upland – upland cheeseburger

upland cheeseburger
Name: Upland Cheeseburger
Location: Upland, 345 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010
Protein: 2, 4 oz. grass-fed La Frieda beef patties
Bun: Orwasher’s Seeded Bun
Toppings: American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, peppadew peppers, avocado
Burger to Bun Ratio: Perfect
Accompaniments: Fries, pickle & a side of ketchup
Price: $21

Notes, etc.:
The thin patties are cooked to around medium. The savoriness of the cheese, beef, and peppers go well with the smoothness & butteriness of the very healthy portion of avocado. The Orwasher’s seeded bun held up to the juiciness until the very last 2-3 bites, where it finally started to split, though I was able to avoid any burger insides spilling onto my plate. The bun had a firm exterior, with a light, airy interior. The tasty accompanying shoestring fries were salted, crispy, and served in a perfect portion.

Keep in mind, the burger is only available on the lunch menu. It is a little on the pricey side, but it you won’t be disappointed!

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the penrose – penrose burger

While in NYC a few weekends ago, I went to catch up with some friends in the Upper East Side. They suggested to grab food & drinks at this place around the corner and they specifically said they had an awesome burger. I, of course, was more than alright with this plan.

The Penrose’s burger is simply named, the Penrose Burger. It is made up of a specially made Pat LaFrieda blend, topped with lettuce, tomato, onions, and McClure’s Pickles before getting sandwiched between a toasted, fresh country white bun. A few additional add-on’s are available for $1 each (gruyere, Irish cheddar, muenster, American, applewood bacon, caramelized onions). I added the Irish cheddar.

The first thing I want to point out is that I ordered it medium-rare and it was perfectly done. The meat was juicy and seasoned just right, I probably didn’t even need the addition of cheese. The Irish cheddar, however, was tasty, too. The burger was quite simple, and the quality really shined, as it didn’t need the addition of any crazy ingredients or sauces (not saying that burgers with additions are subpar by any means). The bun, despite the bottom half being saturated with the burger juices, managed to hold together and was the perfect size for the burger.

I’m pretty confident to say this was the best burger I’ve had so far this year. It was a little noisy of an atmosphere to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in over a year but for this burger, I may have to bite the bullet to have it again!

The Penrose
1590 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10028

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67 burger – the 67 burger

It took me a bit to get out to 67 Burger. I’ve been reading a lot about them and it’s been on my list for some time now. Last weekend, I planned a trip to Brooklyn and having 67 Burger for lunch was perfect since it was walking distance to the NY Transit Museum.

Their menu features several different burger combinations, though you can always customize it with the large selection of toppings. In addition to a beef patty, they offer other protein options such as turkey, chicken, veggie (soy based), and tofu. Certainly a fan of this place offering a tofu option.

Of course, since this was my first burger here, I went for The 67 Burger with beef. Served on a toasted sesame seeded bun, the 67 Burger is made up of a daily ground, grass-fed, all natural beef patty topped with creamy blue cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles. The bacon was plentiful and crisp. The cheese was sharp and served as a nice “sauce” compared to regular crumbled blue. They gave you the right amount of red onions, as some places give you too much that they overwhelm your palate. The toasted bun held up to the large burger. The meat, however, was its downfall. I ordered it medium-rare. It was cooked to about that temperature, though I don’t think the grill was hot enough when the burger hit it. After a few bites, half the burger crumbled apart and fell onto the plate. I don’t discriminate against messy burgers, but the meat should somewhat stay intact during consumption. My friend ordered a 67 Burger, too, except rare. His came out a couple minutes after mine and was cooked to medium. His did not appear to fall apart. Perhaps the plates were switched?

In addition to the burger, a friend and I split an order of fries and onion rings. Both were pretty good, though I was partial to the onion rings. They were done perfectly.

After all that I’ve heard, I really, really wanted to like this burger. That crumbling patty was definitely a let down. I believe that this was purely just an off day. I’ll be back to give it another shot sometime.

67 Burger
67 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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2012 nyc vendy awards

It’s been two years since I last attended the NYC Vendy Awards. Like years past, they were held on Governors Island but had several other vendors and some additional award categories.

