New York

Burgers Of The 21st Century

Ana B. Remos

These special New York hamburgers will make you take a second look at America's national dish.

We all fantasize about the ideal burger. Some of us like the juices dripping on our hands and others envision the oozing cheddar while they sink their teeth into that glorious first bite. But what is, in fact, the secret to having all the desirable elements combined into one tasty burger? Balance. When you have the balance of sweet, savory, salty, sour, and umami all into one round-shaped masterpiece, then the symphony inside your head begins to play Mozart.

However, what happens when the creative chefs bring you a revolutionized burger that will have you craving a Ramen Burger or a Rice Burger? You will want to kick your banal bibb lettuce, tomato, and beef burger out to the curb.

There is no need to stress, because we have compiled a list of unique burgers you can find in New York City that will make you never look back:

The Ramen Burger at Smorgasburg Market in Brooklyn

The genius behind this idea was Keizo Shimamoto, a Japanese-American chef who wanted to combine one of America’s favorite meals with traditional Asian cuisine. What is particular about this burger is that there is no bread bun. The “buns” are two ramen discs that hold together a beef patty with Chef Shimamoto’s secret shoyu sauce, topped with arugula and scallions. We have all wondered how this “ramen bun” doesn’t fall apart. Well, he uses freshly made ramen and cooks it first to give it its shape and then the ring-shaped ramen are seared to give it a crunchy exterior, but still maintaining that ramen feel once you bite into it.

The Rice Burger at Yonekichi in East Village

I will be bold enough to call the rice burger, the ramen burger’s cousin. I had the pleasure of trying this little “window restaurant” that serves only seven different types of rice burgers. The fluffy and sticky buns are made out of rice patties with a beautiful sear on top and those who hold a particular kind of love for pork, should try the Ginger Mugifugi. This rice burger has thinly sliced premium pork shoulder with ginger, soy sauce, and butter lettuce.

The Superiority Burger in East Village

Everything in this compact restaurant is vegetarian, and most menu items can be turned into vegan as well. Chef Brooks Headley will serve the traditional potato bun, but what he won’t give you is meat. His burger patties are a mix of vegetables, lentils, quinoa, barley, and farro heavily seasoned and formed into a thick burger. The layers consist of iceberg lettuce, roasted tomatoes, brown honey mustard, dill pickle, homemade ketchup and Muenster cheese. The trick to having the right texture to emulate a meat patty is to undercook some ingredients and get a crunchy bite and to overcook others to get a softer consistency.

The Spotted Pig Burger in West Village

The char-grilled burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries just goes to show that less is always more. Why is The Spotted Pig’s recipe so successful? Because the meat blend features beef rump, beef brisket, and chuck roast, which gives you the fat and that juiciness we all long for in a medium-rare burger. It is topped off with a pungent Roquefort cheese that will have you wanting more, and the sweet brioche bread to counterbalance the savory elements.

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