Great burgers aren't that hard to find. Most restaurants, though, take short cuts and feature previously frozen fries. Not these three:
HOUSTON'S , 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-873-1454
At this Roosevelt Field branch of a small national chain, burgers are crusty, juicy, smoky. The beef is ground on premises, grilled over hickory and served on a house-made butter-grilled egg bun, accompanied by freshly cut shoestring fries.
BOBBY'S BURGER PALACE , 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-877-7777, and 355 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, 631-382-9590
Iron Chef Bobby Flay's burger chain sears burgers on both sides on a flat-top grill before steaming them. They're plump, juicy, cooked to requested doneness. Flay's very good hand-cut fries come with a mayonnaise-based dipping sauce.
The burger at this gastropub is hand-formed, cooked on a griddle and pressed with a mallet. The juicy result comes on a toasted brioche bun with tomato, red onions and pickles. On the side are dark and nutty hand-cut fries.