Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Avenue (125th Street)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 792-9001
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Marcus Samuelsson
2nd Cuisine: Comfort Food
When I planned to invade Harlem's burger scene, Red Rooster was the very first place on my list. Marcus Samuelsson's Swedish background is combined with traditional comfort food at this beautiful eatery. It was a gorgeous day, so I opted to dine al fresco. Red Rooster had heat lamps under their umbrellas, keeping me toasty on this autumn day.
The Red Line Burger is a hefty patty that comes topped with pimento cheese, bacon, and melted onions on a pretzel bun, with a side of Parmesan fries. The cheese literally oozed all over the burger, giving the sweet pickles just enough savory flavor to balance them. The patty was grilled and flavored to absolute perfection. The bacon wasn't a particularly exciting addition to the burger, as it was a little cold and a bit distracting. As a matter of fact, my one complaint about this burger was that it was served a little cold. This can be a risk that you take when ordering your burgers rare or medium rare (I went medium rare), but doesn't happen often and cold Rabbit Food is often the culprit. Luckily, the incredible flavors outweighed any complaints I had.
Also of note were a pair of appetizers that blew my mind with ease. The macaroni and cheese was some of the best I've ever eaten, so gooey and flavorful. The fried green tomatoes were also out of this world; essentially a wedge salad with phenomenal dressing a fun fried treat within. Definitely grab one or both of these bad boys if you make the trip up to Red Rooster.
Though a bit steep in price at $18, the Red Line Burger at Red Rooster is a real work of hamburger art. Play it safe and order it cooked medium, and prepare to smile and swoon.
Review By: Brad Garoon