Posts Tagged ‘hamburgers’

Le Parker Meridien is a fancy hotel. With a fancy restaurant called Norma’s that supposedly has a fabulous brunch that I will hopefully be lucky enough one day to try for myself.

But Le Parker Meridien also has a secret divey hamburger joint inside it as well. And it’s called Burger Joint. Also, it’s not so secret anymore. The first time I tried to go it was at lunch time during the week and I walked in with my coworker and we walked right back out because the line in the lobby was HUGE.

*Also, Anthony Bourdain recently blew up the spot even more on his NYC episode of The Layover, my new favorite show.

But, when I had my family in town we wake up super early and get out the door super early which makes us the first in line for a lot of things. In fact, Burger Joint wasn’t even open yet. But eventually it was and we got inside and snagged a booth first thing.

The menu is not so huge, obviously. You’re there for the burger. The messy, messy burger:

Oh, yes. I love hamburgers. The fries were good too.

The only bummer was that they currently weren’t making shakes when we were in.

Dang, guess I’ll have to go back.

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Dan’s not going to like this. He’s very particular about his photographs (as are many guys I know… hmm) but as he said, there’s not much he can do if I put a picture of him on my blog. Hehe. You people know what you’re getting into when you go out to dinner with me. Let’s be real.

So there is Dan and myself at The Spotted Pig, aka my new favorite restaurant! I’ve said this to a few people since dining there last week, and pretty much everyone’s reaction to me has been, “What?! You’ve never been there before?!” Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. I have not yet been to every single good restaurant in NYC. And I probably won’t!

But The Spotted Pig. It is cuuuuute. There’s a downstairs and an upstairs, and the upstairs has a bar too. We had to wait maybe 25 minutes so we had a drink upstairs by the bar before they found us and gave us a table downstairs. There are pictures everywhere and it just has so much character! I remember pointing out that they had strings of lights in the shape of pigs. Pigs! Who makes those!? Anyway, they are famous for not only being cool, but also for their fabulous burgers, which we both ordered.

And here is a picture of Dan’s cheeseburger with a flash (funny because he scoffed at me taking pictures originally and then was all, “Now, you’ve got to take a picture of THIS” when he looked at the inside of his burger).

Oh yeah, those fries are crazy too. HEAPS OF FRIES!

We also had devils on horseback which were figs with pear wrapped in bacon? I think? Delicious. And we also had the sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with basil pesto which was CaRazy. Flavor!

The only thing I wasn’t as thrilled with was this:

Flourless chocolate cake. Now, I have tried many flourless chocolate cakes and I’ve never really understood why it matters if there is flour or not, but this wasn’t really like a cake at all. It was more of a slice of frosting/fudge if you can imagine. Extremely chocolatey and a good flavor, just not what I expected. For the record, Dan doesn’t really care about chocolate and he thought it was great. He wanted you to know that.

So there you have it. The Spotted Pig is the ISH and the service was impeccable and I would glady, glady return.

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I like hamburgers. My favorite hamburger in Michigan is at Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak. Btw, they don’t even have a website. I have loved Red Coat Tavern for years. They have THE best burgers and THE best clam chowder. EVER! Sigh… I always tell Kelly about it, and one day we will both be in Michigan at the same time and one day we will both be at Red Coat Tavern.

Remember when you had a job in high school and every paycheck was just play money? We used to take our play money over to Red Coat. Me, my homeboy Eugene, and Michelle. Oh… those were the days. Phone bills? Rent? Never! Just hamburgers and Coney Islands. So when I’m home in the D, I like to bring back those memories with those people. And it’s kind of great. So take a look at the most glorious burger and plot Red Coat Tavern on your map if you’re going to be in Michigan.

By the way, it’s really dark in Red Coat Tavern and the lights are red and the booths are red which is why this photo looks the way it does because when we first got there I didn’t want to annoy people with my flash. But when we got the burgers I thought one flash picture and people could get over it. So why is the clam chowder so great? Well first, it’s probably the thickest clam chowder you’ll ever have and that scores huge points with me. Also, the chunks of potatoes and clams are plentiful. There’s really not much else to say. The best thing to do is get a cup of chowder and split the burger with a friend. Or get your own, I won’t judge. And when you split the burger, they split it for you and you each get your own pickle spear. Yay!

