The Experience: Murray’s Cheese Bar is the latest in a long line of New York City cheese history, dating back to 1940 when Murray Greenberg opened in Greenwich Village as an egg and dairy wholesaler. Seventy-two years later, Murray’s Cheese Bar opened on the same block, allowing for a much more robust cheese-devouring experience. Murray’s attracted my attention when I was clued in by a local hamburger club leader that the restaurant serves an excellent burger.
At Murray’s Cheese Bar, your options include a standard burger topped with rarebit cheddar sauce, a rotating series of burger specials, or a burger topped with any of the dozens of cheeses that populate Murray’s Cheese Bar’s menu. On this evening, the special was a Jalapeno Pimento Burger. Given my positive feelings about pimento-topped burgers stemming from my experience at Bondurants, I went with that.
Burgers Ordered: The Jalapeño Pimento Burger and the Murray’s Burger
The Taste: While the cheese on the Jalapeño Pimento Burger, and really all the burgers at Murray’s, is meant to be the star of this cheeseburger show, it’s the patty that really shines. Murray’s gets their meat from Ottomanelli and Sons on the same block, adding a real neighborhood charm to the whole operation. The pimento and jalapeño add a nice spicy kick, but the expertly seasoned meat steals the show. That said, the bacon was also pretty stellar.
The First Lady of Burger Weekly has an aversion to the consistency of cheese sauce, so instead of the rarebit cheddar she got a clothbound cheddar on her burger, which is less of a cheese sauce and more of a semi-firm cheese. She liked that she got to choose from such a large variety of cheeses and that the waiter was so knowledgeable about them. On both burgers however, the brioche bun violated the bun-to-meat ratio, being far too large for the plump patty.
The Verdict: While the obvious draw for Murray’s Cheese Bar is the fact that you can choose from a ridiculously large number of cheeses to top your burger, the patty from O-Bros is well worth some attention. Just be aware that the bun is unwieldy.
Murray’s Cheese Bar is located at 264 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, New York.