New Yorks Best Burgers




One of The CITY’S BEST

Where are New York’s Best Burgers? Who has them? Do you have a favorite of your own? Well, some might say, the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern is the best? I wouldn’t, in fact, for me the more affordable Minetta Burger is much better, I’ll give some reasons later. There are lots of good burgers, some not so good, many over-rated and some a total disappointment.  One of the most disappointing and highly over-rated burgers of all is one that I’m really sorry to say, I love the place and for many years (Since 1983) is the Burger at the Corner Bistro, a placce that has long been famous for its burger, in fact was considered New York’s Best Burger for years (about 30) before the current NY Burger Craze of the past 10 years or so. Yes, I love the Corner Bistro as it is a cool old fixture of Greenwich Village that has a great quetessentail Greenwich Village old bar atomsophere, and served very affordable dirinks, Beer, and food. Only one problem? The Burger is “Terrible.” Yes I said it, and I’m quite sorry to say so, but it is the truth. I dn’t wantit to be the truth, but it is. Again and for the last 10 times I’ve been to the place, I was completely and utterly disappointed with the Burger at the Corner Bistro, “It Sucks,” and it really pains me to say this, as I’ve said, I love the place, I used to love thee burger, and wish I still could, but the burger is horrible, and people acept this, as most are followers and are in the habit of Jumping on The “Band Wagon” of saying something is good or great, simply because everyone else is, and whether the thing (burger in this case) is good or it is not, as in the case of the Burger and The Bistro Burger at the Corner Bistro. I feel there are two reasons the burger at the Corner Bistro is not good. Number one, the meat they use I’m sure is not of really good quality. It’s fresh yes, but it for cure is not Prime Meat, but most probably Choice Beef which is a lower grade. Number 2, the burger is too thick. For those who don’t know, the thicker a burger is the less flavorful it will be. This is because most of the flavor comes from the browned part, the outside of the burger. And the thicker a burger is the less flavor ratio it has. A thinner burger will taste better, not too thin, but a bit thinner. The other reason the burger doesn’t taste all that good is that the cooking method is the worst method used for cooking a tasty burger. The burgers at the Corner Bistro are broiled. The best method for cooking a tasty burger is cooking on a flat top grill and letting the burger cook in its own fat and juices. The Corner Bistro does not do this.

Now one thing that si very unusual for me, is wanting someting to cost more than a place is charging for it. I always look for a good buy, and the cheaper something is, the better. However, in this instance, I wish the owners of the Corner Bistro would buy Prrime Beef to make their Burgers and charge more money for them and hopefully make a better burger. Get rid of that old broiler, get a flat top grill and start cooking your burgers on it. Also, you can make them just slughtly smaller, a bt thinner, and make a better burger. I know this will Never Happen. If  the owners read this, they think I’m nuts, or whatever. They’d probably say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But I wish they would fix it, for I’d love to go to the Corner Bistro again, and for once get a Burger that I Love. Again, I’m afraid this will never happen.

For the record, I first realized back in 2004 that the burgers were not good. Three times in a row, I went, had a burger and was hugely disappointed and how bad the burgers tasted. I was shocked and sad. After thee 3rd bad burger at the Corner Bistro, I more or less stopped going. Every once and a while I’d go, and give it another chance, but the burger was always very disappointing, wasn’t good and left a terrible after taste in my mouth for a couple hours. I’m not saying the neat is bad, I’m just saying, they should buy better meat, “Please.” I went again, two months ago. Guess what? I hated the burger. I was hugely disappointed once again. To me, the Burger was horrible, I’m so sorry to say. Well, in a World with the horrible music they make these days, it’s no wonder. People accept and even like mediocrity, and this is one more case, again I’m sorry to say, and I do wish one day, I’ll be able to say otherwise.



PS … Started righting a piece on New York’s Best Burgers, and ended up writing about New York’s most disappointing one. Sorry, this happens when writing some times, not just for me, but for any writer.


BEST BURGERS in NEW YORK : JG Melon (3rd Avenue UES), Schnipper’s, Shake Shack, Charles Prime, Au Cheval.

For me, these are some of New York’s Best Burgers, not in any particular order, but all very good.

