Taste of Summer Returns to Rock Center (With a Sneak Peak of Harry’s Pizza)
Taste of Summer has returned for the next couple of days, giving us another chance to sample some of the best Rock Center has to offer. Last year, Chris stopped by and got an early taste of Bill’s Bar & Burgers. This year, you can get a taste of the new Rock Center concourse pizza place Harry’s, which is scheduled to open in the beginning of August. All of the Rock Center lunch spots are there: ‘wichcraft, Cucina & Co, AJ Maxwell’s, ML favorite Tri Tip, and even Manchu Wok with a $4.99 special. I would have loved if they were offering a nice little buffet, but logistics probably got in the way.
Harry’s was there offering slices of their regular and pepperoni pizzas, but something about eating a pizza that’s been sitting in the hot sun and the smoke from Brasserie Ruhlmann’s badly placed grill turned me off. The slices looked good, but I’ll take my chances and wait until the actual shop opens up.
If you want something cooked fresh, your best bet is going for one of the hamburgers. Brasserie Ruhlmann is offering the same hamburger as last year when more than a few people sang its praises. Though it sounds delicious and I’m sure it is, my aversion to blue cheese, it’s $9 price tag, a bit of a line, and their very smoky grill prompted me to move on.
This year, Bill’s upped the price of their burger by $1, which is still cheaper than Brasserie Ruhlmann’s fancy-pants one. There is also a special of a burger with three chocolate chip cookies ($3) and a bottle of water ($2) for $10. I had my eyes on another dessert so I went with just a cheeseburger, fresh off the grill.
Does a hot summer lunch get much better than that? My burger was cooked to medium, had a nice grill char, and luckily still juicy-I was more than content with this in the 90 degree sun. This was my first time trying Bill’s, and I did think that the meat could have used a bit more seasoning, but it’s above average in the classic All-American burger category. Just don’t forget to stop for some condiments at the table, the burger comes with only pickles on top.
My passing up on their chocolate chip cookies was rewarded with a bit of Ben & Jerry’s AmeriCone Dream (they did have Late Night Snack). They brought up coolers filled with ice cream and at $1/scoop, the tourists and office workers kept a constant line going. They only had about 10 flavors from the shop, and the line moved pretty quickly. A major difference is the shorted amount of time to get food. Last year Chris didn’t get there until 2:30, towards the end of the lunch time show-this year, he would have been out of luck. The food’s only available from 11:30 to 2pm, so you late-lunchers are S.O.L. The Taste of Summer should be going on today and tomorrow.