Squires

 218 N State Rd. Briarcliff, NY 10510 • (914) 762-3376squiresofbriarcliff.com

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I’ve heard a lot of people swear by this burger, but after the debacle at The Blazer Pub I was very skittish, regardless of the 3-time Best of Westchester crownings. Sorry BOW, but you’re about as reliable as Yelp.

Upon entering, the crowd didn’t make me feel much better, loaded with geriatrics to the point where I could’ve sworn I was on the set of the film Cocoon 3. But as depressing as the fogey-fest was, I was more unnerved by the fact that this place belongs somewhere in the middle of the dessert along Route 66 where drifters sign up for contract killings. So feeling like Dorothy in the Land of Oz, I ordered up a pint of Stella and the Cheese Supreme Burger.

The Stella on tap was on point and the service was very friendly- in fact, even the burger is definitely good on a purist level, but best in Westchester? It’s not even in my top three. The Inn at Pound Ridge, Melts and the Napa Burger at Westchester Burger Co. all trounce the Cheese Supreme, which was a supreme disappointment initially. So much so that I had my server fetch some jalapenos stat, to resuscitate some life back into the mozzarella, cheddar and Swiss trio of tastelessness. Luckily it worked. And perhaps I’m to blame for listening to the recommendations of my waiter and Yelper’s alike, but then again, it’s more fun to blame them. And while I’m at it, the friggin’ bun was about 30% too small for the patty. I hate that. It makes me what to hire a contract killer and take out the reviews that touted this place. Hmmm… Perhaps I am in the right place after all?

2 teeth

The Shakespeare

24 E 39th St. New York, NY 10016(646) 837-6779theshakespearenyc.com

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I actually wanted to eat upstairs at The Peacock, but I’m sad to report that luck was not on my side that day, it was closed for a private party. So, what to do? What to do? Well, there’s always the old-world, pubby vibe downstairs at The Shakespeare. Not exactly an even trade, but I had heard good things and decided to roll the proverbial dice, grabbing myself a seat in the wooden, low ceiling, extremely cold dining room.

As I sat there, I couldn’t help but feel like I should’ve been donning a pilgrim’s hat, talking old English and gnawing on a turkey leg. I also couldn’t help feeling cold. I’m guessing it’s to encourage alcohol consumption?

On the upside, they warmed the cockles of my heart with one of the best salmon burgers I’ve ever laid teeth on. Made substantial inherently by the fish itself, being one of the “fattier” fish burger meats, but also by its bun and creative toppings like Chancellor’s sauce (whatever the hall that is), red pepper relish, avocado and cilantro.

This burger alone was good enough to quell my disappointment for having missed out on The Peacock… for now, anyway. But I will most certainly return… to both. So stay tuned, because I have a feeling there’s some knife uppage in their future.

3 teeth

Burger & Lobster

39 W 19th St. New York, NY 10011 • (646) 833-7532burgerandlobster.com

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It’s a very fun concept. Just three items on the menu: a burger, a half lobster or a lobster roll. Each for twenty dollars and each served with fries and a salad. Which makes it an ideal experience for the indecisive.

It’s also ideal for those who are claustrophobic because the dining room is massive. How big is it? Well let’s just say that if you should venture downstairs for a trip to the WC, you will pass through a second, much smaller dinning room that, if it were a stand alone restaurant unto itself, would also be considered a huge dining area.

In terms of food, however, that’s where the good times end. This place is nowhere near the 4.5 stars it gets on Yelp. The only thing that I would give praise to would be the lobster roll. It’s done with a classic mayonnaise based dressing, but done lightly so it lets the lobster meat shine. Also, they nail it on the bun. Perfectly toasted and buttery.

And speaking of buns, the burger has an interesting one as well. Heavily seeded, adding a nice texture to every bite. Regretfully everything else between the bun is significantly less interesting. And, the burger was overcooked.

But how about those sides? Well, they are more smoke and mirrors than anything, making you feel like the $20 is a good value. However, when you discover that the salad is over-dressed and borderline inedible and that the fries are not even worth the jaw strength it takes to chew them, you come to realize that you just dropped twenty on a mediocre burger. So stick with the lobster options if you don’t want to feel cheated.

As for dessert, the options are also minimal according to theme. A chocolate mousse which I found to be pretty bad. Had one bite and done. And a raspberry cheesecake, which was definitely way more of a pudding than a “cake,” but at least it was worth eating.

2 teeth