West End’s $10 LaFrieda Burger is Worth the Riff Raff
Speaking of Burger Week, the other week we noted that West End Bar & Grill (49th & 8th Ave) was open for business, with a former Jean Georges line cooking helming the kitchen. I dropped to try their burger, which uses a Pat LaFrieda blend, and comes with your obligatory lettuce/tomato/onion and a side of fries for $10. During my stay, I found out that West End is backed by the same guys that own Social and Latitude, just a few blocks south on 8th Ave.
I’ll include a cheap shot here – the crowds at those places tend to attract the unsophisticated New York newbie, primarily the tourists, the recent college grads, and the lecherous old men and women who lust after them. The crowd at West End is no different – a rowdy environment of Theater District appropriate riff-raff, fueled by $6 pints, stock tips, and Yankees gossip in Midwestern and Long Island accents. Food is hastily shoved down, as customers watch sports on slick over-sized flat screens. The food here doesn’t deserve such disrespect.
The burger was surprisingly good. Certainly not the best burger out there, but the 8 oz LaFrieda patty was rich, meaty, and lusciously juicy. It’d been grilled to an inarguable medium rare per my request, the veggies were decidedly crisp and the bun was undeniably fresh and fluffy. A generous side of fries – limp and greasy, but well seasoned, rounded out my $10 meal, which was more than enough to fill me up. It certainly wouldn’t trump a Shack burger, but for bar-eats, one could do far worse in Hells Kitchen.
In fact, the next time I’m in the mood of a good beer and burger in Midtown West and don’t want to deal with the inevitable line at Shake Shack, I’ll put away the snootiness, swallow my pride, and happily bite into West End’s burger.
The + (What somebody who likes this would say)
- Good selection of beers on tap, though primarily domestic
- Huge, Hi-Def screens for sports fans
- $10 LaFrieda burger and fries is tasty and more than filling
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- The jerkstore called, they’re running out of you
- Aside from the burger, most of the menu items are above $10
- The kitchen and service are on the slow side
West End, 813 Eighth Ave at 49th St, 212-707-8986