The 10 best burgers on Long Island
You'll know it at first bite -- that one burger delectable enough to steal your heart. You might meet it at a casual order-at-the counter eatery. Or a dark and atmospheric pub -- the old-fashioned kind or the newfangled gastro variety. Even at a dedicated burger cafe. Anywhere, really. Accordingly, our 10 favorite Long Island burgers come from all over. They're listed alphabetically -- except for the number one pick, which owns top spot. -- JOAN REMINICK, firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP PICK ? CHEESEBURGER at Houston's ($16 at lunch, $17 at dinner), Garden City: At the handsome Roosevelt Field branch of a small national chain, the loosely formed patty comes off an oak-fired grill gorgeously crusted, rich-tasting, subtly imbued with wood smoke. The chuck is ground in house and seasoned with a proprietary spice blend before hitting the fire. It's served on a house-made, butter-grilled egg bun topped with Cheddar, lettuce, excellent tomatoes, mayonnaise, pickles and onions. Sharing the plate are shoestring fries.
STEAKHOUSE BURGER at BBD?s ($15), Rocky Point: The 12-ounce Steakhouse burger (top) at this trendy spot is smoky and delicious. The meat is ground in house, grilled over wood and charcoal and served on a a toasted brioche bun with the restaurant?s logo branded into the top. Crinkle cut fries come gratis, but you?ll have to pay an extra $2 to get the freshly cut variety. (Oct. 25, 2013)
LA BURGER at Bobby's Burger Palace ($7.75), Garden City and Lake Grove: At Iron Chef Bobby Flay's burger chain, a standout is the L.A. burger, topped with avocado relish, Cheddar, watercress and tomato. The meat, certified Angus beef (with an 80-20 fat-to-lean ratio) is seared on both sides on a flat-top grill, then steamed. The result is plump and juicy, done to request. Flay's very good hand-cut fries cost extra. (June 27, 2013)
SIRLOIN BURGER AU POIVRE at The Brass Rail ($15), Locust Valley: At his bustling gastropub, chef Kent Monkan serves a sirloin burger au poivre in a class by itself. It's made with freshly ground sirloin with an 88-12 ratio of fat-to-lean that's grilled over charcoal and served on a toasted, seeded bun with caramelized onions, mushrooms and Swiss. On the side: a peppercorn dipping sauce, shoestring fries and slaw. (Feb. 25, 2011)
IRISH BURGER at Main Street Cafe ($12.95), Northport: This cozy Northport pub hand-shapes a half pound of Black Angus beef before chargrilling it to a smoky juiciness. It's served on a toasted potato bun and topped with chopped red onion, roasted red peppers; spicy mustard served on the side. Comes with fries, a salad or the side dish of choice. (June 22, 2013)
MORNING ROSE CAFE ($15), Bellmore: At this charming breakfast and lunch spot, chef Roberto Baez turns out a bodacious burger ? crusty, juicy and smoky. The blackened picante version (pictured) is topped with pickled cherry peppers, avocado, queso blanco and a honey-chipotle sauce. Difficult, though, for the human mouth to handle without resorting to knife and fork. Served in a little bag on the side are hand-cut fries with the clean, toasty flavor of good potatoes.
CLASSIC BURGER at Old Fields ($11.95), Greenlawn: At this friendly neighborhood gastropub, the classic burger is all about smoky, juicy, beefy goodness. Chef Luke Desanctis uses an 80-20 fat-to-lean ratio of round and short rib cooked on a gas grill. They're served on buttered and grilled sesame brioche buns topped with lettuce and tomato and, for $1.50 extra, cheese. Comes with choice of fries or another side. (June 26, 2013)
CHEESEBURGER at Relish ($10.99), Kings Park: Chef Steve Cardello makes a delectable cheeseburger using freshly ground chuck (80-20 fat-to-lean ratio) seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper and served on a buttered and grill-toasted potato bun. Comes with excellent hand-cut fries. (June 26, 2013)
MALLET BURGER at Sapsuckers Hops & Grub ($15), Huntington: The Painted Hills Farms burger served at this gastropub is hormone- and antibiotic-free. The ground beef shoulder meat is hand-formed, cooked on a griddle and pressed with a mallet, coming off juicy and full of flavor before being placed on a toasted brioche bun and topped with tomato, red onions and pickles. On the side: terrific hand-cut fries and half-sour pickles. (June 26, 2013)
SHACK BURGER at Shake Shack ($4.60 single; $7.20 double), Westbury: There's good reason people line up at Danny Meyer's nexus for burgers, dogs and shakes. The simple Shack Burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, American cheese and the mayo-based "Shack Sauce," is a juicy treat and unquestionably one of the area's best values. Made with a proprietary blend of freshly ground all-natural Angus beef, the patties come off the griddle crusted and juicy, done to specifications and tucked inside a buttered and toasted Martin's potato bun. (June 21, 2013)