East Village Burgers: Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Burgers with a Serbian Twist at Question Mark Cafe

Date December 11, 2009

The bun is similar to pita.  The red sauce is ajvar, a Serbian spread combining red peppers, eggplant, garlic and olive oil. But the half pound burger?  Well it’s straight middle America.  Because at Question Mark Cafe, an unassuming few-month-old eatery on 1st Avenue b/t St. Mark’s & 9th St., cheddar cheese (though the menu reads provolone) and crispy pre-cooked bacon are pressed between two lean, hand-formed burger patties resulting in a pocket of beefy, cheesy, porcine indulgence.

Question Mark Cafe - NYCFoodGuy.com

Overall, the burger’s leaness (85:15 meat to fat ratio) makes it more novel than delicious, deriving most of its flavor from the bacon and slightly spicy ajvar.  But you can’t beat the price because the deluxe stuffed burger gets you all the food below for just $9.75.  The best part of the plate? The orange-ish Urnebes spread featuring feta cheese, roasted peppers and chili flakes.  All burgers come topped with this creamy, spicy sauce unless otherwise specified.  And while Question Mark Cafe finds its feet, there’s a rumor of a pastrami stuffed burger coming soon.

Question Mark Cafe - NYCFoodGuy.com

Question Mark Cafe

135 First Avenue b/t St. Mark’s Place & 9th Street
New York, NY 10003 (Google map)
212-614-9800
Hours: 11AM to 11PM daily

18 Responses to “East Village Burgers: Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Burgers with a Serbian Twist at Question Mark Cafe”

  1. MOE said:

    hungry
    thank you

    moe

  2. joe bleaux said:

    Is this related to the famous cafe of the same name in Belgrade? Loved their pljeskavica!

  3. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Moe,
    This is what I do.

    Joe Bleaux,
    That’s a great question. I’ll try to ask the proprietor, it sounds like it would be a good bet, they’re pretty serious about their Serbian roots.

  4. fatcat said:

    You guys in NYC are so lucky to have so many ethnic themed restaurants!

    I live in a small city in NC and there is not a single restaurant of interest,not even a burger thats edible.Have to drive 35 miles to closest 5Guys….

  5. ALRUI said:

    Hey fatcat – you must be in Western NC like me – bleak food scene at best!

  6. joe bleaux said:

    Well, I went to this place and got the stuffed burger and it was really tasty. It came with great fries, some urnebes and Russian salad. I was amazed how fresh it all was, considering how tiny the place is. The guys running the place were really friendly and helpful. They used the name of the famous Belgrade restaurant that is over 100 years old and where I had the same dish. There were some other Serbian customers there, so it is authentic. Definitely worth the trip.

    Also, around the corner on 9th is a great Russian bakery.

  7. wriskit said:

    I want to know if an internal bacon cheeseburger tastes better than an external bacon cheeseburger. One reason why I vote for the traditional external version is you can put more bacon and cheese on top of the burger than you can stuff inside of it and the bacon should be crisper. Low-fat burgers have to be cooked rare to remain juicy and timing is essential to avoid overcooking and a dry experience. A dry burger cannot be a sexy eating experience for me.

    Say fatcat and ALRUI, New Yorkers would look at the lack of local food excitement and team up to take advantage of the fantastic economic opportunity staring you in the face. Hmmm, …. say, exactly where do you guys live in NC.

  8. lotsofhunger said:

    hey food guy it’s been nearly half a month since you last posted a new review — i thought you were back??

  9. B-man said:

    Hey nycfoodguy. I was born in NYC but I moved to FLA when i was about 4 years old and the last time I was back in NY was when I was a freshman in HS, now i am senior in college!. I am not a true NYer but my parents are and they have shared countless stories of the food options that made NY sound like a fantasy land of food. I just want to thank you for making this websight and I am planning a trip to NY soon ONLY to eat!

  10. The NYC Food Guy said:

    fatcat,
    Whats the best food you’ll travel for in NC?

    joe bleaux,

    Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself. What’s the Russian bakery called? What do you get there?

    wriskit,
    Well said about the interior vs exterior burger. Its more novel than anything unless you’re eating the Juicy Lucy which is just badass.

    B-man,
    Be in touch brother, let’s meet up for a bite!

  11. Nancy said:

    Amazing surprises will be revealed if we explore how burger came to be established in US. Burgers originally German, patronized by America, and now served with the flavors of India. Came across this trend at a restaurant in East Village in NYC called “Graffiti”, and loved it. This place has the burger patties that are marinated just like kebabs and the burgers are served with chipotle sauce. I really enjoy its regional taste without sacrificing my diet regime. I would prefer such a burger more than a Double Whooper Burger from any other place.

  12. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Nancy,
    So is the movement from German to American to Indian a trend or is that a part of the establishment of burgers in the US? I’m confused. The burger at Graffiti does sound interesting though. Thanks for the heads up.

  13. Mike said:

    Serbian?????

    Everyone in the neighborhood and beyond eats it, its popular in Russia, Balkans, Caucuses where it is the best BY FAR. Flavors are bolder, more spice, this is something everyone should try.

  14. Allix said:

    This post inspired me to try the stuffed burgers for myself! Here’s what I thought of them (and the blaring techno music): http://splurgeorregurge.blogspot.com/2010/01/splurge-to-make-you-regurge-stuffed.html. I credited you with a link, too.

  15. 2kizzzzzzzle said:

    Corrrreeeecccccttttt!!!!!!! bbiiggggg LLLL is the mannnnnnn yesss sir lawrence what up mother F errrrrr fooood is it you eat food coororororeeccttt – BIG L say it again BIG L say it loud and proud its big L yessssssss he is the man, got a fryer I EAT EVERYTHING ON HIS LIST

  16. 2K said:

    Corrrreeeecccccttttt!!!!!!! bbiiggggg LLLL is the mannnnnnn yesss sir lawrence what up mother F errrrrr fooood is it you eat food coororororeeccttt – BIG L say it again BIG L say it loud and proud its big L yessssssss he is the man, got a fryer I EAT EVERYTHING ON HIS LIST

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