The Experience: New York City steakhouses, I think we have a problem. Don’t get me wrong, your steaks are generally fantastic. I have had zero bad steak experiences in NYC, and only an incredible few middling experiences. But when it comes to making burgers, I find you wanting. My night at Keens, which was otherwise quite delicious, was the third night at a steakhouse in the New York during which I expected to eat a great burger and found myself underwhelmed. Like my meal at Peter Luger, the bacon was great but the burger was not. Like my meal at the Polo Bar, the meal was festive, but the burger was lacking. So what exactly is the problem?
Burger Ordered: Keens Burger
The Taste: It seems as though famous steakhouses just aren’t putting a lot of care into their burgers. One can almost sympathize with them. Compared to other items on the menu, burgers are remarkably inexpensive. It is in the interest of the steakhouse to push the steak, and as such put more effort into it. But I would ask then that they not serve burgers at all.
That isn’t going to happen. The burgers at these steakhouses, Keens included, have somehow gained a reputation for being delicious. It just isn’t true. The Keens burger, like those at the aforementioned restaurants, is perfectly serviceable, but I advise against ordering it for a few reasons. Your appetite is better served being saved for the bacon, the mutton, or the prime filet. Your expectations will not be met. Most importantly, there are better burgers to be had elsewhere.
The Verdict: If you want a great steakhouse burger, get to American Cut early (they only serve a limited amount each night). Go to Keens, sure, but order just about anything else on the menu.
Keens Steakhouse is located at 72 West 36th Street in Manhattan, New York.