DuMont Burger

By grace.g.yang · April 28, 2008
Under: Brooklyn,Burgers,Dinner

Back in March when I was looking all over Manhattan for an apartment, I met a broker that used to be a waitress at Aqua Grill in Soho. Even though I didn’t find a place through her, I got some good restaurant recommendations, including a burger joint in Brooklyn – DuMont Burger. I meant to check it out sooner, but getting to Brooklyn is a hassle. :)

Chris and I took the L train to Brooklyn for dinner, which is a pretty big deal because taking the L train on the weekends can be a huge pain in the butt; there is always some kind of construction going on! We ended up getting to Brooklyn and finding DuMont Burger:

Initially, we walked into the take-out portion of the restaurant (we were a little disappointed because it was a hike from the subway stop to DuMont Burger and we didn’t see any chairs to sit in while we enjoyed dinner), but when we got up to the counter to order, the cashier told us there was an actual restaurant a couple doors down – whew!! DuMont Burger is actually an extension of their restaurant, DuMont; they opened up DuMont Burger because people always ended up waiting forever for burgers and bar food. We walked into the restaurant, took seats at the bar, and ordered a cheeseburger with fries and macaroni and cheese.

Chris’ cheeseburger with fries:

Juicy medium rare:

The burger was actually pretty good – I’d say it’s worth it if you’re in Brooklyn, but not worth the hassle of going to Brooklyn JUST for a cheeseburger. It was juicy, flavorful, and the brioche bun was the perfect proportion in relation to the meat. The lettuce, something I hardly ever mention in burger posts, was very crisp and the perfect size as well (boston lettuce, I think). Their fries were all small bits (similar to Soho Park’s leftover fries!!).

Since I didn’t want to order the same thing as Chris (we because we always switch plates halfway through our meal), I ordered the DuMac and Cheese:

Remember how I said that the burger isn’t worth going to Brooklyn for? Well, the macaroni and cheese DEFINITELY is; it has an amazingly cheesy crust, lots of perfectly cooked rotini noodles, lots and lots of gooey cheese, and bacon. TONS OF HUGE BACON pieces. I was so amazed at how much pork was in the macaroni and cheese (it was even better than Artisanal’s).

The walk back to the subway didn’t seem as far as the walk over because I was so stuffed from the macaroni and cheese and the cheeseburger. I will definitely go back – for their mac and cheese!

What to order: The DuMac and Cheese, tempura onion donuts, and the DuMont burger.

DuMont Burger on Urbanspoon

Olafur Eliasson: Take Your Time

By grace.g.yang · April 27, 2008
Under: Midtown West,My Life,Things to do in NYC

Yesterday, Chris and I went to the Olafur Eliasson’s exhibit at the MoMA:

Part of the exhibit is in Queens (at P.S. 1), but we didn’t have a chance to go – we’re definitely going soon because we’ve heard it’s equally interesting there. Here are some of my favorite pictures from yesterday’s visit:

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A fan, suspended from the ceiling, floats just above people’s touch:

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I forgot this was part of the exhibit and leaned against it:

The artist installed intense orange lights down two halls:

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Jumping around a room that changed colors:

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P.J. Clarke’s

By grace.g.yang · April 24, 2008
Under: Burgers,Midtown East

For a while, Chris and I were checking out all the major cheeseburger joints in the city. We visited JG Melon and had a mind blowing experience (even with the two hour wait – review coming soon) and wanted to see how the other famous burger joints stacked up. We visited P.J. Clarke’s to sample their cheeseburger and other goodies; the wait wasn’t too long – only about 30 minutes for a table around 3PM on Saturday (which is nothing compared to some of the waits we’ve endured for a burger). We definitely wanted a cheeseburger, but P.J. Clarke’s also has a large menu of seafood items, so we decided to order a cheeseburger and an order of mussels. Our cheeseburger:

It looks like a standard cheeseburger (maybe even a cheeseburger you’d grill at home), but P.J. Clarke’s has a special combination of meat that makes the cheeseburger both juicy and flavorful. The onion sits between the bottom bun and the meat and you have to request other toppings (we asked for a side of tomatoes and lettuce). If I ranked my favorite burger places in the city, P.J. Clarke’s would probably be in my top 10, but nowhere near the top 5; the burger wasn’t juicy enough and it was a bit small for me.

Initially, we ordered mussels with white wine, but later found out that they sold out of mussels for the day (SHUCKS!). Since we were still hungry, we decided to order macaroni and cheese:

P.J. Clarke’s interpretation of macaroni and cheese was more of a Fettuccine Alfredo; they used shells, a cream sauce, bacon, and peas in their recipe and it didn’t resemble your typical mac and cheese. I definitely think it’s mislabeled and wasn’t a fan of the dish; the alfredo was too watery/runny and the shells weren’t cooked properly.

Based on our waitresses recommendation, we ordered hash browns instead of your typical French fries:

The hash browns were good, but didn’t match the rest of the dishes we were eating (it was too much of a breakfast food).

