You can't go home again, says Thomas Wolfe. Either home changes, or you change. I returned to Island Burgers & Shakes after seeing The Colbert Report this week, and I'm not sure which of us has changed, but I couldn't go home again.
Shake Shack and HB Burger, or the nearby Five Napkin Burger. They still shine in their selection of toppings, excellent pickles, and soothing, decadent shakes, but after sampling more of what the city has to offer in the burger department, they are decidedly middling.
The issue is not the size- they make a hefty patty, and put a good sear on it. But the meat is so bland that it fades into the crowd of toppings. This time I had a Top & Pop's with Thai peanut sauce, raw jalapenos and roasted peppers on a ciabatta roll. Last time the sourdough bread and sesame seed buns disintegrated around the juicy burger so I opted for a more robust roll; the bottom still got so soaked it was threatening to fall apart, so I ate it upside down.
HB Burger- who use Pat LaFrieda beef- and there's no contest. Island Burger needs a better meat mix to stay in the running. Game over man, game over.
© 2010 Thomas Pluck.
Monday, May 3, 2010
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