VIBE: Cafeteria cool OCCASION: Breakfast or your lunch break GO WITH: Co-workers or go it alone DON’T MISS DISH: Beef Burger DON’T BOTHER DISH: Fresh squeezed lemon Fizz PRICE: under $ 10 INSIDE SCOOP: Will deliver anywhere in the
city if you pay the cab fare HOURS: Monday-Saturday, 8-9 PM, Sat. & Sun. 10-9 PM RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 6 FINAL WORD: What could be better?
You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven at Burgers & Cupcakes if only it weren’t in Hell’s Kitchen with a window view of Lincoln Tunnel traffic. This simple, but perky cafeteria-style luncheonette with pink & brown painted walls invites you to rediscover your inner child, bringing you back to a time of blissful naivete when calories and carbs didn’t matter. I took the leap of faith, making the trek to Mitchell London’s (of catering fame) newest Ninth Avenue eatery where he cleverly pairs burgers & cupcakes, all but resolving the universal conflict between men and women negotiating over where the hell to eat.
The curiously meatball-shaped burgers are dressed any way you want them – grilled mushrooms, avocado, blue cheese, vegetarian chili, pizza and on and on. I got mine with an unusually soft goat cheese and turkey bacon. While other burger joints press their burgers against a grated grill numerous times with a spatula (letting the juices tragically escape), Burgers & Cupcakes cooks their chuck sirloins on a flat grill and press them all but once to make for a crunchy outside, yet remarkably juicy inside. It arrived at the table in a classically wrapped in paper, served in a basket with lettuce, tomato and a pickle.
If beef’s not your game, they also serve non-beef burgers – veggie, turkey, salmon, lemon grilled chicken and portobella mushroom all made fresh daily. Co-owner Nance Avigligiano told me they get a whole salmon delivered every morning, then cut it up and grill it right on the premises. I ordered added fresh avocado and pepper jack cheese to a flavorful lemon grilled chicken, a tasty combination. Don’t skip the crispy and fresh cut french fries, skins and all, reminding me of the salty Boardwalk fries of my youth. I would skip the fresh squeezed lemon fizz, which tasted like a club soda with a squirt of bottled lemon juice.
The cupcakes are ironically more “grown up” than your typical Magnolia-esque cupcake with sky high butter frosting. Mitchell London churns out a denser cupcake topped off with a thin coat of frosting. Call me a frosting fanatic, but the vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting didn’t live up to my sugar-coated expectations. Personally, I’d go with the carrot cupcake, a moist cake decorated with a luscious cream cheese frosting and capped off with shredded coconut.
Only on my way out did I learn that they’ll deliver anywhere in Manhattan (just pick up the taxi’s tab), perfect for big office lunch orders. Burgers & Cupcakes also serves breakfast – eggs, omelets, fresh-baked pastries & pancakes. Next time, I’ll send a car for my burger & fries. Why shouldn’t my lunch get to ride in style, too?
Until we eat again,
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