The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Messy eating is part of the fun at the new DirtyBurger, which takes over the former Cheeburger Cheeburger space in the same Plainview shopping center as Fairway.
The simply but cheerfully decorated spot, with its enthusiastic crew, specializes not only in dirty burgers but all kinds of dirtified items. Chef Ian Russo dips the burger (or other protein) into dirty dust, a blend containing cayenne pepper. After grilling, a bit of honey adds sweetness to mitigate the heat.
Dirty wings ($8.95), deep fried and tossed with either dirty dust or a dirty barbecue sauce, came out crisp and subtly spicy both ways. Hard to say which way was better; both outdid most conventional wing treatments Ive come across. And an appetizer of dirty PIB, or pigs in blankets ($7.95), were wrapped in dough, baked and dusted with the dirty spice mixture. Irresistible.
I was less enamored of the eponymous dirty burger, a saucy affair which I was told could not be ordered rare. Medium-rare, here, registered more like medium. But sweet and salty dirty ribs ($15.95) were tender and delectable slow-cooked, hoisin-lacquered and finished with a sprinkling of feta. Dont knock it if you havent tried it.
Dirty hand-cut fries were very good, dirty sweet potato fries even better. And a dirty chocolate milk shake, with the signature spice mixture blended in, tasted more or less like a regular chocolate milk shake.
DirtyBurger is at 12 Manetto Hill Rd., Plainview, 516-59-7399, discoverdirty.com.