Friday, October 31, 2014

GO Burger

New burger places seem to be popping up all around me on the Upper East Side. Yes, they’re usually a new outpost for an existing restaurant, but I’ll take it. More inexpensive, decent comfort food options!

GO Burger is owned by the BLT Hospitality Group, which owns all the various BLT restaurants around the city as well as a GO Burger truck and a GO Burger restaurant in Midtown. PS and I walked across Second Avenue to the Upper East Side location, with its garage-door storefont (rolled up, naturally, for business). They opened months ago, but until a couple of weeks ago I never got around to visiting. I was promised many interesting burgers and toppings, “spiked” milkshakes and other alcoholic beverages if I desired, and reasonable prices.

First order of business was drinks. GO Burger has a few decent beers on draft, so I chose the old reliable Sixpoint Brownstone, she a Dark ‘N’ Frozen milkshake — vanilla, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and ginger beer added on the side. This was really big, and pretty tasty, I admit, but it honestly better be for $12.

(My beer was rather sloppily delivered by the server. I’m pretty good at not spilling beer.)

Hey, look! There’s fried pickles on the menu! Just like every other place in the city. But you never know when you’ll find that diamond in the rough. These pickles are heavily battered before heading to the fry basket, so while there are only around eight in an order, it’s a lot of food.

But alas, like more contenders for the title of Best Fried Pickle, these were mostly batter, and not enough pickle. The pickles are tangy, certainly, but there isn’t enough there. And they’re easy to pull from their doughy cocoon, leaving their empty casing behind to be dipped into the unmemorable sauce.

Then the burgers arrived. PS went the a la carte route, choosing the basic burger with bacon and a fried egg. The bun is toasted really well, the better to hold up to the eggy onslaught.

This arrived cooked properly (medium rare), and altogether the toppings were very good. The only problem? The meat. It tasted like it hadn’t been seasoned whatsoever. No salt, no pepper, no anything. Just plain, boring ground beef.

I’d ordered sweet potato fries on the side, which definitely were winners. I have nothing but positive thoughts on virtually every sweet potato fry I’ve found in the city (except maybe my own): crisp exterior, fluffy, hot interior, a good dose of salt, so much sweet, sweet potato flavor.

Back to the burgers. I hoped for better with my “UltiMELT”: a burger topped with caramelized onions and bacon, sandwiched between two “slender” rye-gruyere grilled cheese sandwiches. As you can see, those are indeed slender sandwiches. Regular bread would have been uncomfortably dry, I think, as did Go Burger apparently. They skimp on the cheese in the sandwiches, I suppose because of the gruyere on the hamburger itself.

As with PS’s burger, it was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, and the onions and cheese, being near perfect toppings themselves, made this a very tasty burger with the rye toast. And as with PS’s burger, there was no flavor in the meat. I understand if you have high-quality meat you want to showcase its flavor unadorned, but if the beef is bland, you do it no favors by not at least salting it a bit. For $14, I doubt I’ll return to this burger.

Incidentally, eventually due to the shape of the grilled cheeses, you’ll end up with two juice-soaked slender grilled cheeses with onion, sans meat. There’s nothing wrong with this.

I’m glad I went to GO Burger, and I’ll probably find myself there again. It’s got a few sides, like the jalapeno poppers, I’d like to try again, and those sweet potato fries are top shelf. And maybe the burgers just had an off night, right? If I get another bland burger, though, I’ll just return to one of the other dozen burger places in my neighborhood and not think twice about it. I want GO Burger to measure up, but I can’t abide beef failure.

GO Burger on Urbanspoon
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Comments

14 Responses to “GO Burger”
  1. Is ginger beer alcoholic? Is that stuff good on its own? I’m sad about your fried pickles, but glad they shouldn’t have made the cut for my fried pickle article anyway.

    • BeerBoor says:

      Ginger beer is kind of like root beer, and isn’t alcoholic for any version you’ll see for sale nowadays. There was plenty of run rum in the milkshake.

      I will continue to order fried pickles, and I think I’ll continue to be disappointed.

      • CheeeeEEEEse says:

        Ginger beer is actually pretty good. It’s a little spicy usually though. Personally I’d choose birch beer over root and ginger any day though.

        • I don’t like ginger, so I doubt I’d try it, but was curious in any case.

          Run in the milkshake = FAIL

          And you live close enough to the best fried pickles in the city that you should never be disappointed.

  2. Victor says:

    I would avoid go burger. The burger are never prepared correctly and are not very good. Way overpriced and just not a good burger joint.

    Better options:
    Feedyourhole

    • BeerBoor says:

      If only feedyourhole A)showed up anywhere near where I live or work, or at times otherwise that I could travel to see them, or B)didn’t act all PR-y when they “introduced” themselves on Midtown Lunch a few months back.

      GO prepared our burgers correctly, they just lacked flavor. How often do you eat at GO (and not your own truck) that you can proclaim they “never” are prepared correctly?

  3. T.C. says:

    Mmm pickle pucks. It fine unless no pickle goodness present.
    Too bad about unseasoned beef. Can’t count on toppings alone,

  4. CT says:

    I love sweet potato fries! Maybe you should practice making yours better… maybe on, say, a certain day coming up when you’ll have plenty of taste testers around??!! :D

  5. Hungry says:

    I went to BLT Burger in the West Village. Hmm, I wonder if it’s a Go Burger now…or not. I’m confused with the affiliation.

  6. AzianBrewer says:

    What is it with the burger fad lately?? Seems like every wannabe is jumping to this Shake Shack wagon. Tried BRGR in Midtown recently and it’s just another over-hyped and overpriced “grass fed” dump.

    • BeerBoor says:

      These guys had a truck and another location before this one; apparently people kept going back because they liked it. The pedigree was strong, I just didn’t think it executed.

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