“New and Improved” La Frieda Bulgogi Burger at Bon Chon?
Back in December, I visited Bon Chon’s Turtle Bay location to check out their lunch specials. While I loved the chicken, I also tried the LaFrieda Korean Bulgogi Burger ($9), and wasn’t the biggest fan. But in light of recent comments in the ML Forums claiming that the burger was vastly improved, I had to go for a second look.
The above photo from Bon Chon’s website depicts what the burger is “supposed” to look like. And even though lunch’er “Harry” said that his resembled the picture, I was skeptical given that the last burger I got looked like this:
This time, I got my burger to go given that Bon Chon takes notoriously long. I know the wait time is more for the chicken than the other menu items, but it was a busy day so I called ahead. Here’s what my burger looked like:
And an open shot of the sauces:
This burger had more vegetables than my first burger, with mesclun greens replacing iceberg, several more slices of cucumber, and shredded carrots. There was a dab of spicy mayo and a dab of sweet sauce which I’m assuming is the “bulgogi sauce” (?) Nothing like the generous smear in the stock photo, but this burger definitely had more bulgogi flavor than my first burger. I ordered the burger medium-rare, but it came out with barely a trace of pink in the center. This wasn’t a deal-breaker as it was pretty juicy anyway, but I do feel that if you’re cooking burgers to order, you should get it right.
After hearing about “Harry’s” experience with the truffle fries, I was really looking forward to stinking up my office with some truffle oil action. Here’s what my fries looked like:
The only good thing I can say about these is that there were a lot of them. There was no truffle taste to speak of, they didn’t include any of that interesting looking dipping sauce in my take-out order, and if I hadn’t picked them up from Bon Chon myself I would swear they were from McDonald’s. However, I would potentially be willing to give them another shot on a dine-in visit, as I’m positive the 4 (street, not avenue) block walk back to the office was detrimental to their texture and temperature.
Since I had already tried the burger and fries on my last visit, I decided to throw in an appetizer to explore a little bit more of the menu. I chose the Hand Wrapped Pot Stickers ($8), with seasoned pork, chive, and sweet soy glaze.
Eight dollars buys you six deep fried pot stickers, which for me raised the philosophical question: Can they be called “pot stickers” if they are deep fried and thus have no pot to which to stick? Discuss. The dumplings, which were pre-sauced and sprinkled with green onion and sesame seeds, were tasty enough- although I prefer steamed or pan-fried dumplings to deep fried so these were much heavier than I anticipated. For 8 bucks, skip these and get another order of chicken.
Basically, what this post boils down to is that my conclusion from my previous visit stands: Stick to the chicken. Bon Chon does excellent chicken. The general consensus seems to be that the rest of the menu is mediocre at best, but the chicken is really good chicken, and I agree. Come here. Eat chicken. Don’t mess around. You won’t be disappointed.
Bon Chon, 957 2nd Ave (btw. 51+50th), 212-308-8810