On the hottest day of the summer, I foolhardily left my apartment to get a delicious burger at Big Daddy’s. Now that we’re firmly entrenched in winter, I thought now would be a good time to try the burger at the Big Daddy’s sister restaurant, Duke’s. I turned out to be rewarded in my desire for symmetry by a very tasty lunch. Whereas Big Daddy’s is an attempt to recreate the vibe of a classic New York City diner, Duke’s is more of a shot at the southern roadhouse. That was reflected rather profoundly in the burger I ordered.

Burger Ordered: Southern Comfort Burger

The Taste: Topped with with bacon, onion rings, Monterey Jack cheese & roadhouse barbecue sauce on a brioche bun, the Southern Comfort Burger was a heavy and delectable lunch. The bun folded in on itself, making for easy bites, while somehow holding strong against the formidable toppings. The crispy bacon was of higher quality than bacon I’ve had on burgers thus far this  year, getting me back on a bacon train that I was getting ready to jump off of. The onion rings would have been great on their own, but they too folded in on themselves, making for a palatable experience. The barbecue sauce guided the flavor of this burger, which was cooked perfectly medium rare. Overall, it was a hell of a cowboy burger.

The Verdict: I feel like kitschy restaurants get short shrift in New York City in favor of more highbrow fare. but the comfort food at Big Daddy’s and Duke’s is really quality stuff and shouldn’t be ignored.

Duke’s is located at 560 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, New York.

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Article by Brad Garoon

I run this burger joint.