Ideally, I wanted a burger in the financial district or lower east side because that’s the easiest foot and subway-wise, but everything I kept stumbling on was East Village focused: Back Forty, Seymour Burton or Royale. I feel weird ordering a burger in a 20+ entrée place so it was no to Seymour Burton, plus I can’t abide by the English muffin in lieu of bun. A coworker had been raving about the burger at Back Forty but I didn’t want to think about organics or what wine to pair with the damn thing. I just wanted a no nonsense, completely satisfying burger and a pint of beer. Simple. And that was totally Royale.
It’s wise to believe the sandwich board outside proclaiming, “The best burger in NYC.” The hand-scrawled statement was bolstered by every eating patron inside the unassuming-rather-than-divey bar on Ave. C having one in front of them. I can’t even imagine what kind of freak would opt for chicken fingers or the B.L.T.
This is an untouched medium-rare burger with American cheese. Despite saying English muffins put me off, a slightly sweet, firm enough brioche is fine. This bun held up until the very end when the juices finally started dissolving the bread. But that was my own fault because I let my last third sit for a while. I wanted a second beer (Blue Moon, if that makes any difference) but to drink with my remaining food not simply for drinking's sake and well, the service is on the sluggish side and the wet bun became impatient (not me, of course, I'm always wildly patient).
The medium-rare cleaved closer to rare, nice and pink, which I appreciated for keeping all the fattiness and moistness intact.
A messy cross-section with bacon.
Thin, light and crisp onion rings were a smart choice to share because I was fine with only a few. Fries, even bad fries, won’t last long in my vicinity and since I’ve unwillingly avoided potatoes for the last few months I might go wild. The only downside is that there was a substantial pool of oil in the bottom of the basket, which threatened to sog up the delicate rings.
Royale * 157 Ave. C, New York, NY