Bill’s Bar and Burger Review

Hey folks, today I’ll be reviewing Bill’s Bar and Burger. My mom was in town last week and she was going to a museum in the Meatpacking District. I’d heard that Bill’s has good burgers, so we went as a group, me and Megan, my mom, and my cousin and her boyfriend. The restaurant is located at 22 9th Avenue, between 13th and 14th Streets. It’s cozy, and when we were seated in the back room, it was fairly dead, being the start of the lunch hour. It got busier as we ate our meal. The menu was definitely Steven-friendly, which was one of the main reasons I’d picked it. Basically just a lot of meat was what was happening, wings, burgers, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes. Some of the milkshake flavors sounded intriguing, but instead I opted for an Angry Orchard cider. We started with a half dozen buffalo wings, which cost $11.95. That comes out to two dollars a wing, which is pretty freaking overpriced, but it’s Manhattan, an upscale part of town, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. No worries, though, since my mom was paying for it. Thanks, mom! The wings were very good, at least, smoky, saucy, and meaty, with just a bit of a kick from the buffalo sauce. Nothing special, but definitely serviceable.

Next up was the main course, and I felt like I had to go with the burger. I opted to build my own burger. I got mine medium, and added mozzarella and chili. The burger was $9.75, the added cheese was an extra dollar, and the added chili was an extra two dollars. That’s expensive, again, especially since it didn’t come with fries, and I was obliged to add them to the order. They were five dollars. That means that all together I was looking at $17.75. Again, that’s on the expensive side, any way you choose to look at it, but you’re paying for the zip code, so it’s unavoidable. A picture of the burger is below.

Chili Cheeseburger

This was a tasty burger, and, at six ounces, it was a good size, but not excessive. It came with tomato and lettuce, which I removed, but it least there was no hated onion. The chili had beans and brisket, and it was savory rather than sweet, tasting of vinegar a bit. The cheese was stretchy and added a pleasant flavor, and the bun was lightly toasted. Really no complaints, this made for a tasty lunch, particularly with the fries on the side. They’re below.

Fries

They were hot, starchy, and crispy, everything you look for from my favorite side dish. The portion was also ample, but not excessive. When I finished my meal, I was pleasantly full, not overly so. With some good company and conversation, this was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I have no problems recommending Bill’s Bar and Burger based on the quality of the food or the portion size, but I will say that the price is a bit prohibitive. Also, this wasn’t exactly a healthy meal, so I would simply say this: I’d be happy coming back here, but it would have to be an occasional thing, seeing as this sort of meal leaves you a pound or two heavier, and a little lighter in the wallet, too. A long walk afterward might have been my penance, were it not brutally cold on this particular day. Oh well, spring should be here soon.

Brick Lane Curry House Review

My wife Megan and myself recently celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. To commemorate our six years of wedded bliss, we went to Brick Lane Curry House, located at 235 East 53rd Street #1, in Midtown Manhattan. We had been there once before; I used to work right in that area. Brick Lane Curry House is one of a number of Indian restaurants in the area known sometimes as Curry Hill. They usually have similar menus, and lunch buffets. I had wanted to try it originally because it appeared on the show Man vs Food, when the host took the phaal challenge. Phaal is a kind of insanely hot curry this place has…I thought about trying it, but didn’t do it the first time I was there, or this time either. Maybe in my younger days I would have given it a shot. We started with a pair of vegetable samosas, which cost nine dollars. A picture is below.

Potato Samosas 2

 

The picture quality on my camera phone isn’t great, and the place was pretty dark, but you get the idea. These were delicious, with two to an order. The pastry crust was crispy, but thick enough to contain the puree of potatoes and peas, which was perfect when topped off with a dab of chutney. Then it was on to the main course. My wife got chicken saag, which is chicken with spinach. Needless to say, it didn’t appeal to me much. I got the chicken vindaloo, which cost twenty dollars. A picture of it is below.

Chicken Vindaloo 2

 

It also came with rice and peas pilaf, below.

Rice Pilaf 2

 

Lastly, we got two orders of garlic naan, which cost five dollars each. They also have several other varieties of naan, but we pretty much always order garlic; it’s the old standby.

Garlic Naan 2

 

The naan was delicious, fluffy yet crispy, buttery, with big pieces of garlic. The rice and peas pilaf was fine, nothing special. The chicken vindaloo was seriously super-fiery, as the server had warned me. I tasted the heat of the peppers with the first bite, and, as I continued eating, I broke out in sweat across my brow and under my armpits. It definitely cleared up my sinuses! I had no one to blame but myself ordering something so hot, as I have the tendency to do, so no problems there.

Really, all the food was fine, or better than fine…the only problem, really, was the price. I know we were in Midtown, and things are going to be more expensive there than they are in our neighborhood, Bay Ridge, for instance, but it still kind of sucked paying more for each item than we might have elsewhere. The vindaloo, for instance, would have run us twelve dollars around here versus twenty there, and the samosas for nine would have been six here. Her entree was overpriced too. With two glasses of wine for Megan and two beers for me, plus tip, our bill was over a hundred dollars. A similar meal here would have been about sixty. So, do I recommend Brick Lane Curry House? I do, based on the quality of the meal, but it would have to be an occasional choice, unless you have no problem paying for overpriced food. In any event, it was a happy anniversary dinner, and a good time was had by both of us.