Think Shake Shack, but with non-dairy shakes.
Kosher meat lovers are welcoming a deluge of high-end burger options in Manhattan.
Mass-produced, frozen, dry patties are out, thanks to the closing of all Burgers Bar locations and most Kosher Delight ones.
In their place are Teaneck, N.J.’s Gotham Burger, which is opening a location on the Upper West Side (Amsterdam Avenue between 94th and 95th streets), and Amsterdam Burger Company (ABC) by Mike’s Bistro, just five blocks south.
Gotham’s Avi Roth said, “We have been inundated by Upper West Siders who have been begging us to open. The Upper West Side branch is nine months in the making … [and we already] do a lot of catering to the [area].” When asked about the Gotham name being in New Jersey first, Roth replied, “We were actually looking at space in Manhattan, but the Teaneck space fell into our lap.”
Not to be outdone, kosher mainstays in Midtown, Mr. Broadway and Le Maraís, have recently revamped their menus to include higher end, more sophisticated burgers.
Mr. Broadway’s menu updates (for the better) coincided with the revamping of its restaurant into a modern, sophisticated eatery after Sukkot last year. The menu includes options similar in style to the burgers on ABC’s menu including their BBQ burger, which according to Chef John Dewine, comes with a house BBQ sauce, fried sunny-side-up egg, and crispy onion strings. Other burgers include a spicy one made with Harissa and “blistered” jalapenos, along with a Hawaiian burger that combines fresh pineapple with grilled salami.
On Facebook, Le Maraís recently announced the launch of a new burger menu, including a $21 jumbo burger stuffed with beef cheeks, which is presented beautifully on a wooden cutting board slab. Asked why the restaurant created a separate burger menu, chef and owner Jose Meirelles explained that the “popularity of burgers in high-end restaurants in general was an initial catalyst.” Additionally, they wanted “to accommodate the Clubhouse Cafe die-hards” after that restaurant closed across the street last year.
Wolf & Lamb, also in Midtown, has consistently had gourmet burgers on its menu, including beef, salmon, lamb, turkey, and ribeye options. The eatery’s general manager, Chaim Kaminker, explained that burgers are “the most popular meal in America” and that his restaurant is “always searching for the ultimate gourmet burger.”
As for ABC on the Upper West Side, those who have eaten there discuss both the quality and quirkiness of the restaurant. ABC only uses pasture-raised, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meat from Grow and Behold Foods, which proponents say makes the burgers healthier and tastier.
The writer is founder of YeahThatsKosher.com, a global Jewish travel and kosher restaurant guide.