amazing roadside burger
If your taste in burgers is anything like mine, you like to keep it fairly simple but always delicious. They say "you don't mess with perfection," and I believe that's vital when it comes to the outstanding combination of meat and cheese. That perfection, for me, is a classic flat top griddle burger with crispy edges and a medium center, covered all over with melted American cheese, and topped with lettuce, tomato and fresh jalapenos. It must also be slapped on a potato bun with a bit of mayo.
One of the best places to get this style of burger is Hard Times Sundaes at Urbanspace Vanderbilt.
What started out as a meager food truck venture turned out to be one of the most sought after "roadside" style burgers in the city. Two years later, this place is consistently hailed as one of the best burgers in town by some of the most respected burger critics around. I agree with them.
I came here to celebrate their second "BURGthday" with a bunch of other NYC food scene press people. Since this was my first go at this place, I kept it simple, sticking to my favorite style, as outlined above. I was impressed! Everything was perfect - seriously.
A bunch of people were getting triples, because they do look amazing in photos, but I really wanted to experience the single in all its glory, perfectly ratio'd between bun, meat, cheese and toppings. It was so fucking good, and I wish I had more right now.
But I also got to try their bacon wrapped hot dog as well. These are not dick pics with toasted foreskin. These are delicious hot dogs.
I had this once with avocado at Crif Dogs, WAAAY back in the day, before I started reviewing restaurants. I loved it then, and I love it now. I like glorified hot dogs, and wrapping them in bacon and deep frying them is probably one of the best ways to do it. I liked it so much on that first bite, that I totally skipped any additional toppings like mustard, ketchup or onions.
Do yourselves a favor and get your asses over here ASAP.
Happy 2nd birthday to @hard_times_sundaes and congrats to #ChefAndrewZurica! I feel blessed to have this #burger 1.5 blocks from my office @usvanderbilt. Double @schweidandsons patty @neuskes #bacon #cheeseburger with the works.
Destination Burger in Outermost Brooklyn
Owner Andrew Zurica claims that he's "in no way a gourmet burger kind of guy," but the selection and execution at every level, from bun to patty to toppings, make this simple burger a huge success that more than stands up to the more cheffy creations across the bridge. Every ratio is perfect, at least on my double. I can't wait to have my next one, and next time I'm not going to repeat my mistake of passing up the deep fried Sabrett hotdog.
See my full review here:
Hard Times Sundaes
Hard Times Sundae, Midtown, NYC
Sometimes you just want a real burger. At times like that you go to Hard Times Sundae.
What started as a food truck in Brooklyn is now at Urban Space’s food hall and is voted one of the best burgers in New York City.
Andrew Zurica makes his burger with fresh ground chuck and it is then ‘griddle-smashed’, topped with cheese or bacon, which is placed between a buttered and charred bun. It can be ordered as a single, double, or triple.
I just love this burger for its simplicity. Sometimes you just don’t want to think too much – you just want to eat and Hard Times Sundae gives you that.
Quick Bites: Hard Times Sundaes
It all started with the NYT Hungry City column. Rumors of a king among fast food burgers--if you felt like dragging almost two hours to Mill Basin by public transit for something you'd eat in five minutes.
The remote truck is no more, but Hard Times Sundaes has fetched up at UrbanSpace Vandberbilt, a food court with the look--but not the distinctive offerings--of Philadelphia's Terminal Market. HTS is tucked in a corner, next to Dan Delaney's chicken sandwiches. Single, double or triple burgers: you need at least a double. Or a hot dog.
The double with cheese (the pickle was my idea) came as two smashed patties. All chuck, says burger make Andrew Zurica. A good, smoky char. A potato roll. That's it: a good enough fast food burger.
"In the end, the greatness of a burger lies not in the quality or provenance of its ingredients, but in the touch, care and God-given talent of its make," said Ligaya Mishan in the Times. Mm. I've been told that the burgers at the truck were better; that it wasn't just the romance of the open road. It's hard to know how they might have changed.
And the double is $10 plus tax, before fries or a drink.