Brindle Room’s Steakhouse Burger: One of NYC’s Best Values & My Favorite Griddled Burger

Date November 8, 2011

Brindle Room

I used to hate hamburgers. Hard to believe, I know. As much as I love my mother, I sadly have to blame her. Growing up, her definition of the perfect burger was “the more burnt, the better.” Mom meant well – she’s a great cook, and amazingly, still getting better – but instilling burger appreciation was unlikely. The situation was so grave, it took TGI Friday’s and Burger King, both with their flame-grilled patties, to convince me that a burger could taste like anything but burnt beef. As a result, I shunned any burger not cooked over fire for most of my adolescence. If it were going to be griddled, I’d smother it in toppings; anything to avoid the overwhelming flavor of beef alone.

About the time I started this website in 2007, my feelings began to change. My first review, of Manhattan’s first Five Guys Burger and Fries, glowingly praised their griddled burger. It was a revelation. Liberally seasoned beef, cooked in nothing but its own fat, could become crispy outside and still remain juicy inside. “Fat” is the key word, because fat equals flavor. It’s no wonder then that my favorite griddled burger today is at the Brindle Room, where the steakhouse burger features not only more fat than most, but fat from the outside of a ribeye steak, also known as the deckle.  Chef Jeremy Spector’s deckle burgers are imparted with even more flavor from steak trimmings and the cast iron skillet their cooked in. Chef Spector personally likes his burger with caramelized onions – cooked in burger fat in the skillet – and American cheese.  All I need is a slice of American cheese to cut the richness, the burger is that flavorful on its own.  The squishy, griddled white bun and the skin-on fries – perfectly crisp outside and creamy inside – do the rest.  If you’re harboring any doubts about your love for burgers, Brindle Room’s steakhouse burger with caramelized onions and fries ($12 at brunch and lunch, $14 at dinner, no extra cost for cheese), will make you a believer.  If you still need convincing, just watch this mouth-watering video. Burger porn at its finest.

Make sure to save room for dessert, Chef Spector’s Wonder City Donuts are served from breakfast until they run out (Mon-Fri starting at 7:30am, Sat-Sun at 11am).  You’d never know it from the taste, but the donuts are actually “spudnuts” which are made of potato batter.  As a result, the freshly fried donuts are especially airy and creamy inside.  Flavors range from caramel coating, Nutella frosting with almonds, or powdered sugar ($1.75 each).  There’s also new flavors added daily.  You’ll want to order one of each.

Brindle Room Link 227 East 10th St b/t Avenue A and 1st Ave New York, NY 10009 (212) 529-9702 Open Mon-Thurs 7am-12am, Friday 7am-1am, Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-11pm

12 Responses to “Brindle Room’s Steakhouse Burger: One of NYC’s Best Values & My Favorite Griddled Burger”

  1. Team Mischa Sad Face said:

    How do you go all the way back to your first post… five guys… talking burger love in NYC… and fail to mention the Brooklyn Diner?!? Inexplicable! Mischa wants a cab ride home.

  2. Sal said:

    @foodguy,
    this burger looks good, but the bun looks way too big for it. as you know, i like a better meat:roll/bun ratio. Also, what is your moms best dish, and how is she getting better at cooking? i imagine she’s close to 60 and one’s culinary peak is around 45…

  3. wriskit said:

    Spector’s Brindle meat mix yields burgers with a post-grad educated composition. With the onions, cheese and bun, Brindle’s burger rates a special trip to the LES from Forest Hills one of these days when my watrchlady is otherwise engaged so I can escape her loving concern over my health. All hands, man the deckles and damned be him who first cries,” Hold, enough!”

    Nice comeback, Lawrence, from that grossly excessive Peels $21 secret hamburger fiasco.

  4. The NYC Food Guy said:

    @Team Mischa,
    You are correct, BK Diner def deserves credit for fostering a love of griddled burgers. It was my favorite for a long time but its location and price tag became prohibitive, especially once they downgraded the fries to a cheaper, frozen version. It’s still some of my favorite food porn. That being said, I’m overdue for a trip back to check on quality control. Care to join?

    @Sal,
    This photo, while enticing, definitely shows an unbalanced bread:burger ratio. The photo is actually from the Grub Street Food Fest and while the burger patty is the same blend that you’ll receive when you dine at Brindle Room, the burger itself will have a nicer presentation. Check out this photo of the Brindle Room burger at the restaurant from Time Out New York, you can see a lot equality between bread and burger. The main advantage of the simple white bun is that its flavor and squishy-ness (for lack of a better term) let it play 2nd fiddle to the flavor and texture of the burger, which is the real star.

