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tbeyer

Zinburger Opening in Clifton December 13

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I'm working with Zinburger on their new Clifton restaurant. Wanted to let this group know that Zinburger is opening Monday, December 13 at the Promenade Shops at Clifton (852 Route 3). We are donating 20% of sales all week to the Boys and Girls Club of Clifton. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Here's a link to the press release for all the details: http://tinyurl.com/38j38hh

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I was at the soft opening of Zinburger last night. My photo coverage is at Off The Broiler.

 

NJ Dining: Zinburger

 

5253076371_a268077d3e.jpg

 

That's a nice summary of the restaurant, and great pictures. Gotta put it on the ever growing list of places to visit.

 

Did the owners mention if they have other locations underway, or is this the pilot location for a while?

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As far as I know, this is the only one they've planned.

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Looks very interesting. Looks good. I've heard a lot of good things about this place from friends out West. Actually, as a side note, a small group of us were talking about looking into opening one here in NJ. The plans went elsewhere but there was positive comments.

 

Anyway, being that I heard good things from friends out West, I am looking forward to getting there this week. I'll be in Clifton one late afternoon and I'll be meeting a few friends to grab a drink and a bite.

 

Personally, I think this is the kind of place that can do good. High-volume, high-traffic area (I think, LOL). Not fast food burgers (heaven forbid, LOL) and not pub-grub type burgers. Plus, they have more than burgers. Wine, beer, liquor -- well, that's a hook. LOL.

 

My personal likes, dislikes, tastes, etc. -- I would rather go to a Bobby Flay's than a fast-food burger place. When I am in the mood, I like the pub-grub burger also. This is another option and one I think I'll like.

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I think griddle, I didn't get that close to the kitchen.

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Deb Galant of Baristanet reports on her visit during the press preview. Overall, she seemed to be impressed, but there were some foul ups. The double truffle fries weren't double truffled enough, for example. And, there was an abundance of salt in some items.

 

Although the restaurant doesn't normally do reservations, they did for the press preview.

 

On Saturday night, Zinburger let press and other friends try it out for free. Service was slow and disorganized (our burgers were delivered to another table and had to be re-made and a gingerbread milkshake took forever). Despite a 5:15 p.m. reservation we barely made a 6:55 p.m. movie at Clifton Commons. But the waiters and managers were so abjectly apologetic that it was impossible not to forgive them.

 

The hamburgers were good, if a little salty. (A staff person came around and asked specifically about the salt, which they’d been experimenting with). I had the Zinburger ($10), with Manchego cheese and Zinfandel-braised onions. Mista Bartista had the Kobe Burger ($14), with cheddar and wild mushrooms. His only complaint was that the bun didn’t quite stand up to the moisture of a burger ordered medium rare. We both enjoyed our wines, a Malbec for me and the Zen for Zin for him.

 

Zinburger

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Deb Galant of Baristanet reports on her visit during the press preview. Overall, she seemed to be impressed, but there were some foul ups. The double truffle fries weren't double truffled enough, for example. And, there was an abundance of salt in some items.

 

Zinburger

 

There were definitely service issues, but it was a soft opening in which they completely maxxed out the tables to stress test the place. I'm not sure why restaurants do this for soft events in which they invite press (smashburger did the exact same thing on its Clifton soft opening) it pretty much is going to guarantee that there are issues because the staff is green and is not ready to handle the load under worst-case conditions. It's not a realistic indication of how well a restaurant performs under normal circumstances. I definitely let the owners know about it but it's not something I feel is relevant to my own coverage.

 

I feel that my primary function as an independent blogger is to help these restaurants succeed, not to fail, and help diners make their own decisions about whether or not they should eat there and what they should order. A soft opening with the bases loaded for stress testing is not a good indicator, so all I can do is photograph the food and make reasonable assumptions of what the place would be like on a normal evening or a weeekend.

 

We had a seasoning problem (oversalting) on two burgers (The kobe and the turkey), and one that had to be re-made (NJ breakfast burger) because of an allergy issue with one of the people joining us (can't eat roasted peppers). The allergy issue was one where the server did properly write down "Peppers on the side" (I read the original ordering pad, paper, not computerized) but the kitchen staff did not read it.

 

The truffle fries I didn't think were un-truffley, in fact the aoli has plenty of that flavoring on it and there was a very distinct flavor of them on the fries themselves. I think this is a flavor where it's very easy to get out of control on and they used it on this dish pretty effectively. Normally I hate "truffle fries" because places tend to use a synthetic truffle oil on these things unless it is a very expensive, high-quality truffle infused olive oil, like the one they sell at D'Artagnan.

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Elisa Ung has a posting on the NorthJersey blog about a new Zinburger offering. A burger on brioche with cheddar, pastrami, Gulden's, etc. Limited time availability

 

 

Jet Fuel for Gang Green

 

That actually sounds good in a 3am drive back from the city, pre hangover kind of way. lol

 

I'm sure the grease drips down to your elbows eating that.

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Elisa Ung has a posting on the NorthJersey blog about a new Zinburger offering. A burger on brioche with cheddar, pastrami, Gulden's, etc. Limited time availability

 

 

Jet Fuel for Gang Green

 

That actually sounds good in a 3am drive back from the city, pre hangover kind of way. lol

 

I'm sure the grease drips down to your elbows eating that.

 

I stopped by Zinburger for lunch today, and the guy at the next table had the "Jet Fuel" burger and pastrami and everything else. It was a massive piece of work, probably six or seven inches high. Looked pretty good, although I'm sure it has a zillion (zinnion?) calories and a few oz of grease.

 

They were really pushing the Jet Fuel, with a lavish description in each spiel.

 

Sweet potato fries were hot and OK. I don't esp like shoestring sweet potatoes and these did nothing to change that opinion. My preference is for thicker fries where you can taste the sweetness and creaminess.

 

Dee had the Kobe burger which she liked very much. Perfectly medium rare, thin char, pink to small red centers. $15. Good, substantial roll which was needed because this thing just flowed grease. Turn the burger on an angle to bite into it, and expect a flow of grease down your arm. I noticed several people leaning forward to eat over the plate and minimize the potential for drips on themselves.

 

I had their Zinburger, which was OK. $10. Ordered medium rare, received rare. Loose burger, but not as loose as I expected. Huge pile of onions cooked in grease and red wine on top, exceptionally fragrant.

 

As noted, it was an OK burger. Not excellent, but perhaps another 30 seconds would have rendered a good medium rare burger with a little less than the copious grease I had. Compared to yesterday's Krug's burger, Zin was significantly wanting, and double the price.

 

The Angeline Pinot Noir was $8 for a generous pour, but that's not a great deal when the wine retails for about $12 a bottle. Pleasant wine, and I'd certainly consider buying some on my own, but not again at $8 a glass.

 

Pre-tip, the bill came to $45, including a $5 pint of Blue Moon for Dee. $45 for two burgers, one beer, one glass of wine, and fries is a lot of money for what's on the table.

 

That said, the place was about 1/2 filled at 1pm, with business people, many groups of 2 and 3 women, and a few single people. The staff was energetic and abundant. I started to count, and gave up at 12 plus two managers. Three young women attended the front door.

 

It's probably worth noting that the first few tables in the bar section and the window end of the bar are in a direct line with the wind tunnel created every time the front door opens. I'd avoid those seats in the future.

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