Burgers Ordered: Brad – The UltiMelt; Sam – The Streaker; Matt – The Smashed Burger
The Experience: Like many restaurants and shops in New York City, Go Burger’s street-facing wall is a garage door, opened wide on this humid evening of the longest day of the year. We managed to snag a table on the very edge of the air-conditioned indoor section, allowing us the breeze from outdoors. It was the best of both worlds. The bar’s ceiling was tattooed with a very cool burger-bar word cloud, and the bar itself was sleek and modern, adorned with flat screen TVs playing the Mets game and signs advertising the Servers’ Picks of the Week and the Shakes of the Week, amongst other things.
Presentation: Matt and Sam both asked for slight changes to their burgers that would surely tailor their meals in a way that made them more appetizing for them. Good ol’ boy that he is, Matt made his Smashed Burger a Philly, adding griddled onions, peppers, pickled jalapeños and provolone to the standard onions and American cheese that normally top this hand-smashed burger, but asked the waitress to hold the provolone because he likes his cheese all-American.
Sam’s burger, the Streaker, normally comes sans-bun, naked as the name implies. While the unorthodox burger, topped with arugula, marinated cherry tomatoes, pickled shallots and olive-cornichon remoulade, resembles a salad as much as it does a burger, Sam insisted on a bun on the side so that he could see how this hunk of meat and veggies would hold up in traditional burger form.
Everyone ordered their burgers medium rare. Brad and Matt’s came that way while Sam’s disappointingly came more well done (despite the fact that he chased down the waitress to make sure it was cooked to order). Sam had to ask for his “bun on the side,” when his meal came because it was left behind, and Matt was disappointed that his bun was already firmly placed on top of his burger. It would turn out that these were only minor obstacles in the way of a memorable dinner experience.
Taste: Brad’s Ultimelt is Go Burger’s standard patty topped with caramelized onions and bacon, sandwiched between two grilled gruyere cheese sandwiches on slender rye bread. The sandwich was cut in half and stacked on top of itself, the cheese melting in such a way that the two halves melded together. The first bite put a smile on Brad’s face. As he continued to eat he couldn’t put his finger on which particular ingredient was giving him so much joy until all that remained was a bite of burger patty. It was the meat all along. He enjoyed the new dill pickle quite a bit, though not as much as he would a more sour dill pickle. He passed off his coleslaw to Matt because he has no appreciation for cabbage.
Matt loved the coleslaw, finding it a perfect side for his Smashed burger, which he said melted in his mouth (to which Brad replied that the Ultimelt melted all over his hands). Throughout the meal Matt raved about the texture of this hand-smashed burger, noting that while it was difficult to control it made for a more fun than normal eating experience.
Problems with delivery and cookery aside, Sam loved the Streaker. Though the toppings were fancy for a burger, they were never pretentious or offensive, working perfectly on a bun in the traditional style of a burger. Though he had to do a little work to make this a burger-shaped burger, he made a point to say that the taste of the burger wiped away all of his previous complaints. He also loved the coleslaw.
We all shared an order of duck fat fries. We were told they’d be a bit sweeter than normal fries because of the duck fat. They were not. However they were thick and came with DELICIOUS tarragon dijonaise for dipping fun. Uncultured swines that we are we had to ask many times to make sure we had the name of the condiment correct.
The Verdict: We ate the burgers incredibly fast, ignoring Sam’s advice from last week to make them “Slow-Down Burgers.” Yes, we now know that it means a burger you want to eat quickly because it’s delicious and have to consciously slow down to savor. Though they didn’t stay on our plates for long, the memory of that amazing taste stayed with us during our commutes home.
Addendum: On his way home, Sam ran into his roommate and some of her friends on their way to Shake Shack. Like any good burgermeister he guided them to Go Burger so they could experience what he’d experienced. That’s not a knock on Shake Shack either. We love Shake Shack. You just have to change things up sometimes.
Go Burger is located at 1448 2nd Ave, between 75th and 76th.