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Burger & Lobster


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#1 Suzanne F

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 03:22 AM

So the premise of this UK import is that they serve only burgers and lobster, in case you didn't guess. Well, they also serve cocktails (sometimes on tap, sometimes made to order; more on that later), beers on tap, and wines both on tap and by the bottle. And desserts, and coffee.

 

The lobster is a 1 1/2-pounder from Nova Scotia, available steamed or grilled. Also as a 6-ounce lobster roll, just lobster, a slightly watery mayonnaisy dressing, and chopped chives on a toasted (and I suspect buttered) top-sliced brioche bun. According to a chalkboard on the wall, there are also lobsters ranging from 5 to 7.5 pounds available, for considerably more money.

 

The burger is 10 ounces of corn-fed Nebraska beef, with bacon, American and/or cheddar cheese, a tomato slice, an onion slice, shredded lettuce, and pickle slices; "burger sauce" rather like a thick Russian dressing with very finely minced relish is also part of it, but can be on the side.

 

All three items (the full savory menu) are served with fries and a mesclun salad. All three items are $20 each.

 

I ordered a St. John Rum Manhattan, with (iirc) rum, amaro, sweet vermouth, and bitters. I expected it to be out almost instantly, since cocktails are listed as "on tap." But that is only the case when they're busy, apparently, and make them by the batch. Otherwise they're made to order. I found it quite sweet, but nicely spicy. The orange twist in it was pathetic, though--a badly mangled piece of rind, with all the pith still attached. $11.

 

In the interests of research, I ordered both a burger (rare, hold the onion) and a lobster roll. I thought they were both delicious, and a good value. (Paul also enjoyed the burger and lobster roll, since I brought most of both home, along with most of the fries.) The burger was cooked just as I like it, nice and rare, and was meaty/juicy/fatty, dripping onto the paper lining the oval tray that serves as both plate and serving tray for the rest of the meal. The multiseed bun wasn't quite up to the juice, but didn't totally dissolve. The bacon (no extra $) was two wide, mildly smokey slices that covered the entire surface; the cheese was not up to the flavors of the rest, but was probably okay. A large, fairly thick slice of ripe (if out-of-season) tomato on top, and a thin layer of shredded iceberg lettuce below. The fully loaded burger would be well over 6 inches thick; even missing one element, it was hard for me to get my mouth around it. They gave me the sliced pickles (crisp, sour, and quite salty) in a sauceboat on the side, as well as a sauceboat of that Russian dressing-ish stuff. Nice for dipping the fries. The fries were fairly thin, very evenly cut, a bit on the light side in color, but crisp, not greasy, and lightly salted. Very good, and I expect they will reheat very well in the toaster oven. Salad was a good size, although it's served in a cup that make it a little difficult to eat. Basically mesclun, with a light dressing that looked like balsamic vinaigrette but didn't taste like much of anything (that was okay with me); a few croutons, a sprinkling of very finely grated Parmesan, and maybe a couple of raw onion rings. One very good service touch: they left off the onion of the salad accompanying the burger, since I had asked for no raw onion of the burger. That's good thinking.

 

The lobster roll was a lot of large pieces of lobster as well as some good-size shreds (such as from swimmerets?) --one bit I had was a whole claw. Not overly dressed for me, but some might think so. Very, very simple: lobster chunks, mayo or something similar, chives. And the roll was excellent.

 

There are two dessert options: chocolate mousse or cheesecake. I would have not ordered either, but I made friends with a manager, Gabriele, who comped me a mousse. It was very good. Not too sweet, very chocolatey, shot through with ground cocoa nibs, and quite dense. At the bottom was a less-aerated, gooey fudgey layer. On top was a little blop of whipped cream and a pluche of mint (I didn't think anybody still did that!) and more nibs. I managed about half before I was done in.

 

There were only a couple of tables when I arrived about 12:30, and most had come and gone by the time I left around 1:45 or 2:00. Most ordered burgers and/or lobster rolls; I only noticed one table with whole lobsters. Service was generally good--the one negative was a runner who twice brought food to the wrong tables, including one that had already finished and paid but were still sitting, chatting. But service was fine for me.

 

Given the size of the room--quite a large one, but open and airy, with well-spaced tables (the photos on Eater make it look like long communal tables, but that was not the case), it seemed odd that there is only one single-seat restroom for each sex on the main floor. I'd expect there to be quite a line when they're busy. But the ladies was lovely and modern, and the paper towels thicker and softer than most.

