Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Burger in NYC Search: Blue 9 Burger

Blue 9 Burger
92 Third Ave (between 12th & 13th)
Burger: The Blue 9 Burger ($9.25) 

At Burger Bedlam's inception, we came up with, based on our previous experiences, an initial top 5 of the best NYC burgers and burger joints. Included in that top 5 was a burger destination near and dear to our hearts. Akin to our West Coast obsession, In-N-Out Burger was Blue 9 Burger. A burger based on the same proud principles of fresh, never frozen meat. Special sauce, double stacked patties and gloriously melted cheese with grilled onions nestled on top. How can you go wrong? Not to mention, Blue 9 Burger was born in the same Big Ten university business school that we graced for four amazing years. So, when it came time to take our burger review tour to Blue 9 Burger, naturally we were pumped to return after an almost one year hiatus. Would this reunion end happily ever after?

Our Expectations: The Blue 9 Burger. As we mentioned, this one draws strong comparisons to an In-N-Out Double Double. Along with the Double Shack Burger at Shake Shack, it's quite often mentioned as the closest you can come this side of the Mississippi. Two fresh, never frozen patties, special sauce, lettuce, American cheese, grilled onions on a soft white roll. Wrapped in paper, soaking up all that juicy burger grease, thoughts of the Blue 9 Burger always made our mouths water.

The Burger

Meat: Freshness? Check. Tenderness? Check. Anything else? Bueller, Bueller, Bueller? How bout a little flavor? Seasoning? Juiciness? As Kyle's Grandma might say, Oye Vey. It just ain't there. As many of our readers had mentioned in our preview a few days ago, this burger's taste has gone south. The meat is the main reason why. As Brett said while eating, "where's the flavor?" We both agree, the meat is fresh, but is sure lacks in the flavor department. The best burgers in NYC all share a common bond, ideal flavor and superb seasoning. Blue 9, although it can be considered more of a fast food burger, dropped the ball. You can't order the burger to the temperature of your choice, and that likely detracts from the juicy flavor you get out of fresh ground beef.

Toppings: The toppings save this burger any further embarrassment. The American cheese is melted splendidly across the patties. The grilled onions add a bit of sweetness to every bite and the special sauce shines above the average flavor we found in the beef. The lettuce is your standard iceberg fare. But do you really get excited about lettuce? Overall, the toppings are respectable, if not just above average. Had they let us down, you were looking at a considerable drop in this burger's ranking...although it might be on its way down anyway.

Bun: If Blue 9 got one thing right with their burger, it's the toasting of the bun. That shouldn't be overlooked as we've had some seriously charred buns in our day, its a burger killer. You can't overlook this detail, it makes for bad presentation and poor taste. Who wants a blackened bun detracting from the taste of their burger? Not us, no sir. The soft white roll came out as it should, toasted lightly with a soft center and never falling apart. Thank goodness.

Blue 9 Burger Judgment

Meat (33): Where have you gone, flavor? Solid tenderness and a great fresh composition, but seasoning? Not so much.
Toppings (22): We never hate on grilled onions, American cheese and special sauce. That combo is one of our favorites. Still, we've had better.
Bun (15): Toasted well, standard white roll.

70 out of 100


  1. The King had Blue 9 for the first time. It was via delivery. As we know and begrudingly accept, burgers do not travel well. Even moreso, fries definitely do not. With that, Blue 9 is a very good delivery option for those who only have a 10 spot. Burger, fries, soda for 10 is straight up a deal these days, and they are in good shape/temp upon arrival. It beats 5 Guys, and is now in my once a month delivery rotation.

  2. Great burgers! I usually go to Blue 9 or to Cosmic Cantina across the street when I'm in the city :-p

  3. Thomas, thanks for the comment! We don't hate the Blue 9 burger, just disappointed in the texture and flavor at the time of our review. It really isn't close to the best burger in NYC, much to our dismay as it used to be a favorite of ours!