Yes, so there is a new burger joint in Jackson Heights. And yes, the patty is a Pat LaFrieda blend of some sort. Aaand, if you were to believe neighborhood chatter, we now have our very own Shake Shack (or maybe even Minetta Tavern, or Spotted Pig…joke).
Um, what we have so far is a perfectly fine fast food burger in a fast food setting. And in neither the Shake Shack nor In-n-Out mold, which is ok since Queens does get its first standalone Shake Shack tomorrow. (Or styled after Umami for that matter–despite the mildly similar name, I actually believe this story about the name coming to the owner after praying, and I would be surprised if Umami had name recognition with more than 10% of anyone in Jackson Heights.)
I intended to get the most basic burger, which still contains so-called emoji aioli, on my first visit even though I really wanted the “Thums Up” with ham and pineapple, yet still ended up with bacon and a sesame seed bun (non-sesame buns are Martin’s potato rolls) otherwise known as “Da Wink.” I just wanted to taste the beef, which was difficult. There is this push-pull where there is almost too much going on, bu t at the same time nothing melds. Like all the components stayed separate when the cheeseburger needs to ooze and reanimate into a delicious whole. By the way, medium is standard, and you can ask for medium-rare (I did and I wasn’t ignored) though the it doesn’t make a huge difference with this thinner style of patty.
I also had small fries, freshly cut, and plain if that needs specifying because loaded fries are really a thing around here. If I ever get burnt out on “panda fries,” I’ll be set with Emoji’s choice of Emo, Cheese, Pio, or O’Le, all with various cheeses, meats, alliums, and sauces.
Emoji Burger * 80-07 37th Ave., Jackson Heights, NY