 

And I almost forgot: they drop a lemon-soaked paper napkin on the table when you first sit. One that unfolds to a large size, and pleasantly scented. From refreshening.co.uk. Definitely useful after a burger.

 

Also available is "The Combo": two burgers (presumably with fries and salad), two desserts, and one lobster. $60. Would be good for Sneak and two friends so long as one is willing to give up dessert. ;)  Or will order it separately. I don't know what desserts or coffee go for, but it's probably not much.

 

Finally: for once, I noticed the music. Mainly because when I sat, it was Sinatra singing something we used to have to listen to ad nauseum at Zeppole. Not that it's bad, I mean it's classic Sinatra. That was followed by some classic rock, Ray Charles singing "Hit the Road, Jack," and some funk, among other things. I liked it.

 

So gimmick aside, I really liked this place. Very convenient when shopping on Ladies Mile or Fifth Avenue in the twenties.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:22 PM

That is going to be convenient for an occasional lunch.  Thanks for reporting back.  At that price, it doesn't have to be amazing to be worth it.



#3 StephanieL

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 04:44 PM

Thanks, Suzanne.  N will be thrilled to get a lobster for $20--she's the type of person who enjoys digging in to get every last bit of meat.


"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." --John Steinbeck

 

"Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."--Arsenic and Old Lace

 


#4 rozrapp

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 05:16 PM

Since it's walking distance from our apartment, I'd definitely planned to check it out.  So, I'm glad you had such a positive experience, Suzanne.



#5 Lippy

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 05:26 PM

Suzanne -- no celery in the lobster roll to ruin it?



#6 Suzanne F

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 06:17 PM

No celery! Just lobster, dressing, and a sprinkling of chives on top.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#7 Suzanne F

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 06:22 PM

I've told Paul he will have to come with me to the Bed, Bath & Beyond just down at the corner of Sixth Avenue, and since he liked the the lobster roll at room temp and the burger lightly nuked to reheat a bit, we'll probably go back soon. He too is a get-every-last-bit-out-of-the-lobster eater; I think he'll be happy. The beer selections are mostly pretty interesting to me, too.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#8 Suzanne F

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 12:40 AM

And so we did go to BB&B today, and had lunch at Burger & Lobster beforehand.

 

This time we both got lobsters, one steamed and one grilled. The grilled was tasty, but a bit overcooked; steamed was excellent. They remove the heads, split the bodies and tails, and remove the claws with the knuckles. Plenty of meat in the lobsters, sweet and just briny enough. We got the lemon-garlic butter sauce, which wasn't all that lemony but had a huge hit of garlic. It was excellent as a dip for the fried. They were nice about subbing a second salad for the fries for Paul (who ate a few of mine), and leaving the raw onion off my salad. We both had $9 glasses of albariño, which was fine. One $6 chocolate mousse (this time without chopped cocoa nibs in it :( ) and a $3 decaf coffee for Paul. Inexpensive lobsters, yes, but it all added up to $87 with tax and tip. Still, it was quite a treat. Paul said it made him feel like he's retired, to have a nice, indulgent lunch on a weekday.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#9 StephanieL

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 12:26 AM

I agree with Suzanne's assessment of both the steamed lobster and the Albariño (which is now $10/glass). I was very happy after my meal.  No dessert--I went to Dough down the block and got a Mexican chocolate La Newyorkina paleta.


"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." --John Steinbeck

 

"Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."--Arsenic and Old Lace

 


#10 Suzanne F

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:49 PM

Expanded menu!


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#11 Wilfrid

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 03:31 PM

Different burgers and lobsters!



#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 03:50 PM

Right:  they still don't have to change the name.


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#13 small h

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 04:01 PM

I approve, especially since the waitstaff will now have to slow down a little and let you contemplate the menu. I love the place, but on my first visit a server pressed me to order food and drink at the same time (what? you can't decide now? you only have three choices!), and I didn't get my cocktail 'til 10:00 after my lobster arrived.



#14 Sneakeater

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 04:06 PM

Places that deliver cocktails after the food -- and they are legion -- should be torched.


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#15 small h

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 04:22 PM

It's inexcusable. The next time I went to B&L, I refused to order food until I got my drink. I got a cold stare. But I also got to enjoy my cocktail and my entree at the same time.