|The Red Rooster Burger|
The Cheese: Cheddar
The Bun: Brioche
Flip Tip: Burger at lunch/brunch only. Try the corn bread with honey butter!
Red Rooster is, burger aside, a veritable hot spot. Located several miles north of whatever line many Manhattanites say they would never dare cross, Marcus Samuelsson's newest venture draws crowds to Harlem for a hearty Swedish-influenced American comfort food experience.
At risk of sounding indecisive, this burger was a tough nut to crack. The meat, a house-ground blend of chuck mixed with dry-aged trimmings, was massive, juicy, and rich. I chose to omit Red Rooster's recommended grilled mushrooms, but the other accoutrements -- lettuce, tomato, and thinly sliced onion -- added crisp textures without eclipsing the meat. The cheddar cheese was nothing to write back downtown about -- though melted well, it added little flavor. Finally, with every bite, I found myself gulping water in an attempt to quench a spicy mayo-induced fire. Though the menu gives fair warning, this burger could have done without the caustic condiment.
Throughout our meal I experienced an excruciating case of buyer's remorse as I ogled my compatriots' sumptuous Swedish meatballs, hearty Mac & Greens, and Southern-style fried chicken (dubbed "Yard Bird"). On its own I would call the Red Rooster burger passable, but alongside so many other appealing choices I would strongly recommend steering clear of this average entree.