Monday, January 24, 2011

Bold Burgers at Brindle Room

Most everything in NYC was closed the day after the Great Blizzard of 2010. Frantically calling restaurants around town, phones just rang endlessly, disappointing me at every turn ("uh, can you accomodate a group of 9?"), but Brindle Room came through in the clutch. I guess it's not surprising, since chef and owner Jeremy Spector apparently lives above his cozy East Village spot. Lucky for us, and we each eventually fought through the snow (and public transportation hell) to fill nearly half of the narrow restaurant.

Steve accidentally called it "The Bindle Room," which sounds like a secret hobo hangout, but it's actually very nice inside. Dark wood dominates, with two rows of hightops leading up to a long bar in the back of the restaurant.

That day the burgers were very good. Sure, there were some minor issues, but for obvious reasons I was in a forgiving mood. Even so, I was floored by how much complex, dry aged flavor was packed into the beef, which dominated in a way that seemed even more pure than the infamous Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger (and at $12, for half the price). However, I had some minor issues with the cheese selection (no American?) and the fries were nothing special.

Below was my first burger. It looks like the bun has changed since Nick Solares of Serious Eats visited in July (it's no longer seeded).

According to Jeremy, he uses the trimmings from his partner at Sebastian's Steak House in Morristown, NJ, where the steak is dry aged on premises. The blend itself is a combination of a bunch of cuts that can apparently change based on what's available. From his explanation, he was clearly passionate about the quality of his beef and burgers.

A few weeks later, even after eating a slew of incredible burgers, the Brindle Room's burger still haunted me. Last week I stopped by for a late lunch (the burger is only served at lunch) and eagerly ordered a burger. To my sincere delight, they now have American cheese. As good as the first was, the second burger was even better: cooked to a perfect medium rare and sporting an incredible sear which gave way to loosely packed meat leaking aged beef juice, each bite coating my mouth in complex, fatty flavor. Comparing the two pictures, it's also apparent that the onions are far more caramelized and the fries look much, much better (and there's about 3x as many) this time around.

Sorry for the crappy pictures, but I lacked the self control to take a second. 

I've eaten a lot of great burgers recently, and lately my preferences have leaned towards thin, griddled patties, but this may have been the best of the lot. As I said, it's only available for lunch, so I recommend finding an excuse to skip out on work ASAP. In the meantime, I'll be fighting my own cravings (and returning to try the rest of the menu for dinner).

CRITICAL UPDATE: Burgers are no longer lunch only!

The Brindle Room
277 East 10th (btwn 1st & Ave A)
New York, NY 10009

Photos from an even more recent third meal!

The Brindle Room on Urbanspoon


  1. I heard you recently tried the Holeman & Finch burger in Atlanta. When is that article coming out?