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The Most Unusual Burgers Around New York City – Eater NY

The Most Unusual Burgers Around New York City – Eater NY

An overdue update of the city’s most unusual burgers
Ten years ago, I drew up a list of burgers that were — to say the least — unusual: but — wow! —have burgers evolved since then. Here are some that have appeared in the interim, all with strange twists that make them worth trying at least once.
A smash burger is supposed to be on the flat side, easy to fit in your mouth, right? Well this Nigerian nightclubby restaurant right in Times Square has its own riff on a smash burger. The patty shares a bun with American cheese, tomato, spicy tomato jam, plantain fries that go tumbling out the sides, and a fried egg ($20). 717 7th Avenue, near 49th Street, Times Square
Sure, there are plenty of burgers that have bacon on top of them, but this burger ($15) showcases a patty that is half bacon, half beef, and it’s actually a great idea. The smokiness bursts from within the meat patty, which is dressed with green chiles, American cheese, and the house sauce. Two8Two is a downtown Brooklyn pub that takes its burgers and hot dogs very seriously — and serves little else. 282 Atlantic Avenue, near Smith Street, Boerum Hill
This off-menu selection ($9) is really just a modified patty melt, with two pieces of toast, a slice of American cheese, and a smash burger patty. It harkens back to one of America’s original burgers at Louis Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut, where burger patties have been served on toasted bread since 1895, probably before the hamburger bun was invented, making a real “hamburger sandwich.” 51 Macdougal Street, corner of Houston Street, Soho
This outfit from Apulia, Italy rolled into town a few months ago, presenting its idea of what burgers should be like. All of them (and there were two dozen or more) weren’t good, but they were all interesting, including this absurdist Pugliese ($25), featuring a beef/pork patty lightly breaded, copocollo treated like bacon, seared cherry tomatoes, and a giant seething ball of smoked burrata. How are you supposed to eat it? 41 Kenmare Street, near Mott Street, Bowery
This Korean chain specializes in hamburgers and fried chicken sandwiches, and sports a military logo of crossed assault rifles and a helmet. It’s signature pineapple cheeseburger ($11) is an unspeakably gloppy item that features a burger patty, slice of American cheese, and slice of grilled pineapple, all drowned in a tidal wave of poppy seed mayo. 81-13 Broadway, near 81st Street, Elmhurst
This window just west of Chinatown specializes in all sorts of northern Chinese snacks, including just about every duck and pig part you can think of, plus these Shaanxi sandwiches often dubbed Chinese burgers. This version features sauteed lamb plus lots of carrots in what could pass as a hamburger bun. The lamb burger ($6.50) is surprisingly delectable. 131 Baxter St, at Walker St, Chinatown
This uptown hamburger chain specializes in thoroughly cooked burgers done a dozen different ways. And one of the ways that must have occasioned a snicker among the fry cooks was the Mexican burger ($9.50). It consists of a modest beef patty with bacon, avocado, mozzarella, and jalapeno — put on a plain bagel rather than a bun. What a cultural mash-up! 2027 Lexington Avenue, near 124th Street, East Harlem
This flagstone-fronted classic was founded in 1932 in Newark’s Ironbound, and serves the full range of bar food. Among the burgers is quite predictably found one topped with the national meat of New Jersey, Taylor ham, also known as pork roll. It adds a savory note quite unlike bacon, and even unlike ordinary ham. And the patty on this baby ($14.50) is 12 ounces! 118 Wilson Avenue, near Napoleon Street, Newark
Hamburgers reportedly came to New York in the 1820s when they were served to homesick German sailors from Hamburg along the docks that lined the Lower West Side. These burgers were bunless, as is this contemporary cheeseburger ($15.50), made of great beef. It’s served in a bento with green salad, seaweed salad, and mayo potato salad, plus white rice. Hamburgs are common enough in Japanese izakayas, but this one has a slice of American cheese on top and is cooked medium rare, which is rare. 109 Eldridge Street, near Broome Street
Here’s a griddle-cooked cheeseburger, a blend of pork and beef, that’s spicy, minty, crunchy, and sweet all at once. It’s inspired by the Thai stir-fry dish, pad krapow, made by cooking ground meat and holy basil in a wok over high heat and seasoned with soy and oyster sauces. Things get interesting when they add giardiniera: In Chicago, where co-owner Trevor Lombaer is from, the condiment is often made with pickled cauliflower and carrots. In Bed-Stuy, they add lemongrass and bird’s eye chiles. The burger starts at $11 for a single, $17 for a double, and $4 for a Thai-fried duck egg. Take note: It’s lunch only. 477 Gates Avenue, near Marcy Avenue, Bed-Stuy — Luke Fortney
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