NEW YORK’S Most Over-Rated BURGERS :

The BURGER JOINT in Parker Meridien Hotel. These Burgers are Highly over-rated, not very good at all. Again,  their popularity is a case of people Jumping on The Band Wagon.

Corner Bistro : I’ve already said it above. And I’m so sorry to say, but someone has too. Wish they we’re better, I’ve loved the place for years, “but the Burger is just not good at all. I Wish it was.”

MINETTA TAVERN. Unlike the placces isted above, the Burgers at Minetta Tavern are quite good. The problem is, that though Good, they are Highly Over-Rated, they are good, not great, and for from being the Best in The City, which many say the Black Label Burger is. “Not!”












Honest and Unpretentious
Dam Good !!!
by Daniel Zwicke





Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 1.14.05 PM

Minetta Tavern

photo Copyright Daniel Bellino-Zwicke






Minetta Tavern, Greenwich Village, New York, NY


“Yes,” Minetta Tavern’s Second-Tier Burger, The “Minetta Burger” is without question thee “Better Burger” served at Minetta Tavern. Noted Foodie, Writer (The Hamburger) Burger Authority Josh Ozersky would disagree. Well, Mr. Ozersky is entitled to his opinion, as well as I and Thousands of others and the majority who like the Minetta Burger better than the now Highly Touted Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger, who some feel is the top burger in New York, even the World some say.

So, I’m wondering if some say the Minetta Black Label Burger is New York’s Best and even the World’s, does that make The Minetta Burger, according to myself and the majority of those polled, “New York’s” even the World’s Best Burger. “Not quite.”
This is a very subjective matter and one of personal taste. I can see why Mr. Ozersky loves the Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger so much, proclaiming it New York’s Top Burger and I believe he “May” said it is The Best in The World, but I’m not absolutely sure, so don’t quote me on that. Yes it is a Good Burger, and if you feel it is Great, than Yes it is Great to You and Everyone else who says it is Great. As for me, without question the “Minetta Burger” is Better, “Hell, It’s Tastier” and that’s all that counts isn’t it. And I’ll tell you why it’s tastier.
First off, the Blend and Quality of meat in the Minetta Burger is “Better for a Burger.” Note that I don’t say that the meat is just better, but better for making a Burger. Why? Well, Dry-Age Meat with it’s powerful gamey taste is not the best taste for Ground-Meat and a Hamburger. Fresher Meat that has not been aged, is much Better for a Burger, an it Taste a Hell of a Lot Better than ground dry-aged beef which did you Know that in it’s aging process is actually deteriorating? Some people like that taste. Fine. I do not, especially in ground meat and in my Burger. I’d much rather have my ground meat for a Burger Fresh.
And did you know that the Ground Meat Blend from Pat La Frieda for the Minetta Burger is a Blend of Prime Beef Short Rib, Beef Brisket, and Beef Clod, and this blend was La Frieda’s “Premium Blend” before he came up with the Black Label Blend which is Dry-Aged Rib Steak, and cost a lot more, thus the more Expensive Price of Minetta Tavern’s Black Label Burger at $26.00 for the Cheaper and Superior $17.00 “Minetta Burger.”
Just because something is more Expensive, does not make it better, and the Minetta Burger vs The Black Label Burger is a Classic example of more Expensive not being better than cheaper.
Why? Well, because of our current state of a bad economy, New York Steak Houses, Restaurants, and Meat Purveyors such as Pat La Frieda and others found that expensive cuts of Beef like Prime Sirloin Steaks and Prime Dry Aged Rib Steaks were not selling as well as they used to. Expensive, people have less money. Put 2-And-2-Together. So, these meat purveyors found themselves not selling as much as the High-Ticket Cuts. What to do? Well, as a result of a Bad Economy and Boggers Loving Burgers for there Affordability and Blogability, Burgers have become Insanely Popular in the past four years or so. Pat La Frieda has a great idea, make and Market Ground High-End Cuts of Dry-Aged Beef, give it a Fancy name, “Black Label,” and the rest is part of Hamburger History.
As for me, I’ll take the Better Tasting Burger that just so happens to be substantially cheaper to boot, the Minetta Burger.
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Sadly since this posting Josh Ozersky passed away … Josh was greatly loved by Foodies and Gourmands everywhere, but nowhere more than from his home-town fellow New Yorkers who called Josh our own .. Josh had a wonderful down-to-earth everymans look at the World of Food and dining out, and as a food-writer Josh had no equal with his special brand of food-writing and reporting that was uniquely Josh Ozersky. You’ve sadly passed Josh, but you’d be happy to know your great food jounalism is till remembered and much loved, as are you.





