January 23, 2011

The best cheeseburger in NYC is at the Corner Bistro.

This interests me for 2 reasons:

1. In the late 1970s, we lived in the apartment building across the street from the Corner Bistro. From my window on the third floor of what is still called "The Rembrandt," I watched people going in and out of the good old Corner Bistro. It had good cheeseburgers.

2. Why doesn't the best cheeseburger in NYC have a good tomato on it? From 1,000 miles away, I can see that the Corner Bistro puts one of those things on its burger that I'd get my hands messed up pulling out. I don't even use the word "tomato" for that.

IN THE COMMENTS: Richard Lawrence Cohen, the other half of the "we" referred to in point #1, says:
The burgers were thick with high-quality beef, but slow-grilled, which didn't thrill me, and if you ordered rare you wouldn't get it rare. But the atmosphere was homegrown urban hip, with knife-gouged wooden tables, and customers who were longtime Villagers perpetually anxious about their media deals and their love lives. A holdover from the Dylan Thomas era (he'd drunk his last set of eighteen whiskies in another burger bar, a couple of blocks away), and great eavesdropping. The silent, bland owner, short and wide with balding red hair and what might conceivably have been interpreted as a fractional smile, was a reassuring enigma, lovingly rolling down his awning and sweeping the front sidewalk every morning. And then there was the psychotic psychiatrist who lived and worked next door.

21 comments:

mesquito said...

I hope nobody tells the Mayor.

Michael said...

The best cheeseburger in NYC is in an unlikely place. It is in the burger joint in the breezeway of the Parker Meridien hotel which extends from 57 th to 56th.

vet66 said...

For another buck he can replace the regular tomato with a heirloom tomato. Looks like that burger needs some special sauce along the lines of a home made thousand islands.

I surmise the young Ann didn't have a barbecue on the premises. For the game today the mesquite chips are being soaked, beer is chilling and the barbecue is warming up for the games today.

MEMORIES!

WV; muction - what happens when you remove a tomato from a burger.

Ann Althouse said...

Chez Meadhouse, we are stoked about the game. (And interested in the other game too.)

ricpic said...

My sister Jane lived on Jane Street before gentrification. Way west by the North River (Hudson to tourists). Back then you could hear the music of the boxcars because there still were boxcars that rolled on what is now the Hi-Line Park. And a cheeseburger was a buck fifty, tops. Now "the hippies" in Williamsburg pay 15 bucks for same and are grateful for the privilege. Dummkopfs.

Florida said...

Limpy tomato, limpy lettuce, no onions, no mustard. I bet they even put ketchup on it.

WTF? Drunk New Yorkers sure can't be hard to please.

Not for nothing Ann, but this is just an example of a mainstream news organization doing a story based on the assertion by its advertising department that this company's cheeseburger is decent.

It's nothing more than the advertising department's way of getting an ad for the Bistro into the news pages. Every newspaper in every community runs these "Best X Restaurant" stories to get the restaurants to buy advertising. You don't buy the ad, you're not in contention.

This was an advertisement.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

The burgers were thick with high-quality beef, but slow-grilled, which didn't thrill me, and if you ordered rare you wouldn't get it rare. But the atmosphere was homegrown urban hip, with knife-gouged wooden tables, and customers who were longtime Villagers perpetually anxious about their media deals and their love lives. A holdover from the Dylan Thomas era (he'd drunk his last set of eighteen whiskies in another burger bar, a couple of blocks away), and great eavesdropping. The silent, bland owner, short and wide with balding red hair and what might conceivably have been interpreted as a fractional smile, was a reassuring enigma, lovingly rolling down his awning and sweeping the front sidewalk every morning. And then there was the psychotic psychiatrist who lived and worked next door.

deborah said...

Ahhh, is there anything better than a dead-ripe garden tomato?

deborah said...

BTW, Miracle Whip for tomato sandwiches and turkey sanwiches, mayonnaise for tuna and roast beef. Opinions?

shoutingthomas said...

Corner Bistro doesn't even have the best burger in the neighborhood.

That would be at Jane's on Houston Street.

Unfortunately, the burger and fries is 14 bucks!

I haven't ever paid for it... the boss treats us there every time we meet a deadline on a deliverable.

ironrailsironweights said...

Nothing tops the steamed cheeseburgers served at a handful of diners in central Connecticut.

Peter

shoutingthomas said...

Nothing tops the steamed cheeseburgers served at a handful of diners in central Connecticut.

Usually, we see eye to eye, or is that bush to bush, Peter.

I'm entirely in favor of some hair on the beaver.

But, steamed cheeseburgers? No way.

The only real hamburger is broiled over real wood charcoal. Stuffed with garlic is best. A little mesquite doesn't hurt.

Mike said...

Long ago my girlfriend, now wife, who claimed to like tomatoes, would pull them off of every burger we shared together. I didn't understand as I considered tomatoes to be mostly flavorless and simply something added to the burger for color.

Then she introduced me to "real" tomatoes.

I pull most of mine off burgers now too.

ironrailsironweights said...

Usually, we see eye to eye, or is that bush to bush, Peter.

I'm entirely in favor of some hair on the beaver.


Now, if some women actually would think that way, and practice what they preach, the world would be a far better place.
Of course it's more likely that the sun will rise in the west tomorrow morning :(

But, steamed cheeseburgers? No way.

What sets "steamers" apart from ordinary cheeseburgers is the fact that the cheese (usually cheddar) is not merely melted on top of the meat, but is fully integrated with the meat. You can take a piece from the bottom of the patty with a conventionally prepared cheeseburger and get all meat and no cheese. That cannot be done with a steamer. Meat and cheese together is much more satisfying than cheese on top of meat.

This being said, not everyone who tries steamers likes them, but they've maintained a staunchly loyal fan base for decades.

Peter

holdfast said...

I don't know about that, but they do make the best grilled cheese sandwich in NYC.

Revenant said...

The best burger in San Diego is at Hodad's in Ocean Beach. Although Nessie's up in Fallbrook is also excellent.

Sarah said...

Finally, a topic I can weigh in on! (Ok, there are others, but burgers definitely spark my interest.) Hideaway and Walkers in Tribeca both have fabulous burgers, though both should be ordered rare. I don't understand the Corner Bistro hegemony, but think it has to be explained by ambiance and reputation, not by food.
One thing to note here, however: I believe in flavor. But flavor supplied by ingredients (garlic, onions, tobacco sauce, dried pepper flakes, even finely chopped anchovies – see Bittman’s “tartare” burger, and of course, fat) rather than “sauce” (ketchup, mustard, though I would allow hot sauce).

former law student said...

It's January!!!!

The best you could hope for is some Mexican Romas.

Methadras said...

Best burger up here in NorCal is Giant Chef maybe followed by 5 guys.

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