Grub/Spirits Restaurant Reviews — 20 June 2012
The Burger Shop: A Restaurant Review

The Burger Shop
115 St. Mark’s Place, Between Avenue A & 1st Avenue, East Village
Getting There: L to 1st Avenue

The ever changing streets intersecting St. Mark’s Place are seeing an influx of restaurants and bars representing the melting pot that is our city. From dim sum to falafel, most corners of the globe are now represented, reflective of the rest of New York City. Keeping things simple and very tasty however is the concept behind the recent opening of “The Burger Shop.” Since forming in late 2011 by a father and son team, this joint has been cranking out double stacked burgers, reasonably priced beer, and organic wines to a hungry East Village crowd.

With some outstanding happy hour prices, we headed into the ‘Shop’ for a weekday dinner and some beers. From the outside, the place actually stands out with white rustic barn wood surrounding the bright red sign, revealing the restaurant’s generic sounding name. Inside, is more of the same- with exposed brick walls, and antique wood paneling which gives off a warm pub vibe. The list of available beers and wines is casually written on a blackboard placed on the walls, hanging high above the backless bar stools and steel chairs surrounding the tables located around the joint.

Compared to the relatively diminutive food menu, ‘The Burger Shop’ sports an excellent (and affordably priced, we might add) beer list. With dozens of bottles and upwards of 16 draught options, many craft favorites are on hand- from Sam Smith to Chimay to Abita to Innis & Gunn- offering up some tremendous burger and beer pairing opportunities when you’re tired of the watered down domestic pints and with most coming in at around $6 each. After licking our fingers dry following an order of their tasty medium spiced “Wings” ($8) and slugging down a few pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon, we perused the simple menu of less than ten different burger options. There is a trend of professionally made ‘fast food’ style burgers that have become prevalent citywide over the past few years and with a dearth of options on St. Mark’s Place, ‘The Burger Shop’ is hoping to fill said void. And none exceeds $8, making ‘The Shop’ both tasty and supremely affordable.

We quickly ordered up their “Big Mick” ($8), a double cheeseburger, covered with shredded lettuce, tomato, pickle & their house made sauce, served at a perfect medium rare. Each bite yielded a tender, juicy finish, and was quite flavorful considering the burger’s price. Similarly the “Farmer John” ($6.75) lamb burger was equally satisfying. Smothered in Limburger cheese and a mint sauce, this might not be a ‘Breslin’ style lamb burger, but at under $7 and sided with a basket of “Waffle Fries,” the satiating meal certainly did the trick.

Wwith new burger themed restaurants popping up each and every month around Manhattan, “The Burger Shop” looks to have a long life in such an energetic area. Loaded with beer options and cheap, tasty fare, the casual vibe inside is inviting and somehow seems familiar. “The Burger Shop” has its work cut out for it as far as being the city’s best burger joint goes- but with your expectations in line at this bar/restaurant, it certainly seems that anything on this menu is can’t miss.

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