Keith McNally is a Restaurant GENIUS




Keith McNally created the Meatpacking District? Yes Boys and Girls, I’ve been saying this for years. Never heard anyone else make this statement that I’ve been saying for the past 10, 11 years or so (remember where you hear this FIRST, Me! Daniel B Z), Keith McNally created the Meatpacking District! Well pretty much to what it is today, the booming, hip neighborhood of Trendy Restaurants, Trendy Designer Boutiques, Clubs, Hip and Cool Boutique Hotels, an Apple Store, The Chelsea Market, this that and every other thing, Keith did it. Well with a little help from Eric Goode and the Maritime Hotel which sprung up around the same time. The Maritme Hotel a Hip and Cool Boutique Hotel created by nightclub impressario Eric Goode of Area, on of New York’s coolest and longest lived Night Clubs (I had many a great time there), MK, and The Bowery Bar, Eric is now partner in The Bowery Hotel, The Maritime, and other projects. Yes Eric helped create “The Meatpacking” but it was mostly Keith McNally once he opened the doors of the venerable restaurant Brasserie / Bistro “Pastis” Even before, as Keith always gets 12 to 18 months advance publicity, once he obtains a space, has a concept and before “Bolt # 1” goes into the place, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Daily News, the Post, Time Out, and the entire restaurant, food, and social press are all over the story, “Keith McNally’s Latest Restaurant” (place). 

    I’ve said it befor, and I’ll say it again, “Keith McNally makes neighborhoods. He made two neighborhoods that were previously nondescript, boom, spring trendy restaurants and shops, increase real estate values, and spark “The Cool Set” to move in. Yes he has, first with Tribeca and his opening and huge success of the Odeon way make in the early 80’s, and now in the 21st Century, Mr. McNally Created and Made The Meatpacking District of New York Hot, Cool, trendy, the “Place to Be and Be Seen In.” The neighborhood is booming. Since McNally opened Pastis way back in 1999, the neighborhood has seen tremendous growth, spawning the Hugely Sucessful “Hignline,” The Ganesvoort Hotel, Soho House, The Standard Hotel, an Apple Store, other hot and hip restaurants, Nightclubs, and a slew of expensive designer boutiques like; Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and others, “Everyone wants to be in the Meatpacking District and it’s largely due to Keith McNally and his fine French Bistro/Brasserie “Pastis.”

    Yes, there were others before Keith, but the neighborhood did not explode until McNally’s arrival. Florent was the first great pioneer, way back in 1985, a good 13 years or so before McNally opened Pastis. Florent  Morellet was a wonderful 24 Hour Bistro (Diner)  “Florent” on Ganesvoort. Yes Florent was way ahead of Keith in terms of when they opened their respective restaurants in the Meatpacking District of New York which was just that, New York’s Meatpacking District filled with a hundred or so commercial Meat Purveyors. Floent operated for a dozen years or so before any restaurant of great substance moved into the area. Florent was the King of The Meatpacking District and had no competition in terms of any other hip restaurants in the area. Relatively anyway. But the district never boomed under Florent’s rule of the district, that happened after Keith Mcnally moved in with the opening of Pastis in 1999. Eventually, after more than 20 wonderful years in operation of “Florent” Florent Morelett lost his lease to another “Greedy Landlord” wanting insanely high over-inflated rates for their properties. The Original King of The Meatpacking District Florent Morelett was booted out. And now Keith. What? Yes, Keith Mcnally and his Bistro Pastis that created the boom of the Meatpacking Distric, The Highline, The Standard and Soho House Hotels, an Apple Store, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney, this man may lose his lease, and New York and the Red-Hot Meatpacking District may lose the man and the place (Pastis) that made the neighborhood. “We may lose Pastis.”


Daniel Bellino Zwicke