The 'New York Times' Searches for the Perfect Burger


Clockwise from top: Flip, City Burger, Black Iron

The New York Times' Oliver Schwaner-Albright weighs in on three burgers for under $25 in New York City, two that use beef from Pat La Frieda—Flip and City Burger—and one—Black Iron Burger—that used to but has now switched to "a less vaunted supplier." His findings are closely aligned with ours here at AHT.

He found City Burger at its best to be "bloody, juicy and rich. It was a porterhouse in a bun," he says, but notes that on a subsequent visit it was over cooked, mirroring the inconsistency that I noted in my City Burger review. He liked Black Iron Burger far more than I did but still found it "maddeningly inconsistent" and notes the burgers can be underseasoned. As for Flip, Schwaner-Albright finds it pricey, as did our own Robyn Lee, but is more concerned with the tyranny of choices. My advice? Keep it simple—the point of the article was at least partially that the "meat is the star." Why am I not surprised that "Japanese-beef blend on a cherry pepper and asiago bun with pesto and mozzarella" failed to impress?

One particular point of interest raised in the piece is an important distinction between the Black Label served at Minetta Tavern and what is now called the City Black Blend served at City burger. I placed a late night call to Pat La Frieda Jr. who confirmed that the Minetta Tavern blend uses rib-eye as the dry aged component as opposed to the New York strip used in the City Black.