THE 4 BORO BIKE AND BURGER TOUR
NATIONAL HAMBURGER MONTH
As National Hamburger Month inches ever closer to an end, I am trying to keep the stories interesting and the Burgers coming. To counterbalance the uptake in intake of delicious Hamburgers, I am spending as much time as possible on my bicycle getting exercise. My fellow bike-gangers and I like to go out on weekends for long excursions, exploring our fine city on two wheels. As this was the final weekend of the month, I put together a very special ride.
The goal was to ride our bikes through Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx, stopping for a Burger in each one. At each stop we all split one Burger so to not become to full or weighed down. Joining me on this quest was my friends Bram, Chris and Rick. Our starting point, Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. From there we crossed into downtown Brooklyn.
67 Lafayette Avenue
Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY 11217-5500
Ever since Ed Tretter and Jeffery Maslanka invited me into their kitchen at the Black Shack on Lex to create the Mayhem Burger, I have been meaning to stop by their 67 Burger in Fort Green, Brooklyn. It’s a no frills, sleek-looking, Burger joint known for serving up some of the juiciest Burgers in all the land. We pulled up in front, locked up the bikes and parked our butts at one of their sidewalk tables. We ordered the Ranch Burger; a 7 oz Patty with Ranch Dressing, Crispy Onions and our choice of cheese, Cheddar.
This may have been the most perfectly cooked medium-rare Burger I have ever seen. ‘Twas a thing of Beauty! We sliced it into 4s and dug in. Wow! We were all taken back at how great this Burger was. The attention to quality product and perfect care was blatantly apparent after only one bite of the freshly ground and seasoned Beef. I will be needing to return for a full Burger experience.
The 67 Ranch Burger was juicy, seasoned well, perfectly cooked to a medium-rare, delicious and well deserving of the title “Best Burger in Brooklyn.”
From there we mounted our “steeds,” and pointed North towards Queens. Rick unfortunately had to pull out of the ride due to some other commitments while the rest of us made our way along Flushing Avenue towards our next goal.
Along our route we bumped into an amazing looking steak house / Latin club / beach garden restaurant called Andres NuevaYor (Andres Carne de Res). You’ll find it just past South of the BQE in Woodside, Queens on 58th St. We were so taken back by the site of this strange looking building that we were willing to alter our Bike and Burger route to eat here. Unfortunately they didn’t have a Burger on the menu but the owner was incredibly friendly offering us a free bottle of water each and wishing us well on our ride. There will have to be a return visit. In the meantime, we had Burger business to attend to in Queens.
30-17 30th Avenue
Astoria, Queens, NY 11102
1 Block West of the 30th Ave N/Q stop in Astoria you’ll find Petey’s Burger. It’s a short order counter designed for fast service and quick dining. There are only a few tables at Petey’s but they also offer a delivery service. Petey, the owner, developed a love for the California style of Burger made famous by places like In-N-Out and decided to bring his own version back to NYC. He uses 100% Natural USA Angus Beef raised on a strict vegetarian diet with no hormones or antibiotics. They also offer a home made Veggie Patty should you not have interest in humanely raised Beef.
I let Chris take charge on this one and he got us a “Cajun Fire” Burger no Tomatoes or Pickles. Unfortunately for Petey and his Burger, all I could taste was the thick cut Onion and Cajun Spices. The Beef was cooked well-done and I really couldn’t get a sense of it due to the spicing. If I were to try this place again, I would go simple Cheese Burger.
With 2 Burgers down, we were half way through the mission. Next we had to cross the Triborough Bridge, crossing over Randall’s Island and then into The Bronx. For some odd reason, you are no longer allowed to bike or take pictures on the bridge. This used to be one of my favorite bridges to ride across due to the low grade and the amazing scenery and although the view is the same, the new rules are lame.
Jimbo’s Hamburger Palace
232 Willis Ave
Mott Haven, The Bronx, NY 10454
For years, us downtowners have heard the rumblings about a Burger chain that is only located in Harlem and The Bronx. It’s called Jimbo’s Hamburger Palace (not to be confused with the similar looking Jumbo’s Hamburgers) and they offer a wide variety of short order food that can be eaten counter style at one of their locations or ordered for delivery. I’ve been to a Jimbo’s in Harlem and other than a few odd looks at three goofy white boys splitting a Burger, the Jimbo’s experience is a pleasant one. At Jimbo’s they’ll flat griddle you up a classic fresh 7 oz Burger, cooked to order on a soft white Bun with Lettuce, Onion and Tomato. If you’re like Bram, you can add on a slice of American Cheese and some crispy bacon.
For an unassuming, short order Burger with virtually no press hype whatsoever, this a Burger worth riding up into The Bronx to try.
The route from Jimbo’s took us North further into the Bronx, hanging a ride on 161st. We made a brief pit stop at Yankees stadium so I could get a photo with my bike and Bram could make a stupid Phillies joke. We peddled across the 161st bridge crossing back into Manhattan, our 4th Boro and pointed North along the Greenway. If you’ve never biked the Greenway, a 33 mile stretch of bike path that circles around Manhattan, you’re missing out. Some of the most scenic and interesting views of the city are only accessible on the Greenway.
Inwood, Manhattan, NY 10034
The Piper’s Kilt of Inwood, located on 207th and Broadway, just steps from the last stop on the A train, is one of 3 restaurants bearing the same name. The other two can be found in Eastchester and also The Bronx. Each of them is a popular local hang where friends, works and especially fireman, gather to enjoy a well known and respected Burger with a couple of beers. At the 23 year old Inwood location, you can sit at the bar or in a booth and order “The Best Hamburger In Town.” However, if you are on bike and don’t have an appropriate lock, you can also order it to go and eat it while standing on the sidewalk!
There’s no fancy toppings or crazy preparations, just a basic White Bun with Lettuce, Onion and Cheese on a 1/2 pound of freshly ground Beef. There are a few extras like BBQ sauce and Chili that you can add on but they certainly aren’t needed.
The Piper’s Kilt Burger is a delicious, thick and juicy pub Burger, the kind this city was built upon and hopefully the same kind that will never disappear.
From Inwood, which is ALL THE WAY at the top of the Manhattan Island, we made a quick jaunt West and shot down the West Side Greenway. We stopped at one of my favorite off the beaten path sights to see in NYC, the Little Red Lighthouse. It was orignally built in 1889 in Sandy Hook, NJ where it sat until 1917. In 1921 it was moved to it’s current position which is now right underneath the George Washington Bridge. You’ll never find this by car so get out on 2 feet or 2 wheels and check it out.!
Chris, who had to get all the way back into Brooklyn, jumped the 1 train at 125th while Bram and I continued down the West Side Greenway. I got off in midtown while Bram headed back to JC.
It was a fantastic and fun way to not only see some of the city but also get out there and try some tasty Burgs! Total RevRides2011 = 38.31 miles of Boros, Burgers and Bikes!
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
May 28, 2011