Btw, when we were there, I got a parking spot right in front of Red Coat which has never happened in all my life. It gets packed and there’s always a wait and I felt like I had won some major lottery with that parking spot. And I laughed to myself because parking spots is such a funny thing to care about, especially since I never think about that in NYC.

And there you have it folks, one of my top 5 favorite restaurants in Michigan and THE best burger in town: Red Coat!

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What is the best burger in Detroit? Hard to say, but I can give you a few suggestions. One is Hunter House and their famous sliders. Delicious. This place is a neighborhood staple and despite the fact that they’ve changed from serving Coca Cola to Pepsi over the years, it’s one of my top three. So good.

I met up with my friend Paul who I used to work with – a few blocks away from Hunter House actually – at a theatre in high school. Working there was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. It was so much fun and I still have tons of friends from there. Ok, maybe four isn’t “tons” but these people ended up being some of my best friends even seven or so years later. Palladium til we die!

Anyway, Hunter House is amazing. It’s cash only, like any true gem, and you order at the counter. There are signs all around the place for people who have eaten absurd amounts of double cheeseburgers and chili fries. But it’s that good. And I really like their pickles (see above).

When I was taking the pictures outside, a woman asked my friend Paul if Hunter House was famous. Um, hello, lady! Haha, I guess people in the D aren’t used to crazy girls walking around taking pictures of everything. Yet… :)

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Ok, I’ve had enough with these fancy restaurants and their horrible lighting. I get they’re trying to set a mood or something, but don’t they know I have a blog to update? Or maybe I need a new camera… Is Christmas coming up soon?

I went to DBGB Kitchen & Bar last night for dinner, the new Lower East Side venture from Daniel Boulud. I went with my friend Joe because he’s been talking about this place for weeks. He went to Daniel’s friends and family opening dinner a month or so back and got to order whatever he wanted so he said they ordered everything. He lives the high life like that. Or he knows people who know people. Why don’t I know people who know people?

Above is the (petit) plateau de fruits de mer. A brilliant appetizer: shrimp, crab, oysters, clams, mussels and tuna tartare (my favorite!). It came with four sauces on the side; two different cocktail sauces, one sauce with an avocado base and a vinaigrette, which was the best. If you go to DBGB you MUST get this to start.

DBGB is a lot bigger than I was expecting, but I’m not sure what I was expecting to begin with. We got there around 8:30 and there weren’t any openings in the dinning room until 10:15 so we took a table in the front room near the bar, which is seat yourself.

Here is a view of the dining room:


And a view of the bar:


All the pots and pans on display have been donated from various chefs and, in the bar at least, there are different quotes from chefs on the mirror walls, such as: “Age only matters if you’re a cheese.” I also remember one along the lines of, “Butter! Give me butter and more butter!” Indeed, butter can be a good thing; butter is in cake. My best friend recently told me she that when she was little she would eat sticks of butter as is. That’s disgusting.

After our fruit de mer, we tried their burgers. Mine, the “Yankee” fell a little flat. It was good, but not the best. The fries, on the other hand, were quite delicious. And I love when they come in cute containers like this one.


Looking at that picture now, I don’t even remember eating that pickle! I sure hope I did and Joe didn’t steal it from me when I wasn’t looking. That wouldn’t be very nice.

For dessert, we split (Thank God) a coffee mocha sundae; with chocolate sorbet, brownies, tiny cookies, whipped cream and nuts. Yum!

Afterward we went to the Bowery Hotel, which I had also never been to. I felt like I was drinking a glass of wine in my grandmother’s spacious living room, that is, if my grandmother was a proper, old-fashioned, lots-of-jewelry wearing kind. It was dark and cozy with lots of bookcases, fire places and little antlers on the walls. Very eclectic and old-timey. I’m guessing a lot of “people who know people” stay there after they get dinner with Daniel Boulud. It’s what I would do, too.

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