Burgers Ordered: Matt – Manhattan Burger; Brad – Bronx Bomber Burger; Frankie – Eastchester Burger.
The Experience: Because of their love for their readers, the Burgermeisters are committed to finding the best burgers in New York. If that burger happens to be in the Bronx, so be it. Last week the Burgermeisters charged the Little Meisters to tell them what makes a great burger and where in New York they can find them. The responses on Facebook and right here on BurgerWeekly.com were varied and interesting. However, the most common response was that Piper’s Kilt had a burger that represented all the qualities that make a perfect burger.
The only decision remaining was which Piper’s Kilt to go to. There is a location in Inwood and one in the Bronx. For Matt the decision was an easy one. As a young adult he lived close to the Bronx location. Moreover, his father grew up in that neighborhood, frequenting that particular Piper’s Kilt in his youth. Since Matt will never escape his father’s shadow, he insisted the Burgermeisters go to the Bronx Piper’s Kilt.
This proved an interesting challenge for Brad, who recently started a job in downtown Manhattan. He had the profound pleasure of riding the 1 train two stops short of its entirety. Matt on the other hand only had to ride the train for about ten minutes, and had the legitimate pleasure of bringing along his girlfriend Frankie. Shockingly, Brad was in good spirits when he met the couple despite his long commute post-long work day. His excitement for this reportedly perfect burger apparently overcame the treachery of a New York rush hour commute.
Presentation: There’s nothing dressed up about Piper’s Kilt. From the outside one can see that the old building is not particularly well maintained, and the B rating from the New York City Health Department might not do much to attract your average passerby. Once inside however, the story becomes a different one.
The Burgermeisters found Piper’s Kilt to be the perfect pub. The bar is old fashioned, with an old style cash register and equally aged bartender. It’s the kind of place where everybody knows everybody’s name… except for ours.
The wait staff was friendly and helpful and not terrible to look at. The menu had a varied burger section, and all burgers could be enhanced to 10 ounces if the patron so dared to “Broadway” their burger for a couple bucks. As has become tradition, the Burgermeisters and their guest Frankie wanted the special burgers, and since there were three special burgers and three Burgermeisters it was a perfect storm.
Each burger was served with what Brad called the perfect dill pickle. It reminded him of Topor’s Pickles, which you can only get from his hometown of Detroit and which he asserts are the greatest pickles on the planet. The Burgermeisters realized that the bucket from Mr. Pickle propping up the door outside indicated that these pickles more likely came from Brooklyn.
All of the burgers came cooked to order. Brad and Matt’s burgers were cooked medium rare, pretty much to perfection. Frankie wanted hers cooked medium, and that’ s just how it came too. The french fry portions weren’t so outrageously large, so the Burgermeisters had no post-meal “second stomach” aches to worry about. The toppings came on the side, which the Burgermeisters love. Frankie however decided to make a work of art with her Eastchester Burger. We dare you to look at this photo and not run immediately to Piper’s Kilt.
Taste: The Eastchester came topped with bacon, cheese, onion rings, lettuce and tomato. It was also accompanied by a side of chili. Matt ended up stealing Frankie’s chili and doesn’t think she even noticed because of how distracted she was by her mountain of a burger. He said the chili had good flavor and a solid kick. For her part, Frankie didn’t say so much about her burger because she was too busy savoring the flavor and nodding to herself.
Brad’s Bronx Bomber Burger came covered in swiss cheese and grilled onions. The burger was so juicy is soaked through the bottom bun. That said however, the bun’s integrity somehow held up and brad was able to get through the meal using only one and a half napkins. The cheese was so plentiful and so well melted that it aided in holding the burger together, even keeping the onions from slipping away. The burger was so plentiful though that there was no way Brad was going to conquer it without cutting in half.
While he enjoyed the hell out of the Bronx Bomber, Brad did mention that the BBQ sauce was left off of the burger. The flavors of the cheese and meat were so rich that he did not actually notice until after he was finished eating, but it needs to be mentioned because a BBQ burger that comes without BBQ sauce is a pretty big gaffe.
Matt’s Manhattan Burger came with Canadian bacon, swiss cheese and grilled onions. Matt took Frankie’s tomato for his own burger, but removed it immediately after the first bite. Although Matt usually finds tomatoes a necessity on his burgers, he felt it was becoming a cool-down topping. His burger was just as juicy as Brad’s and the cheese was just as flavorful. Piper’s Kilt cooks obviously know what they’re doing when it comes to swiss cheese.
The French Fries were also delicious, very deep fried and quickly devoured.
The Verdict: Piper’s Kilt is a winner. Despite leaving the BBQ sauce off of Brad’s BBQ burger, the Burgermeisters left happy. For the first time since the inception of Burger Weekly, the Burgermeisters even had room for dessert, so they stopped for some Mister Softee. Three delicious burgers, two beers and a Coke for less than $50 equals a recommendation that you make the trip up to the Bronx.
Piper’s Kilt is located at 170 W 231st St, just off the 1 train.