Corner Shop Cafe
New York, NY 10012
The photos, the reviews, the blog, the social media accounts, the SEO…there’s a lot that goes into me eating a Burger. Seems like a lot just to have a meal and trust me, it is a lot of work. I’m not kidding anyone though, I love it. There are thousands and thousands of people out there who literally know me only through my love of eating and talking about Hamburgers. That’s pretty cool. Sometimes I forget how much I actually love the simple act of just eating a Hamburger. The soft Bread, the melty Cheese, the juicy meat, it’s terribly simple but so good.
Seems funny that the simple act of eating is surrounded by all this other hullabaloo. That’s why I love doing it with the “The Hoboken Chapter of the Burger Club.” Our gatherings always start with a little ritual that requires new members to stand up and proclaim their reason for loving Hamburgers. Then we all do a shot of Jameson and then we eat Burgers together. That’s what the Burger Conquest is all about; enjoying tasty Burgers with old and new friends. We all come from different backgrounds, different places and we only see each other a couple hours here and just talk about Burgers. After the meal is over, we go around the table, talk about our thoughts on the Burger & give it a rating. Our entire time spent together is talking about and eating Burgers.
I of course then go and blog about it.
After much research, John, the Club’s ringleader, announced the first Burger Club meeting of 2013. He had read a bunch of reviews professing love and appreciation for the Hamburger at the Corner Shop Cafe. This restaurant, renovated in 2011 sits in the former location of a 19th century photographer named Mathew Brady. Mathew was a photographical historian most known for his civil war photos including some well noted shots of one Abraham Lincoln. The restaurant now is a cozy little place with a friendly vibe, nice drinks and an interesting menu. The starters menu is longer than any other section of the menu with treats like Mexican Corn on the Cob, Garlic Shrimp & an assorted Cheese plate from Murray’s. You’ll aslo find appetizing Salads, intriguing pastas, including 2 kinds of Mac N Cheese, a short but diverse array of meat oriented entres and of course, 3 different Burgers: Portabello, Yellowfin Tuna & Beef.
When you see “Thai Ginger Chili Chicken Wings” on a menu, you have to order them, or at least I have to. Thankfully for my abdominal curiosity, everyone else felt the same. The Wings were good, certainly a result of being cooked well to a nice crisp. I did find them to be lacking a little in the Meatiness department but the Thai flavorings and heat made these very memorable. Be warned, they certainly aren’t palette scorchers but if you are sensitive to heat, these have a nice kick. On the other side, if you like it hot, dip away at the Sauce which is reminiscent of Sriracha.
In doing research, John had also uncovered quite a few nods towards the Corner Shop Cafe’s Truffle Mac N Cheese. Made with three Cheeses, Truffle Oil, Shiitake Mushrooms and fresh Peas with the choice to add Prosciutto for a couple bucks more. I’ve eaten a lot of Mac in my life and I have to say, this was some of the most scientifically correct au dente Mac I’ve ever eaten. It would be worth a case study to see what temperature, how long & any add-ons that go into the water in the kitchen when these are made. The Cheese was deliciously savory without being too rich. The Peas were a nice addition and used in a sparring nature. I love a restaurant that can relax their hand when adding Truffle Oil. It’s very pungent and has an intense flavor making it really easy to overdue. Not at the Corner Shop, here it’s just right. I will say though, the Mushrooms were unnecessary. The fungus doesn’t really add much flavor but does add a texture that took the focus away from the rest of the dish.
The Burger at the Corner Shop Cafe has an 8 oz. sized, All Natural Grass Fed Beef patty and is served with French Fries, your choice of Spicy, Provencal or Plain. From there you can choose to add Swiss, Cheddar, Blue or Provolone Cheeses as well as Niman Ranch Dry Rubbed Bacon or Avocado. You can also upgrade into Mushrooms, Sweet Caramelized Onions and Truffle Oil, all of which come with an additional charge.
If you are a Bacon fan this Corner Shop Cafe Burger offers one very solid and substantial Bacon experience. It’s thick, smoky, full of flavor and in good quantity. I know Adam Poch was happy about that aspect. I also chose to add Swiss Cheese and Bacon. I love Avocado so much that I will sometimes just eat it right out of the skin with just a spoon. I love the both the texture and the flavor. When I see it on a menu, I usually gravitate right to it. The Avocado on this Burger did not disappoint. It was creamy, fresh and in no short quantity. While I did think it tasted great, it was a mistake. There was just too much of it and it really stole away from what should have been the spotlight, the Beef. The patty, cooked very nicely had, as you would expect, an all natural Beef taste. The problem, it did’t have a lot of it. The Beef needed more seasoning but more than that, it was missing that juiciness you expect and want from a big tasty Burger. I’m not sure if it’s the Beef they used, if the Patty was handled to much or it was lost in the cooking process but what was on the path to being a big hit, fell short just before the finish line. Every aspect of the Burger was on point, even the bready and sturdy Bun, but the Beef itself. Even the Fries were great. Whomever thought to offer Provencal spicing knows their way around taste. It’s a cheaper and more complex idea than just carelessly splashing Truffles on them.
When it came to sharing everyone’s opinions on the Burger, there was a universal theme; the Patty was dry and lacked of juiciness and flavor. Considering the cost of this Burger, clocking in at around a hefty $21, the Club felt very let down. Otherwise, a great experience.
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
January 26 2013 – 8:43 pm