Tuesday, May 8, 2007

National Burger Month Day 8 - Balthazar

I should state at the onset of this review, in the interest of full disclosure, that Chef Riad Nasr of Balthazar, Schiller's and Pastis fame is a good friend of mine and someone who's views on all things culinary I highly respect. However, nothing would have given me greater pleasure, and given me more credibility with my readers, than if I was to pan the Balthazar burger. There is just no way that I can. It is a fantastic sandwich. The only knock against it might be the $16 price tag but in this case you are getting what you pay for, in terms of service, atmosphere and especially because it comes with the finest fries in all of the city.

This burger has a wonderfully juicy patty, containing just under 20% fat of very tasty, flavorful beef. I really appreciate the grind here, too many burgers that I have eaten as of late have been too coarsely ground, Balthazar achieves the delicate balance between texture, flavor and fat emulsification. Even when cooked perfectly rare a robust dark crust is seared onto the outside while the pink flesh inside remains moist and tender. The generous serving of cheddar oozes over the charred meat and the gorgeous seeded bun that is baked on the premises. The fresh tomato, lettuce and onion providing the perfect accompaniments.

The burger is also easy to pick up and eat because of the compliance of the bun. In stark contrast to say, the Keens Steakhouse burger, the bun here does its job perfectly allowing one to handle the burger but keeping all the oozing juices and gooey cheese in check.

Balthazar is one of my favorite restaurants in the city and I am happy to recommend the burger, it really is very good indeed.

80 Spring St.
(bet. B'way & Crosby St.)
Manhattan, NY

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