The Best Way to Say Goodbye to New York

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Have you ever thought about what restaurant, or more specifically what dish you would want to eat before leaving New York? If not, perhaps you should start now because it is not an easy decision to make. The options are endless, New York really is a city with so many options, almost too many.

I was recently a friend to a departing New Yorker. As long as I have known her we have maintained a list of NY restaurants in the back of our minds that we have wanted to try. A month before her departure we decided it might be best to write these all down so that we could really picture the nature of the beast. Neither of us are mathematical geniuses, but as the list grew longer we began to realize that unless the number of hours in a day had just gotten longer, it would be virtually impossible to try every place before her departure. The process of elimination began, and the list was narrowed down to about ten places. Where would her last supper be? “The Spotted Pig,” she said. I will just say this, the woman knows how to make smart decisions.

I, myself, had never been for pleasure, only for work, but trusted that she had made a wise choice. All I had heard prior to entering this restaurant (it is tucked away on a corner in the West Village) was that the buttery and succulent gnudi dish tastes even better than it sounds, and that this spot just happens to have the best burger in town, and that the side of thin and crispy rosemary fries were not too shabby either. I myself found that to be quite a bold statement. You don’t’ just throw the words, “best burger in town,” around just like that.

I ordered the burger medium rare (there is no other way) and without Roquefort cheese. I am a believer that if a burger is really that spectacular, it certainly doesn’t need to collaborate with any cheese or condiment to make it standout. As I waited I sipped on a decent bloody Mary (strong! But far too salty for my taste) and mentally prepared for what was headed my way. About thirty minutes later the “best burger in town” was placed before me. I wasn’t ready! I wasn’t even hungry, but sometimes one must overcome that state of mind (and stomach) and simply dig in.

The burger was big, so I cut it in half. The patty is about one inch thick. I also wanted to see if medium rare, really meant medium rare. The outer layer was nice and toasted, while the middle was a rosy pink. The meat to bun ratio could not have been more carefully planned out. It was cooked to perfection. Each bite was consistently salty and juicy; just mesmerizing. I was with four others who agreed. Two of which got the burger with the cheese and insisted that it was even better that way. When asked what kind of meat is used, the waiter just said “ground beef,” He then elaborated further by stating that not only do they use quality meat, but each patty is coated with a layer of salt on each side before hitting the grill.

Don’t wait to leave New York before trying this place. All you need is 20 bucks, a little time and an appetite.

This is the first New York Food Story from Carolina Santos-Neves.

Blog Comments

i would always do lombardis pizza in little italy

Josh: based on his body size, I think his life will be a lot shorter…but then again, look at the way we eat haha

Well I have yet to try the Little Owl burger, but I guess I have no other choice, but to do so! Twist my arm.

i hear the spotted pig does have a great burger, but i’m curious to try the little owl’s burger since burger expert josh ozersky proclaimed it best burger anywhere…quite the claim but he’s probably had more burgers than most people will in three lifetimes.

The Little Owl burger also sounds good. I’ve eaten the Spotted Pig burger and enjoyed it, but would like to compare the two, and maybe contrast with 12 other top NYC burgers for good measure. You know, for research’s sake.

“he’s probably had more burgers than most people will in three lifetimes.” – If that’s the case then Ozersky’s lifetime will be a lot shorter than ours.

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