2 Bros. New Burgers Are Like a Better McDonald’s
I love 2 Bros Pizza. Their $1 slices of pizza represent the marriage of value and quality that I believe is at the heart of all the best Midtown Lunches. Back in July we noticed that the newest 2 Bros. (on 46th btw. 5+6th) was going to be launching similarly budget-conscious burgers. Cheap burgers are a more dubious proposition than cheap pizza, but I had to find out if the 2 Bros. crew could pull off the same magic they have with their pizza.
The burger operation is completely separate from the pizza one. There is a separate register with dedicated employees and perhaps best of all, it has its own line. And all the times I’ve been in there since it opened, that has been no line at all, as opposed to the line for pizza which can get pretty extreme during lunchtime. I ordered a cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger (you know, for science) and an order of fries. I was able to watch the entire preparation of the burgers, made to order, and the fries, which just get scooped out of a sad looking heat lamp covered tray on the counter.
The big surprise of the meal came on my first bite into the cheeseburger ($1.75), when a Bic Mac-esque special sauce came squirting out. I didn’t see this go on the bun, which is surprising considering the amount that had been slathered on. Regardless of my initial shock, I was happy to have a little something besides the standard lettuce, tomato and onions.
As you can see, it’s an extremely thin patty (this was not so surprising), and the only thing it called to mind was McDonald’s burgers (but thinner), for better or worse. The lettuce was crisp, the tomato was surprisingly decent (I often avoid raw tomatoes completely in NYC). The onions were also fine, although they were at times overpowering. In general, the ample amount of produce made the burgers seem a bit cleaner than I’d expected. The bun was of the cheap, squishy, grocery store variety. It’s not good bread, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t taste good.
The double cheeseburger ($2.75) was better than the single, primarily because of the increased ratio of meat and cheese to everything else. The gooey American cheese was perfectly melted and the patties get the job done. They’re small and not particularly flavorful, but they were cooked well – all the way through but not dried out.
The fries ($1) were lukewarm at best by the time I got back to my office, but otherwise they weren’t bad. Nicely salted, thin fries. Once again, I’m primarily reminded of McDonald’s, and I like McDonald’s fries a lot, especially when they’re fresh. I bet if you manage to get the fries at 2 Bros. right out of the fryer, they’re delicious. Of course, unlike the busy pizza operation where you’re generally guaranteed a pretty fresh slice, it’s probably hard to catch the burger counter when they’ve just needed to make some new fries.
The fast food chains seem like the only comparison that makes sense to me here, based on price and the kind of food being served. I would definitely recommend trying 2 Bros. over another trip to McDonald’s or Burger King. I certainly can’t get as excited for these burgers as I do for their pizza, but I wouldn’t have a problem trying them again if the mood for a cheap burger strikes me, or I just don’t feel like waiting in the pizza line.
2 Bros. Pizza, 31 W. 46th St. (btw. 5+6th)