142 Mercer St. (Cross Street: Prince St.)
Burger: The Lure Bash Burger ($15)
We know what you’re thinking, “A seafood spot, for burgers?" Yes, we can’t make this stuff up. Ever since Lure Fishbar chef Josh Capon won the Popular Vote at the Burger Bash in October (2009), we’ve pined for a taste of the Lure “Bash Burger” with the belief that a Pat La Frieda beef composed burger had all the makings of a contender in our search for the best burger in NYC. Heading to the restaurant’s subterranean location in SoHo at Mercer and Prince on a recent Saturday during the gorgeous weather Manhattan has enjoyed prior to the Spring Solstice, we were in for a treat. Not only did we anticipate an impressive burger, but we also prepared for a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. The Lure Fishbar boasts a unique yacht-style setting with the entire restaurant resembling the high-end design of a million dollar yacht. We can't help but reference this...we're on a boat!
Our Expectations: The Lure Bash Burger. As previously noted, the patty is made from premium blend Pat La Frieda beef, topped with – get this – caramelized onion and bacon jam (wow), American cheese, shaved pickles and secret sauce, all on a Big Marty’s potato bun. Hungry yet? The standout item is quite obviously the jam. We were taken aback by the initial reading of that description considering we had yet to come across such a distinctive topping in all our reviews. Clearly that combination of ingredients isn’t reinventing the wheel, but a concoction of such toppings had us a little giddy. To top it off, the burger is served with two fat onion rings on top. Heaven, no?
*Important to mention, this burger IS NOT on the menu and you must specifically ask for the “Bash Burger". Thus, sadly we have no menu picture to show.
*Update October 2010: The Bash Burger can now be found at Burger & Barrel on Mercer & Houston as well.
Meat: Pat La Frieda is notorious for producing some of the best beef blend to construct burgers with, and for good reason. The Bash Burger’s meat is exceptional. Precisely cooked to a medium rare temperature with seasoning that’s divine in every bite, it’s a glorious patty. The tender juiciness that comes with each bite is noticeable not only by taste but from the excess juice that falls to your plate. Though, our only gripe, if you can call it one, is the size of the patty. Six ounces was not enough, especially at twice the price and half the meat of veritable number one best NYC burger contender, Shake Shack.
Toppings: The combination of secret sauce, onion and bacon jam, American cheese and shaved pickles is superb. With every bite, you get a bit of everything – something not to be overlooked given that many burgers are all over the place and fail to provide a perfect bite. The Bash Burger had a certain perfectionist touch to it, as the delectable toppings were neatly placed and organized on top of the patty. A thing of beauty, both pleasing to the eye and our taste buds.
Bun: If you’ve been following us for long, you’ve caught on quickly to our love of potato rolls/buns. With that in mind, may we present the “Big Marty’s” roll. A sesame seed potato bun that felt, looked and tasted as if it were fresh out of the oven. Light, fluffy, toasted just enough and providing a sweet addition to each bite, we were in love. If we’re being picky, which we can be, we like the au naturale style of a dark potato roll (see Shake Shack) sans sesame seeds, slightly better. Still, we’ve got plenty of love for Big Marty.
Bedlam's Lure Fishbar Judgment
Meat (49): Without a doubt the best meat we’ve tasted at this point. Fresh, juicy, tender and seasoned well. Temperature was even throughout, containing the juiciness and providing a melt in your mouth texture (Pat La Frieda deserves some kudos as well). Although we could easily give this a perfect 50, the size could be a tad larger as we wished there was more to eat. The patty wasn’t necessarily filling. Still, we considered ordering a second round of burgers...it was that good!
Toppings (25): The genius of the jam overwhelmingly won us over and the sculpted toppings were impressive. Particular attention was given to the toppings and the calculated ratios of topping in every bite were distinctly apparent as we ate. The American cheese was melted full, but not messy, while the pickles provided a pleasant crunch and sweetness to contrast the beef’s seasoning.
Bun (24): We couldn’t ask for more but reserve to right to be picky and deduct for the sesame seeds on our potato roll bun. It was sweet, fluffy, fresh and the perfect size for the patty and all it’s fix-ins.
Ranking: 98 out of 100