Bowery Burger at New York Burger Co.

Bowery Burger at New York Burger Co.

New York Burger Co.'s Bowery Burger

When you crave a hamburger, you usually go upscale or down. On the downscale side, you may walk into Five Guys, a diner, or even Burger King or Wendy's. Upscale, find yourself at maybe Minetta Tavern (where you can actually get a seat at lunch), 5 Napkin, or even Brasserie Ruhlmann. But there are midrange options, too.

Bowery Burger at New York Burger Co.

This looks like Darth Vader's lunch.

One of those, only slightly more expensive than cheap, is New York Burger Co. This chain has been around for a long time, and I can recall getting an excellent burger there where there was only one branch at Herald Square, now long gone.

The meat is of higher quality and freshly ground, and just as important, it's grilled over flame (literature says charcoal-grilled, but that is a load of hooey). There are several burger configurement options, but my current fave is the Bowery Burger. On a patty that looks to be a third of a pound, onion rings, cheddar, and a honey chipotle sauce (not as bad as it sounds, as a matter of fact, quite a decent lube) are piled on. The cost: $7.75. And remember, you don't have to buy fries or onion rings alongside -- they're already in the mix.

Added bonus: You can get them to cook the burger still pink in the middle.

New York Burger Co. 303 Park Avenue South 212-254-2727

Bowery Burger at New York Burger Co.

The unappealing, generic facade of New York Burger Co. -- don't be deterred.

Check out the entire collection of Burgers at Random.

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