    As for my Mom’s best dish, that’s a tough decision. She makes great spinach pie with a ton of feta, spinach, and garlic. Her chicken marsala, a dish she only started making in the last few years, features a light, delicate breading around the chicken that soaks up the earthy flavor of the wine sauce and mushrooms. Unsatisfied with store-bought hummus, she recently started making her own and is constantly tinkering with the recipe, sometimes adding dill to the mixture. It has ruined store-bought hummus for me. My favorite dish, however, may be her pot roast. It’s my grandmother’s recipe and it’s comfort food at its finest. Thick slabs of beef that are braised and simmered for so long they only need some delicate prodding from a fork to pull apart into melt-in-your-mouth strands of beef. Put it over a bed of her mashed potatoes – airy and light – with some extra gravy from the pot, and I’m in heaven.

    @Wriskit,
    Great to hear from you. I like your ode to the Brindle burger. Next time you’re thinking of making a trip, let me know, maybe you can pickup some knishes for me from Knish Nosh and we can meet at Brindle.

  5. Rich said:

    I watch burger reviews like a hawk. Your review and the accompanying video of the Brindle Room’s burger are most enticing; however, I question whether at a price point of $14 (dinner) and only 6 oz. (precooked weight)this burger can even remotely be labeled “One of NYC’s Best Values”. This strikes me a more than a little hyperbole.
    Care to elaborate?

  6. The NYC Food Guy said:

    @Rich,

    Thanks for the comment, you bring up a good point about the burger size:value ratio. Here’s my thoughts: The burger is small in circumference, but it’s got some good heft. It’s also filled with steak trimmings which I feel ups the value. And you get all your toppings (caramelized onions and cheese of your choice), which would cost extra at most Manhattan restaurants, for free. That’s without even mentioning their incredible fries. It’s really the total package that gives this burger such great value, especially if you get it at lunch or brunch when the total package is only $12. A large value meal at McDonald’s is almost $10. Wouldn’t you pay $2-$4 more for Brindle Room?

  7. Brodsky Organization said:

    Next time we’re on the East Side we’ll have to check out Brindle Room. But we must admit that like your mother, we’ll be ordering ours well done. Oh and we’ll make a bacon cheeseburger.

  8. Rich said:

    Lawrence,

    I was troubled that the light precooked weight (6 oz.) when combined with the burger’s high fat content (>20%) would result in what the old Seinfeld Show called “substantial shrinkage”. However, you make a good point that the fries & onions are offered gratis, and this certainly adds value, esp at the lunch price. I’ll try it.

  9. The NYC Food Guy said:

    @Rich,
    Great Seinfeld reference. Love that show. Thanks for the follow up comment, let me know how it goes when you head over there. Ask for Tiffany (GM) or Jeremy (chef) and tell them NYC Food Guy sent you! They’ll take care of you!

  10. Charlie said:

    Made a trip to the Brindle Room last night –my thoughts:

    I thought the burger was small and this has already been noted. I like the fact that it comes standard w/ onions and cheese, and you can most certainly taste the fat that is used to make this burger. I tend to cut my burgers in half to get an solid cross-sectional view, and I found myself taking a break from burger eating after finishing the first half. It was so rich and so salty that I found the need to tackle the generous helping of fries to break up the meal a little bit.

    The fries were the type of fries that I enjoy – very crispy outside, which generally lead to a pillowy (I’m giving the FoodGuy credit for the word “pillowy”) inside, and potato skins intact. I found the fries to be a little too overdone, so the potato on the inside was fried through, but this wasn’t a deal breaker. They were deliciously salty and were an excellent complement to the burger.

    I’d definitely go back – but not anytime soon. The burger was delicious, but in the end, the flavors were almost too much for me. I’m still partial to Zeitgeist (sp?) and Dumont (in Brooklyn).

  11. StevenP said:

    Hey Lawrence! How are ya?? A friend and I hit up the Brindle last weekend after checking your review. It definitely lived up to expectations. Got the burgers medium, and they were just right, still pink in the middle. (I am not one of those anything-but-medium-rare-is-blasphemy types.) Delicious and satisfying, just as described. My friend also asked for mayo on the side and got a really good garlic aioli. Fries were plentiful and yummy–they seemed to be twice-fried, maybe? And if you like pinball, the Brindle is very close to the Reciprocal skate shop (next block, 11th St on east side of 1st Ave).

    Are we ever gonna do another wing tour? Seems to be due…

  12. NYC Inspired: The Incredible Appetite of Lawrence Weibman, aka NYC Food Guy - March 13, 2014 - NewYork.com said:

    [...] in the West Village is truly mind-blowing and worth the $26 price tag, but the Steakhouse Burger at Brindle Room in the East Village is half the price, damn tasty and accompanied by perfect French fries. I [...]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>