The Experience: I visited Barcade in Williamsburg for the first time last year on the second leg of a multi-stop bachelor party. The place was fun, with nostalgia-pinching games and a solid beer selection. So when the same crew recommended we check out the new location on Chelsea, I was game. However, I was on a Burger Weekly deadline and needed a bovine element to be added to the evening. To my surprise, the Manhattan location trumps its brother in Brooklyn by offering food, some of which is video-game influenced!
For those unaware, Barcade is everything that its portmanteau name implies: classic arcade machines and drinks. The Chelsea location offers a few burgers on its menu. One is a standard beef burger, one is a signature burger topped with Pat LaFrieda blend served with gruyere, tomato glazed bacon, caramelized onion, lettuce and tomato on a garlic potato bun… And then there’s the Fat Barcade Burger, a Pat LaFrieda blend patty (the other two burgers are LaFrieda beef as well), topped with charred kielbasa, tater tots, fried nacho cheese. lettuce and tomato on a hero. I value my life, so I ordered my standard signature Barcade Burger at the bar and waited patiently at my table for it.
Burger Ordered: The Barcade Burger
The Taste: Frankly, I was surprised by how much I liked the burger at Barcade, and moreover all of the food and beer they have available. I’m often wary when restaurants mention that they use LaFrieda beef that they hope the brand name will distract from a lack of effort in the burger grilling process. There is no lack of effort here. The patty is grilled with a wonderful char. The bacon, onion, and gruyere cheese swirl together in unison with each delicious bite. The bun is soft and flavorful. And the tater tots, which taste amazing, are shaped like Tetris pieces!
The Verdict: Barcade isn’t known for its food, but for those thirsty for good beer, hungry for a good burger, and jonesing for nostalgic video games, this place is perfect.
Barcade New York is located at 148 West 24th Street in Manhattan, New York.