Recently, I had been working with an old friend from school on a book cover for his forthcoming novel and he has a particular penchant for the good old american standard otherwise known as the burger. So when another friend suggested a burger joint that had duck fat french fries I quickly saw an opportunity to kill a bunch of birds (or cows) with one stone.
Located in the neighborhood of 75th st. and 2nd avenue, GoBurger is a destination for those who have a penchant for delicious burgers. With another location in Los Angeles, Goburger serves up a complete menu that includes everything from fish and chips to kobe beef hot dogs. The decor is trendy but inviting. A bit of a tight fit while your waiting for a table, but once you get past the bar the space opens up. Before I get to the food let me explain my views on burgers in general.
I like a good burger now and then, but if I choose to have one there are a few things that I look for. The bun is crucial. A bun that is doughy, floury, flavorless has no business swaddling a worthwhile burger. Sesame seeds or not, the bun I crave has to be light and airy. Hopefully with a hint of buttery goodness on the outside crust. I often say that the perfect burger bun would be made of the same bread as a chinese roast pork bun (or Char Siu Bow). If you’ve ever eaten at a Fuddrucker restaurant they have just such a bun. From there the meat has to be firm but not tough. Most of all it has to have the “beef” flavor… like a good steak but all chopped up (duh, the definition of a hamburger patty). On a personal note I also have a huge thing for fried eggs on my burger and don’t forget the mayo… that’s a tip you can take or ignore, but I think it moves even a mediocre burger to the next level.
So now let’s talk GoBurgers’ burgers. How do they stack up in the universe of ground beef on a bun. I ordered the Prime STEAKHOUSE Burger. A custom blend of 30-day dry aged prime beef (Brisket, Short ribs, Sirloin) topped with caramelized onions. Then you just add a fried egg, Vermont cheddar cheese, mayo and a bit of ketchup. I figured if I was going to sample and review this joint I might as well go “all in”. My compatriot ordered the Smashed burger, a grilled hand smashed burger studded with onions and topped with American cheese. All I can say is his looked very good. What I can say about mine was … Mmmm! On the first level, GoBurgers’ bun is right on the money. Fluffy but not doughy, sweet but not distracting. Then before I got to the ridiculously buttery, meaty, beefy center of this burger, something hit me like a rush of cold arctic air on a 95 degree day…. the perfectly executed fried egg. I have never had one this good on a burger. As I bit down on my first bite the yolk broke in my mouth and spread over the patty like 24k gold lava. It was like a 1-2 knock out punch.. the rich warm yolk hitting my taste buds followed by a portable Peter Luger steak…POW! This was as good as a burger gets (so far…I still have not tried Hubert Keller’s burger joint in Vegas where you can add a lobster tail to you burger).
As for the rest of the food… its only ok. The fried pickles were good, the wings average, and the peanut butter milkshake I ordered came back as a peanut butter, chocolate and banana “Monkey Business” shake… very disappointing. The duck fat fries were excellent, but not exceptional considering it had the words duck and fat in the name. They were like great Deli french fries.. think Katz’s.
I figure it this way, you aren’t going to Go Burger for the fish and chips (although I think I will go back and sample). So if its burgers you want, cooked right by those who are not kidding around, you could do worse than to stop in and sample the carnivorous offerings of GoBurger.