117 Second Avenue, New York NY 10003 (at 7th Street; map); 212-777-1086
Cooking Method: Grilled
Short Order: Doesn't taste like a regular burger, but it's damn tasty.
Want Fries with That? Comes with satisfyingly crispy fries.
Price: Burger and fries, $7
One night while walking down Second Avenue, my eyes caught sight of something at 7th Street that compelled me to stop and clumsily whip out my brick-like camera. The sign outside of Song 7.2 proclaimed to have "THE BEST BURGER IN NYC." Song 7.2 is a Korean restaurant/bar. Home to New York City's best burger? Really?
While I would usually ignore such claims, curiosity got the best of me, and confirming or debunking the claim would only set me back $7. Hey, I love Korean food; this could be interesting.
The burger features a hefty eight-ounce patty with grilled onions, shredded lettuce, and fat pickle slices on a soft, lightly toasted white bun smeared with a ketchup/mayonnaise mix on the bottom bun.
Although I asked for medium rare, methinks the waiter didn't acknowledge my request. But it didn't matter, because despite that the meat was cooked all the way through, it didn't exhibit the negative qualities of overcooked meat. Juices unexpectedly oozed forth from the meaty crevices, and the patty had a soft texture with a bit of char on the outside.
And then it got even better when I took my first bite: It tasted like bulgogi, a key characteristic that wasn't mentioned on the menu. And bulgogi is delicious. And thus this burger was delicious. Admittedly, I didn't realize why it tasted so good until I asked out waiter what was in it. "Soy sauce, sugar," he started, then after some silence simply said, "It's like bulgogi." The flavor of bulgogi comes mostly from the combination of soy sauce, sugar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Looks like this patty had onion bits in it as well.
Besides that the patty was a juicy bomb of savory-sweetness, it went well with the sweet onions, tart pickles, smidge of creaminess from the sauce, and soft bun that was just the right size and weight.
While this burger may not be the best in the city and wouldn't fulfill a craving for a regular burger lacking seasonings up the wazoo, it's one of the tastiest takes on a burger I've had and a great deal for only $7. I'd definitely eat it again.
Note: I have yet to try the bulgogi burgers from New York Hot Dog and Coffee, but I heard good things about them. I shall get them into my tummy soon.
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