed Levine loves them. I'm usually a huge fan of deep-fried onion products, but the anemic "onion hay" is skippable
Cost: $11, with a side and a drink; around $8 with just burger and drink
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.