55 Gansevoort St (Washington & Greenwich St)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (917) 562-1923
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Area: Meatpacking District
Located at the start of the High Line, BFB has gotten most of its attention so far thanks to the Heisenburger, a 10 ounce bacon cheeseburger that might inspire fear in lesser eaters, but hungry stomach growls in those with proper appetites. Though a Heisenburger challenge exists (eat three in one sitting and your meal is free), BFB isn’t really about food challenges.
Chef Chris Mitchell’s burger menu is inspired by true love for a simple hamburger. He describes the Heisenburger not as a mammoth obstacle to be conquered, but like the product created by the fictional genius that shares its name, as a hamburger in its purest form. Sure it’s big, but at the end of the day it’s a bacon cheeseburger served the way that Mitchell likes it best. His Kramer burger is named after his lawyer, not the Seinfeld character, and lets New York burger-lovers try a french onion soup burger at a price much lower than other such burgers in the city. And for those longing for a taste of the west coast phenom In-N-Out Burger, an off-menu version is available at BFB that is pretty damn close to the genuine article. There’s certainly a time and a place for gimmicky burgers, but Mitchell understands that BFB’s success hinges on bringing the humble burger to New York in its iconic form. He just gets it.
There’s no better appetizer for a big burger than a smaller burger, so we started the meal off with In-N-Out Burgers. The thousand island sauce on this burger was plenty close to In-N-Out’s signature spread, making this burger a worthy east coast doppelgänger. If New York is lucky, BFB will get really ambitious and start offering up Animal Style burgers as well.
As mentioned above, the Kramer is essentially a french onion soup burger. I’ve grown to love this style of burger,which started becoming a more popular offering in the last year. This burger had perfectly balanced toppings, perhaps because instead of the typically used dijon mustard, this burger is topped with Sir Kensington’s Spicy Ketchup. The Swiss cheese was definitely abundant, so if you aren’t ready for that much lactose then pick another burger on the menu.
And finally, the Heisenburger. The centerpiece of BFB is as pure a burger creation as Mitchell claims. The bacon, soft the way he likes it, adds a strong texture and flavor to each bite. Every part of the 10 ounce patty is expertly seasoned. Cheese, pickles, lettuce, and onion cover every inch (as do tomatoes, but I’m not big on tomatoes on burgers). The bun is intensely big, but soft and tasty and necessary for the heft that the Heisenburger brings. As a delivery system for delicious, one has to imagine that Walter White would approve. He would also approve of the blue twinkie that comes with the burger, and is actually leagues more palatable than a Hostess Twinkie.
These burgers are tops, and I can’t think of any more superlatives beyond the ones I’ve already used to describe them. That said, I’m going to use this space to say that the sweet potato fries were also mind-blowing, so go eat all of this and then walk it off on the High Line.
Review By: Brad Garoon