While they were once known as the cheap (but tasty) way to eat beef, burgers have been climbing up the economic pole over the past few years. Where you could once get a juicy patty on a bun with a heaping side of fries for under double digits, that’s no longer the case — or, at least, rarely. Umami Burger (432 Avenue of the Americas; 212-677-8626), though, has options that ring in at under a Hamilton (that’s $10, in case you didn’t know).
Like with most other high-end burger joints, the majority of the menu here is priced in the teens, not including fries. But for those looking to get a ground-meat patty sammie on a budget, there are affordable lunch and dinner options.
For lovers of spice, the Hatch combines roasted green chiles, Cali cheese, and roasted garlic aioli. The creamy ingredients do slightly damper the heat of the peppers, so the flavors marry in a somewhat subtle way, but there is definitely a kick — and the resulting high from the spicy endorphin release. Sold for $9.50 a pop (sorry, no fries), it also feels good on the wallet.
A bit cheaper and a bit more in line with the umami theme is the $8 Throwback. Two seared beef patties are topped with white cheddar cheese, miso mustard, umami house ketchup, soy pickles, and minced onion. It’s like a burst of salty, meaty flavor in your mouth.
The store specializes in burgers made from beef that’s ground in-house, infused with signature sauce and a house-made umami dust, then seared on a hot plancha (basically, a fancy flat-top). The result is a well-seasoned, juicy burger that isn’t going to kill the bank.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.