178 East 7th St
New York, NY 10009
I love New York’s East Village, or as I call it, The EVILL. I’ve spent a significant portion of my 15 years living here hanging out inside of it. The history, the people, the bars and the restaurants are just amazing. Now that I own a bar inside of the EVILL, Idle Hands Bar – 25 Avenue B, Downstairs, I get to spend a lot of time exploring it. With fun events like the Thrillist Rewards EVILL Craft Beer Crawl, others are getting a great chance to hang out in the best neighborhood for craft beer in the city.
But that’s not all that’s here, there’s also a ton of great, great food and thanks to websites like NearSay, a neighborhood specific social community, I am finding more and more of them. Most recently several people including Trevor from NearSay tipped me off about Korzo Haus.
Korzo Haus is the East Village offshoot of Czechoslovakian natives Otto and Maria Zizak original Korzo restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn. They’ve taken their years of culinary training in European restaurants and love for comfort foods and created a unique set of restaurants with a menu based on their native cuisine. Perhaps best known for their Halušky, a heaping plate of Potato Spaetzle that is best served with Bryndza Cheese and crispy Bacon, is often compared to Mac ‘N Cheese. The fried version of the dish is as addictive as food can be and you will most certainly have trouble keeping from scooping handfuls of it into your mouth. Everything at Korzo Haus is as locally sourced, hand-made and organic as it possibly can be, including the beer! Otto has teamed up with the famed Peak Organic brewery to create the delicious Korzo Organic Ale. They also offer a number of other interesting craft beers, most of which are European, along with Salads, interesting sides like Whole-Wheat house made, Pulled Pork Pierogies and more main course style offerings that will appease the staunchest carnivores and the most militant vegetarians. It’s a tiny little rustic restaurant with only a few tables and counter spaces all hiding behind a MASSIVE gothic looking wood door.
The Korzo Burger has been on the top of my “TO EAT” burger list for sometime now so when Michael Cadoux from the Peak Organic Brewery demanded I go with him and our buddy Phil from Manhattan Beer Distributors, the only answer I could give was “when?”
Korzo Organic Ale
The fantastic malty beer has a more European style taste to it than the other Peak Organic beers. There is so much delicious flavor that you’ll find yourself trying to bite as you drink through its smoothness. You’re gonna want to pound these back it but contain yourself and don’t waste the taste baby!
To make this soon to be legendary Korzo Burger, Otto hand grinds the grass fed Meat each morning that he gets from local producer. It’s placed briefly on the grill and cooked to just slightly above a rare temperature (you can request that it be cooked more but please, for the love of Halušky, don’t.) Then it’s placed inside what they call Langos. It’s a house made Hungarian deep fried Bread, the recipe of which has been handed down 3 generations to Maria, that has a Lavosh turned Biscuit like presentation. Along with the Meat, Korzo Haus shmears in a little of their house made Mustard made from Saskatchewan Seeds soaked in the Korzo Organic Ale. They’re joined by crispy Apple-Wood smoked Bacon, Allgauer Emmentaller (Swiss) Cheese and then briefly deep-fried inside the Langos.
Take a deep breath. I know you need one. The same thing is going to happen when it’s placed in front of you.
The Korzo Burger is amazing. That’s really the easiest way to sum it up. The crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside Langos is such a genius addition to a Burger. Aside of the tasty flavor, the Bun to Beef ratio and complete patty enclosure guarantees you a delicious burger with NO loss of the juices from drippage. The Langos catches every bit and keeps it inside the Burger. Its toasty flavor kind of reminds me of an Elephant Ear, sans all the Sugar. The soft, soft beef holds together and is bursting with a natural beef flavor. Otto must be some kind of top-level food scientist because with all that is happening in the sandwich, the beef manages dominates as the main flavor. With such a delicate and intense creation, there is a lot of room for mistakes and yet there is NOT a single one.
Listen here kids, do NOT miss out on the regular or the fried Halušky because your culinary experience will be as incomplete as that 10th grade Geometry exam you skipped out on to go joy riding with your friends.
My man Otto, hot damn! You say “locally sourced, organic and handmade”, I say “delicious!”
The Korzo Burger is one of the most unique and delicious creations I have ever had the honor and joy of eating. Get your ass down to the EVILL and find out for yourself.
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
Feb. 28, 2011 – 4:32 PM