Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 18 October 2010
A Restaurant Review: Black Iron Burger Shop

Black Iron Burger Shop
540 East 5th Street near Avenue B, East Village, (212) 677-6067
Getting There: F to Second Avenue

Black Iron Burger


The hamburger has taken New York City by storm over the past five years.  Everyone knows the big players in the city.  Their dominance is far reaching.  The idea of a burger joint is a small, welcoming place where you can grab a tasty burger at anytime during the day.  In Manhattan’s East Village, Black Iron Burger Shop is a stand out among these carbon copies.

Black Iron Burger Shop is one of only a handful of restaurants on their block, which makes for a relatively quiet experience away from the hustle of the rest of the neighborhood.  Once inside, the casual atmosphere continues as you are surrounded comfortably by some dim lighting and accompanying wood paneled walls.  Once seated, our extremely laid back and friendly server greeted us.  She acted more like an old friend than a waitress, which we really appreciated. She spent some time reviewing the menu and explaining the restaurant’s history.

Even though you are in a burger joint, there is no reason not to try some of the appetizers on the menu.  Thus, we began the meal with a Southern treat that has made its way up North in a big way, but with a very New York twist- “The Fried Pickle” ($5).  The twist is that Black Iron Burger Shop makes them with pickled tomatoes, featured predominately at New York Jewish Delicatessens.  The batter on each of the pickles was light, giving the tomato itself a nice firm initial bite.  With each bite came both sweet and sour juices from the batter and vegetable mixture, which really fires up one’s taste buds.

Next up was a staple at any respectable meat serving establishment- “The Wedge Salad” ($5).  When you want a salad, but you also have a hearty appetite, the Wedge is the way to go.  Stunned by the sheer size of it, the wedge is essentially a heaping mound of iceberg lettuce, and topped with generous pieces of Bacon, and a creamy & chunky Bleu cheese dressing, of which we asked for more.

The appetizers were excellent, but we knew that we were there for a hearty burger.  Every burger joint has a signature burger and Black Iron Burger Shop, their creation is known as the “Iron Horse” ($9).  The burger comes stacked with two patties, horseradish cheddar cheese, and delicious grilled onions.  The burgers were ordered appropriately- medium rare across the board- but they will make yours as you desire.  Each burger’s cheese topping was perfectly cooked and still bubbling. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving when it comes to food presentation. Fortunately for us, this was not the case.

All three “Iron Horses” were cooked to perfection.  The spicy cheese mixed well with the sweet grilled onions.  Both ingredients infused nicely with the meat without overpowering its flavor.  The double patties were minimally packed which helped the juices move around throughout, making the flavors consistent until the end of the sandwich.

It is important to not get blinded by the light of advertising and/or word of mouth in our city when it comes to burger joints.  Sometimes you need to take a little walk into an unfamiliar part of Alphabet city.  But the uncertainty of the walk may in fact reveal a hidden treasure, and you will be rewarded in kind, by one of the coziest, friendly, and most importantly, tastiest burger joints in New York City.

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