What I Ordered
- Pimento Cheese Dip
- Pork Belly
- Steak Bites
- Cheese Pimiento Dip
- B&G Burger
- Waygu Burger
In Short: In the midst of decking the halls, and holiday cheer it’s nice to breakaway from the hustle and bustle of the season and have a choice piece of meat that warms your belly and fills your heart with the feeling of coming home.
Review By: Andrea Gohlke –
This isn’t a post for someone who doesn’t like eating meat. If you are a Vegetarian, stop right here, do a u-turn and exit as hastily as possible. Four burger eaters came together the other evening to break bread and eat meat. The concept and the love affair that all share for burgers is simple, you can never have too many burgers.
You have to know that when you’re rubbing elbows with burger heavy hitters such as Burger Conquest, Burger Weekly, and Gotham Burger Social Club that nobody is messing around. It was settled upon to get our eat on in the Upper West Side at Barley & Grain. Happy hour commences from 5 -7PM and we conveniently decided to park ourselves around the table at 5:30. Half-off smoked pork belly with a quail egg sitting atop French toast? Done. Steak bites that melt in your mouth? Hard to say no! A little pimento cheese dip to accompany the whiskey or IPA? Don’t mind if we do. Just warming up our bellies for some blissful bites of meat.
Conversation and epic recommendations were flying around the table before you could finish chewing. Gotham Burger Social club found on Instagram, is a group of burger aficionados seeking a communal eating experience on a monthly basis. Burger Weekly’s mission, just as it sounds, is consuming delicious burgers throughout New York and expanding its palate with their national and international burgermeisters. Last but certainly not least, Burger Conquest is the King Kong of burger tasters. If there is a burger in NY chances are it’s been consumed by BC. I thought I liked my meat before I walked out of the restaurant with an entire compendium of places and varietals of burger joints to try.
All four of us went medium rare on the burger. The gents went for a more upgraded version that included pork belly, BBQ sauce and caramelized onions. Mine was simple in description but packed a major punch. Pickled cucumbers, field greens, and a pillowy pretzel bun. While I can’t chime in on a top ten burgers of the year conversation, I can say that was top ten of my life. My Waygu beef was to.die.for. I will say it again, the Waygu beef was to.die.for. I had only had Waygu previously in steak form, and Rev of Burger Conquest said he had just made a mouthwatering Waygu chili earlier in the week. Chili tasters needed? I can conveniently be available. I gauged the rest of my fellow eaters response after we had all taken snapshots of our meal (it’s what food bloggers do) and there was a blanket of silence for several moments as we all savored the flavor.
My takeaway from the meal after discussing the benefits of additional accoutrements, such as ketchup and tomatoes [this after I had piled both on my creation], is that a restaurant can get beautiful choice meat but how they prepare it can make or break the essence of the burger. Barley & Grain did a phenomenal job of maintaining the integrity of the meat and making this my best burger of 2013. A side of spicy Cajun fries accompanies the burger, which made me pleased that I had walked to the eatery. I’ve added this to my new roster of burger joints to recommend, and look forward to developing the list. Until the next burger, cheers.
To make a reservation at Barley & Grain, call 646-360-3231.