Bareburger, Manhattan – burger review

OK. This burger restaurant definitely isn’t in Hampshire.

However, I couldn’t visit the probable home of the hamburger and not eat one.

So eat one I did at Bareburger on West 57th Street in Manhattan, New York, not too far from Times Square.

Bareburger opened its first restaurant in 2009. It’s now in 21 locations across New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, New Jersey, Ohio and Connecticut.

It serves “responsible burgers”, using organic ingredients including free-range beef, elk, bison, duck and chicken and sourcing everything locally where possible.

So how does Bareburger match up with the best burgers that Hampshire has to offer? There’s only one way to find out…

File 19-03-2016, 17 48 27 About this burger

  • Date visited: 13 March 2016
  • Name on menu: “County Fair” (plus optional onion rings and fries)
  • Price: $17.90 ($12.95 for the burger and $4.95 for the fries/onion rings) – around ¬£13 in all

How this burger scored

File 19-03-2016, 17 47 18 Patty – 9/10

Seasoned bison meat, medium cooked.

Great, rich taste. I’ll definitely be seeking out bison again.

Chips – 7/10

Skin-on thin-cut fries. Maybe a little soggy. But a good portion with none of your “triple-cooked” rhetoric.

File 19-03-2016, 17 47 42 Bun – 8/10

Lightly toasted seeded brioche bun. Not too sweet.

I’d have preferred no seeds. Held together well.

Toppings – 10/10

Tangy cheddar cheese as well as dill pickles, mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion.

Simple but very effective. A perfect score.

File 19-03-2016, 17 48 01 Ambience – 8/10

This Bareburger’s in a long unit with a window at the far-end, which made it a little dark inside.

Decor is in a pub-style with some bare brick walls and wood paneling on the ceiling.

Great, quietly buzzing atmosphere for a rainy Monday afternoon.

There’s a variety of seating options including high tables with stools and an option to sit at the bar.

Cartoons play on mute the TVs behind the bar.

Drinks selection and quality – 9/10

Great selection of craft beers, mostly on keg rather than cask which pushes up the cost.

File 19-03-2016, 17 46 11 I went for a Bronx Brewery “Pale Ale” (6.3%). Not bad but tasted pretty much the same as all the IPAs I tried in New York – varying flavours proved hard to come by here.

There’s also some unusual cocktails including an apple toddy as well as fresh milkshakes, a root beer float, fresh lemonade and iced coffee and tea.

More cask beers and this would be a perfect score. But we were in the US, not a country pub in England.

Condiments – 2/5

Wholegrain mustard, ketchup, mayo and buffalo sauce available for free.

Other delicious dips are available for an extra cost.

Presentation – 3/5

Nothing fancy, but it didn’t need to be.

Service – 5/5

Our waitress was friendly, smiling and efficient and was a great help for us when we were negotiating the menu.

File 19-03-2016, 17 45 11 Value for money – 4/5

Not bad for NYC.

The beer was quite expensive if you’re used to UK prices. But compared to other bars and restaurants in the city it wasn’t over the top.

Penalties – minus 1

The chips arrived in a metal pail, craftily covered in paper. That’s a one-point penalty.

Hats off to the menu writers for avoiding the word “artisan”.

Total: 64/80

Oh, this is embarrassing. If Bareburger was in Hants, it would have moved into first place in my search for Hampshire’s best burger by a massive six points, despite that one-point penalty.

Clearly then, Bareburger is worth a visit if you’re in the Big Apple.

Info: Bareburger¬†has restaurants in more than 20 locations across the north-east of the US including quite a few in New York’s five boroughs. The one we visited is at 366 West 46th Street, two blocks (about a five-minute walk) from Times Square. Phone 212.673.BARE (2273). Open from 11am-11pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am-12am Friday and Saturday.

File 19-03-2016, 17 45 38

Tom's rating: