Thursday, November 19, 2009

Best Burger in NYC Search: Resto

111 E. 29th St. (between Lexington & Park)
Burger: The Resto Burger ($15) 

In the world of foodie blogging, as it is with most popular culture websites and blogs, there is often an obsession with reviewing or visiting the newest and most hyped about location. Considering our topic of choice on this site and the city in which we live, it comes as no surprise to yours truly that we regularly receive requests or comments to review the latest burger concoction or the burger du jour…you know, the burger of the day. Mmm that sounds good, we’ll have that. C’mon, you get a chance to reference Dumb and Dumber, you take it (clip here - wait for the 29 second mark). Take a trip back to 2007 memory lane and you shall come across New York Magazine’s “Best of New York” anointment of the best burger in NYC from Resto. Now, Resto brings us to our second straight “gastropub” in our line of reviewing, following Spitzer’s Corner, albeit a bit more north of 14th street in Manhattan. Delivering a Belgian menu and providing a plentiful amount of craft beers on tap, in its brief noshing history Resto has made its name on three Bs: brunch, beers and best of all, burgers.

Our Expectations: The Resto Burger, aptly referenced on the menu as “burger.” A fresh, in-house ground portion of beef and pork, Gruyere cheese, red onion, pickle and mayo with a fried egg placed gently on top. With such lofty praise to live up to, we have high expectations for this burger. Though, we prepare to eat with overwhelming pessimism due to specific review’s we have read on the inconsistency of the cooking temperature mostly attributed to the fact that the meat cannot be cooked to order in part to the addition of pork in the patty. We have yet to try a pork infused patty in our review history, so we are a bit psyched for a taste. Additional pessimism lies in our lukewarm attraction to Gruyere cheese. Known as a “smelly” cheese, we tend to side with American or Cheddar as our cheese of choice. Still, we arrive with open minds and no bias toward a Belgian burger. Who doesn’t love new worldly experiences? Quite frankly, that’s why we do what we do, to experience the best of burgers in New York and provide you, our readers, with unbiased opinions. Even if we raise that cholesterol count…its well worth it. Word.

The Burger

Meat: If you haven’t yet tried a fresh, in-house ground patty, Resto might just be the place to start. With reservations on the temperature cooking, we took a bite of this patty and our mouths instantaneously watered. Due to the mixture of both beef and pork, the restaurant and chef require a medium well preparation. They know their stuff, because the results are overwhelming in regard to the texture. The beef breaks apart gently, providing a tasty but still juicy bite. The freshness is apparent and the size is just right, if not the tiiiiiniest bit too small. The patty fills the bun effortlessly but is also somewhat engulfed by the toppings. Conversely, a minor flaw we could state in the patty was its saltiness. We could easily have done without so much, so slow down there my man chef.

Toppings: Gruyere can be off-putting to some, but this burger’s “upper-crust” preparation almost requires the addition of a change of pace cheese. The flavor doesn’t overwhelm and the cheese flows down the sides of the patty with eloquence. The fried egg is standard fare and not necessarily noticeably with every bite. We’re not sure its necessary, but it is a decent complement to the burger and cheese. The pickle and onions add a much needed crunch to the softness of the patty while the mayo blends well with the rest of the toppings and isn’t noticeable heavy-handed on the bun.

Bun: Many burgers we’ve tried lack in one area or another, thus the reason we’ve yet to bestow a perfect rating. Here, Resto fails to deliver on what we would define as an devastatingly poor choice. The white bun is too paper-thin and bite by bite it deteriorated. It might as well have come on the side because we got halfway through our burgers and removed the remaining remnants. Sadness ensued. You’ve got to bring up your game, Resto. The bun seemed possibly stale and we longed for our favorite potato-style bun, or even brioche.

Bedlam's Resto Judgment

Meat (45): A great and surprisingly powerful combination of fresh beef and pork with a delicate bite and juicy flavor. Good to the last bite but get that water ready cause the salt may provide a sneak attack!

(21): The Gruyere complemented the burger well while the egg provided a slight taste and texture contrast and the pickles and onion grabbed us with the crunch. The mayo wasn’t heavy-handed or too overwhelming.

Bun (18):
The downfall of the entire burger composition, this bun may be up there with the worst we’ve tried. Not much flavor and poor consistency, the bun fell apart at the seams. Much like the Royale review, Resto could make a simple substitution and win us over.

84 out of 100

1 comment:

  1. that the chef Ryan Skeen who created the burger left in '08 to go to Irving Mill so have wondered if its changed at all.