waste of $
April Bloomfield's newest spot, Salvation Burger, is a dedicated burger joint that has been marketed as a fast casual bar atmosphere. However with a full wait staff, hefty pricing and less than speedy service, it falls more in line with a traditional restaurant than a fast casual burger joint.
This place has already built up some serious hype from the foodie community in the two short weeks that it's been open. Instagram, Eater, Thrillist, and all sorts of NYC-centric publications are buzzing with glee over this place. My conclusion is that the hype is ill-placed, to put it lightly. Now allow me put it not-so-lightly...
The burgers are a fucking rip off, and they're mediocre-tasting at best. Their "Salvation Burger" comes in at a whopping $25. It LOOKS pretty, but it also looks small:
The table next to us said, "Oh, this place has sliders!" They do not. However, while the burgers DO look small, they actually eat big. I was full. The Salvation Burger is probably 6-8oz, which is a decent size, but at $25 for a fucking burger I am expecting perfection in the execution. Let me explain...
Our waitress informed us that the chef suggests medium rare. Perfect. When good ground beef is involved, I'm all for medium rare. However ours was nearly raw. I didn't mind as much, but my wife did, because parts of her half were rubbery and cold (we shared). My wife, like me, loves a medium rare piece of meat. We are regular steak eaters (obviously), and we regularly order our beef medium rare. On occasion I will even get a filet cooked black and blue. A FILET, with very little fat content. With ground beef, however, or a rib eye, for example, you need a bit more heat to render out the fat content. This burger was simply not cooked properly. Furthermore, the caramelized onion and tallegio cheese completely overpowered and over-funked the flavor of the beef. Failure.
We also tried the classic, which is two 3.5oz patties covered with American cheese and topped with pickles and special sauce.
This was the better of the two burgers in the flavor department, to me anyway, because I enjoy a classic American style double above all else. Unfortunately, however, the patties were way overcooked to a bone-dry-if-not-for-the-smothering-of-cheese well done. There was a good crisp in that first bite from the sear on the patty; I had high hopes! But then the grainy texture of overcooked meat kicked in, and the day was ruined. What a shame.
Both burgers could benefit from a leaf or two of crisp lettuce (which is similar to the comment that I made about the burger at The Spotted Pig), but on the plus side the buns were excellent. Soft and easy to get down on, yet supple and strong enough to hold up to the wetness of the shit between.
The fries were perfect. They were crispy and golden brown. Despite not coming with the burger (separate $5 charge for fries), they were a good value; one order is enough to share among two people.
We also each tried a milkshake. My wife had the orange creamsicle, which she liked very much, and I had the toasted marshmallow. The toasted marshmallow shake was a bit too salty. I understand the idea behind adding a pop of salt to this shake to simulate the toasted marshmallow, and to bring out certain flavors, but this was simply too much salt. And, again, at $7 a pop for milkshakes, one should expect perfection.
I am not a cheap person by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I a big complainer. I drop cash willingly on food, and I'm especially eager to do so when I find it to be worthy. I don't even mind so much when I am not 100% satisfied with a meal. Every joint has an off day. But here, I left feeling disgusted with the amount that I paid for two underwhelming burgers, two mediocre shakes (on average) and an order of fries. All in, I spent $77. Look at this fucking bill.
For that price I can eat for three days and have more meal-satisfaction at a place like Lucky's Famous, Steak n Shake or Genuine Roadside. In fact I would take those burgers over these any day of the week. What a complete and utter rip off. Sorry, fellow food enthusiasts, but I just can't get onboard this hype train. Fuck that.
Lunch at Salvation Burger
Being a huge fan of April Bloomfield's burgers at both The Spotted Pig and The Breslin I was excited to check out her new midtown spot Salvation Burger. This rustic joint inside the Pod 51 Hotel sells three different types; Veggie made with carrot & tomato chutney, the Salvation Burger with caramelized onion & taleggio and the Classic Cheeseburger pictured here.
This burger is certainly aesthetically pleasing. The fluffy sesame studded roll looks gorgeous holding two juicy all beef patties with house made cheese and thick sliced pickles jutting out at the seams.
However as you can see by the mid-section shot this burger is way off on bun to burger ratio. The hearty flavor of the meat got lost among the outer shell of toppings and stunted any sort of orgasmic burger moment. Both the Spotted Pig and Breslin burgers have fluffy buns but the patties at both are bigger and bolder in flavor from the funky Gorgonzola cheese at the Pig and the richness of the lamb at the Breslin. This one sadly just could not stand up to the messy bread and pickle overload.
Perhaps the namesake Salvation Burger would hold up to the bun a bit better than the Classic Cheeseburger however the steep price of $25 for one burger (no fries included) will probably keep me from coming back to try it. With places like Minetta Tavern and Bar Sardine churning out great burgers at a lower cost its hard to imagine a repeat visit.
NYC FOODIE OPENING OF THE WEEK: SALVATION BURGER
Chef April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman have hit a homerun with their new Midtown East burger joint Salvation Burger. With such hits as The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory Oyster Bar, they can now add Salvation Burger to their roster as a true winner. Why? April is serving one of the best burgers in NYC.
I stopped in on their first day opened and tried her "Classic Burger", which is a double patty, cheese, special sauce, and pickles. And you know what? It's sensational. The way the cheese melts into the meat with each bite, I had a culinary orgasm (#stillsingle). They bake their buns in house which is great, cause it's the perfect bun. #ilikebuns Order their fries, cause they too, are perfect. And for dessert, try their toasted marshmallow shake. My diet never tasted so good.
I plan on going back to try Salvation Burger's namesake burger, the "Salvation Burger" soon. This is a true hit. Burger perfection awaits.
The only salvation was the free fries that came to the table while waiting endlessly to order. So much ineptitude among very good food. Let's grind out this lunch experience. Ate: Fries Giardanara Fish on a bun with cabbage and tartar sauce Toasted marshmallow milk shake The good: the food is very good. Fries tasted like they were cooked in duck fat. Fish on a home made bun was tasty. Giardinara added a vinegary kick to the savory. The toasted marshmallow was the Star of the Show with house churned ice-cream and a taste that was off the charts. The unfortunate: The Salvation franchise loves the Pod Hotels- this space with 4 booths(the only comfy seething) has slim counters with stools and tables with stools. Not a comfortable dining experience at all. I asked over and over for a table and finally got one, but waiting for my credit card to return for fifteen minutes seemed like an eternity. I would return for the stellar shake though.