I don’t think that I have ever written an entire post on just one main dish at a restaurant that offered more than that dish.
And yet, that’s exactly what I ‘m going to do:
Brindle Room has been on my B list for awhile. I have wanted to go for the burger. But, let’s be honest – a lot of places have great burgers. And a schlep to the East Village isn’t exactly my idea of a great Tuesday night.
The restaurant is tiny – it looks more like a neighborhood bar or gastropub than anything else. I made reservations but when I saw the Lilliputian kitchen and the none-too-crowded dining room, I scoffed at needing them.
When I waited 30 minutes for the burger, I doubted my decision in coming downtown at all.
And then, this arrived.
It looked good.
Then I had a fry. These are good fries. Very good fries. Fresh cut and in between thick-and-thin. They are well salted with the crispy, translucent potato skins that I love most of all. Served with Sir Kensington’s ketchup and some of the best, spiciest, well seasoned hot sauce that I have ever enjoyed, these are worth a side dish order on their own.
Then, the burger. Made from dry aged steak and deckle trimmings. With caramelized onions and a light topping of melted cheddar cheese.
This is a burger. This is better than Minetta Tavern, Corner Bistro, and In-n-Out combined. It’s the only burger, besides Louis Lunch, that has required no extra condiments. I did add a couple of the excellent pickles, but ketchup would have totally overwhelmed the meat. The meat is something else. It’s coarsely ground and lightly packed so it is tender but not falling apart. It holds together with seemingly nothing other than fat and a prayer. It coats your lips in the wonderful, slick layer of fat that marrow sometimes leaves behind. It tastes deep and minerally, but not at all funky or gamy. It’s the best burger I have had in NYC. No question. The onions are sweet, the bun is squishy, but that meat is where it’s at. I could eat 3 of these. Don’t order it to split with your friends – this is a small burger and you will not want to share.
And at $12 for brunch, the price is right.
Brindle room isn’t fancy. The service is a little slow. And the atmosphere is so hipster that you will feel as though your jeans will never be skinny enough. But the burger is so wonderfully, amazingly, totally, perfect that you won’t even notice.
I weep for this burger.
And the place filled up fast, so make those reservations and don’t doubt your decision for a second.