In addition to the usual categories of Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert, and Most Heroic, was the Best of Market. Best of Market would be going to a truckless vendor who sets up shop in local street fairs or festivals.

Most Heroic went to Sammy Kassem and his Bay Ridge Halal truck. Sammy was recognized for his courage and perseverance, as he has dealt with a lot of harassment regarding his truck.

Nominees for Rookie of the Year were: Cambodian Cuisine Torsu (Cambodian), Chinese Mirch (Indian-Chinese), Fun Buns (Taiwanese Buns), Morocho (Peruvian Fusion), Okadaman (Japanese), and Phil’s Steaks (Philly Cheesesteaks). My favorites from this group were the okonomiyaki from Okadaman and the “whiz wit” from Phil’s Steaks. Now being a Philly resident, I’ve gained an appreciation for what exactly a cheesesteak is and how it should be. The Philly Cheesesteak is often mislabeled and misinterpreted to be something that it isn’t. That being said, I’m glad that Phil’s Steaks is doing what they do. They’re serving their steaks on Amoroso rolls and even the name of their whiz wit is an homage to how you would order a steak down in Philly. Of course, just because they look legit doesn’t mean they are. Their steaks tasted better than some places here in Philly! They took the Rookie of the Year award!

Best Dessert nominees were: Andy’s Italian Ices (water & cream ice), Coolhaus (frozen desserts), Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls (New Orleans style sno-balls), La Bella Torte (Italian desserts), Melt Bakery (Ice Cream Sandwiches), and Monsieur Singh Lassi (Lassi drinks & pops). Several desserts were great from Andy’s chocolate pretzel ball ice (special for the day) to Monsieur Lassi’s mango lassi shots. I really enjoyed Imperial Woodpecker’s “Tiger Blood” sno-ball, which was a cherry shaved ice topped coconut and condensed milk, and Melt Bakery’s ice cream sandwiches. In the end, the people voted Melt Bakery for Best Dessert!

In the Best of Market category were: Baby Got Back Ribs (Ribs), Lumpia Shack (Filipino inspired spring rolls), Mayhem & Stout (Braised Meat Sandwiches), Parantha Alley (Paranthas), and Pestle & Mortar (Ceviche). Having been to Lumpia Shack previously at Smorgasburg, I really like what they’re doing. They’re making Filipino spring rolls fun! Lumpia Shack took the award for Best of Market!

The nominees for the Vendy Cup & People’s Choice were: The Cinnamon Snail (Organic Vegan), Hamza and Madina (Halal), Piaztlan Authenic Mexican Food (Mexican), Tortas Nezas (Mexican Tortas), Uncle Gussy’s (Greek), and Xinjiang Prosperity Kebabs (Chinese kebabs). All of these trucks put out some fantastic food. I’m sure the judges had a tough time choosing a winner for this. I’m somewhat obsessed with Chinese kebabs. There aren’t many places I’ve found here that do it right, let alone serve Chinese kebabs. Xinjiang recreates the taste and experience of the lamb kebabs I had in China almost, if not, spot on. Obviously, Xinjiang was my favorite to win. The winner of the People’s Choice was The Cinnamon Snail and the winner for the Vendy Cup was Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food!

Check out more photos from the Vendys after the jump:

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one mile house – bowery burger

In search of beer & food last weekend, my friend brought me to One Mile House in the Lower East Side. After the making the long trip up to NYC, I was starving and noticed they served burgers.

One Mile House serves four different kinds of burgers, two beef, one chicken, and one falafel. The beef burgers are the Bowery Burger and the Angry Burger. I kept switching between the two, mainly cause the Angry Burger had Maytag Blue Cheese. I ended up with the Bowery Burger, which was topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, (I added) Wisconsin cheddar, and (added) bacon.

I ordered it medium-rare and it came out medium-well. It was still juicy, though the meat itself lacked some seasoning. The cheese wasn’t melty either. Also, the burger could have benefited from a stronger bun, as the soft bun started to fall apart through consumption.

On a brighter note, the accompanying Asiago fries weren’t bad and the draft list was pretty good. They had Brooklyn Sorachi Ace on tap! Definitely worth stopping in for a beer especially if you’re going to a show at the next door Bowery Ballroom.

One Mile House
10 Delancey St.
New York, NY 10002

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