Black Iron Burger

333 7th Ave. New York, NY 10001(646) 666-0071 • blackironburger.com

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If there’s one thing the Herald Square vicinity isn’t short on, it’s Korean and Pub food. But judging from the name, you can probably already surmise that I’ll be referring to the latter in this case.

Yes, our beer mug runneth over in these parts, with jalapeno poppers, potato skins, French fries and burgers. So much so that it almost becomes off-putting on days other than Saint Patrick’s. But amid the morass of mediocre bar grub lives a pleasant surprise disguised as just another burger joint. Yes, Black Iron’s Mushroom Truffle Burger (pictured) is all that and a side of fries. Great flavor. Good balance. Not too gut-busting ginormous. And just the perfect amount of messy. Topped with mushrooms duxelles (aka minced) and sliced black truffles (duh), but also with Swiss cheese, bacon bits, caramelized onions and truffle mayo.

The fries also do the trick, but I’ve never met a fry I didn’t like, so it’s not exactly worth taking that to the bank. What is worthwhile, however, is another trip for that truffle burger. As for the rest of the burgers there, the jury is still out. Stay tuned.

3 teeth

Ox Wine & Burger Bar

Kumbahce Mah., Cumhuriyet Cad. No:155 Bodrum, Turkey • +90 532 356 7652 • www.oxburgerbar.com
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The BaconChevre is the bok (shit). Rivals most burgers back in the states. Decked out with goat cheese as the name implies. Pancetta, sort of like the name implies. And caramelized onions. The bun is soft and a touch sweet almost like a brioche or potato bread and together with an ice cold Efes (Turkish Beer) and you’d be hard-pressed to keep your fast going through Ramadan.

Other burgers there also range from okay to great depending. The Cheddarburger being on the higher end of that range and the Truffle burger being at the okay-er end. Yes, the most expensive burger on the menu is a big pass if you ask lil’ ole me. There are much better, much cheaper options.

They also have ox, chicken and veggie burgers, none of which I’ve tried. Fries and pickles make for passable sides. But one condiment you don’t want to miss is the spicy Turkish brown mustard. Gulden’s shmuldens.

Also, between my first and second visits they have opened tables on the beach, which at sunset offer a beautiful view as the sun dips behind the castle.

Service is also very friendly and accommodating and English speaking, which is a plus for semi-Turks such as myself.

4 teeth

Umami Burger

500 Broadway Santa Monica, CA 90401(310) 451-1300umamiburger.com

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At first I didn’t get it. I mean one bite of their veggie burger and you will most likely exclaim the same baffled response as I did, “What is all the hype about?!”

Granted, I didn’t have any of the meat burgers, but that veggie burger was pretty lame. Mushy and tasted a bit like dog food. I also had the smushed potatoes because they looked good at the table next to me. Unfortunately they were about as flavorless as the burlap sack they once came in.

On a positive note, the presentation is good. But with In and Out is just minutes away down Lincoln I wasn’t about to rush back. Fortunately a friend convinced me to give it a second go on one the meat burgers, so I rolled the dice.

Yahtzee! Okay, so I was wrong. Well, sort of. I still standby the fact that everything I had that first visit was indeed shameful, but what I ordered that time was also miserably wrong.

This time I went with the Truffle burger and the sweet potato fries and both were VERY good. As was the pickled plate (an assortment of, you guessed it, all things pickled). Also, they had one of my favorite beers on tap, Allagash White. So, I guess we learned a lesson today, Umami and I… That everyone, even burger places, deserve a second chance.

3 teeth