I’m not sure I’d visit P.J. Clarke’s for their burgers again, but I’m interested in trying their seafood offerings since they have mussels with white wine that sound like they’d be pretty good. Hopefully the next time I’m in the area, P.J. Clarke’s will actually have mussels in stock!

P.J. Clarke's on Urbanspoon

New York Burger Co.

By grace.g.yang · April 23, 2008
Under: Burgers,Chelsea

After having a terrible experience at Better Burger, I was hesitant to try New York Burger Company; I didn’t want to be disappointed with another burger place in my neighborhood. On Saturday, after a full day of running around, Chris and I decided to check out New York Burger Co. because we were in the mood for burgers and didn’t feel like schlepping uptown to JG Melon. The windows facing the street have a ton of awards for best cheeseburger, best onion rings, etc., so we figured it couldn’t be that bad (boy were we wrong). I ordered a cheeseburger with cheddar cheese:

First of all, does that even look appetizing? At all? No. Didn’t think so. My burger was slightly ORANGE on the inside AND it was INCREDIBLY dry. The cheese tasted disgusting and greasy (similar to Better Burger’s).

Chris ordered the “Dallas Burger,” which is a burger with Monterey jack cheese, sauteed onions, and barbecue sauce:

Equally disgusting…we couldn’t even FINISH our burgers. There was no juice in the meat and truthfully, it didn’t even TASTE like a burger. We also ordered a chocolate shake and fries:

Let me start with the fries. Truthfully, they weren’t ABSOLUTELY terrible. They were sort of like the fries you buy in amusement parks; greasy and slightly soggy, but not bad (especially compared to the shake and burgers). Not too bad, especially since we had 10 different dipping sauces for them. The chocolate shake, on the other hand, was the grossest chocolate shake I’ve ever tried. It was supposed to be made with ice cream and chocolate sauce – it tasted like it was made with Nesquick powder, milk, and ice cubes.

The best part of the meal was returning the “chocolate shake” – I told the cashier that it was the absolute worst shake I’d EVER tried in my life and that it was pretty terrible that the restaurant was passing it off as a chocolate shake. I will absolutely NEVER go back and I’d probably only recommend the place to my sworn enemies.

New York Burger Co. on Urbanspoon

Ditch Plains

By grace.g.yang · April 22, 2008
Under: Dinner,West Village

After a day at the Guggenheim, Chris, Ariel, Joe, Nita, and I headed to Ditch Plains for a relaxing dinner. Joe flew to New York for the weekend to meet up with his new co-workers (he’s moving from Chicago in July!). I also met his co-worker, Nita, who is super cute and hilarious. Since we were a group of five, we decided to eat family style (ordering a bunch of different items off the menu so we could try everything). I got a general idea of what everyone wanted and then decided to order the following dishes:

Chicken pot pie:

Chicken pot pie with a biscuit on top – lots of juicy chicken meat, vegetables, and a biscuit on top. The biscuit was homemade and added a nice texture to the soupy chicken pot pie, but the chicken/veggie combination didn’t have enough flavor. Ariel said this was his favorite dish of the night (originally, Ariel wanted to order a skirt steak, but he said he’d order the chicken pot pie so we could also get a taste of the homemade biscuit).

Fish tacos:

Nita and Joe were checking out the fish tacos when we were going through the menu, so we ordered it. I don’t think anyone really LOVED the dish; there were too many different flavors and none of them were really distinct, so it was just like eating a pile of mush. The sauce on top didn’t taste very good, either, making this dish a total disaster.

Mussels and fries:

Chris and I wanted to order the mussels and fries (even though no one else wanted them) and the mussels were okay (the white wine sauce needed lemon), but the fries were AMAZING. They were thickly cut and had a great crunch to them – Ditch Plains might have the best fries in NYC!! They kind of reminded me of Les Halles’ fries, but the crunch was more similar to a curly fry than anything else. The mussels, on the other hand, weren’t memorable and I wouldn’t order them again.

Macaroni and cheese:

Nita and I really wanted to try the macaroni and cheese (it ended up being my favorite dish of the night). The layer of crusted cheese was amazingly delicious because it added just the right amount of texture to the noodles. The mac and cheese was Chris’ favorite dish of the night as well.

Lobster roll:

The lobster roll was my second least favorite dish of the night. I basically compare all lobster rolls I’ve ever eaten to Pearl Oyster Bar’s lobster roll; does it have huge chunks of lobster meat? Is there enough mayo? Enough butter on the bun? The lobster roll at Ditch Plains had too many onions, celery, and other weird chunks of vegetables that didn’t match the soft, sweet wonderfulness of the lobster. Thumbs down. The sweet potato fries were okay (they were homemade), but a little too crunchy (maybe I have soft teeth like Michael from The Office).

Ditch Plains was very accommodating for the 6 of us and getting a large table wasn’t difficult for a busy Saturday night (we got there around 7:30 right before the dinner rush). Their menu has a variety of dishes to please every type of palette, but they don’t prepare their plates well enough for a repeat visit from me.

Ditch Plains on Urbanspoon

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