Is a Fancy-Pants Burger A Contradiction in Terms?
Yesterday I posted my ten favorite fancy-pants burgers in New York City. They all cost more than ten bucks and aspire to hamburger greatness. They were:
1. Cafe D'Alsace
3. Union Square Cafe (only available at lunch)
4. Spotted Pig
7. Burger Bar at Grand Central
8. Nice Matin
9. Bar Americain
10. David Burke Sliders at Bloomingdale's
For addresses and phone numbers go to Menupages.
An ELE reader commended me on the list and mentioned Home's burger as one I should consider for the list. Adam Kuban, founder of A Hamburger Today, the nation's leading hamburger website, liked the list but wondered aloud about whether the fries should make a difference if what you're trying to judge is the burger.
Josh Ozersky, Mr. Cutlets, newly installed online Food Editor for New York Magazine and a serious burger maven, then weighed in with the force of twenty double quarter pounders with cheese. He said, and I quote, "The fact is Fancy Pants burgers are nearly indistinguishable...Eating them is just eating a meatloaf between two slices of obtrusive bread. All character in hamburgers exists in the lower realms, where the inside is an afterthought, and the surface speaks volumes."
Is Mr. Cutlets right when he suggests that fancy-pants burgers all suck?
Is any burger bigger than Shake Shack's doomed to failure? Do fries not matter? Is any roll other than a generic white bun a pretentious exercise in Foodiedom? Or is Josh a reverse burger snob, a purist who is ignoring the inherent deliciousness of a burger made with high-quality meat, cheese, bun and fries?