In the dim light of the tapas bar, the darkling burger carries the promise of extra goodness.
We’re used to burgers being made of ground beef, or other ground meat. And it’s usually raw, unprocessed meat we’re talking about, even if the cuts are exotic (such as Shake Shack’s brisket and short rib, or DB Bistro’s foie gras burger). But what if you used meat that had already been ground, flavored, and even partly cooked?
The oozing interior of Mercado’s chorizo burger
The sausage used to make Mercado’s chorizo burger is strongly flavored, probably with paprika, garlic, and red wine, the way most Spanish chorizo is. The meat is very coarsely ground, which is an innovation in itself, and the patty is grilled over wood in one of the two ovens that flicker at the side of the room.
The burger, topped with frizzled leeks, verges on spectacular, and retains its greasiness and juiciness when done somewhere between medium and medium rare. Of all the things cooked in the oven at Mercado, this might be the best. Kind of counterintuitive, to go to a tapas bar for a burger (and not a slider, either!). And the homemade potato chips are an added plus.
Mercado on Kent
291 Kent Avenue
Our chorizo burger was cooked in the oven at the left.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 20, 2012