Social Eatz’ Bulgogi Burger Beats Bon Chon’s Hands Down
Ladies and gentlemen, the bulgogi burger is officially having a moment on Midtown Lunch. The concept recently resurfaced in the forums when Bon Chon’s version allegedly got a facelift, so of course I had to try it. However, whenever this Bon Chon burger comes up, there are those who inevitably mention Angelo Sosa’s rendition at Social Eatz. We’ve tried the famous Bibimbap Burger, and we’ve tried the Hanoi Burger. Does the Bulgogi Burger have what it takes? Can it take the title of Best Bulgogi Burger in the East (50′s)?
The Social Eatz burger definitely enters ML splurge territory at $12, coming in at $3 more than the Bon Chon Burger and doesn’t even come with fries! The description on the menu is as follows: “Literally ‘fire meat’ in Korean, the beef charred, hence the name. Sauced with soy, sugar, scallion, garlic and sesame oil then garnished with cooled cucumber kimchee, kewpee and a japanese mayo.” The burger is placed on a soft bun, comes with a small cup of kimchi on the side, and is presented thusly:
I wasn’t blown away when it arrived at the table. It looked small and bready for my taste, and the lack of “side’z” is a little painful at this price. But I squished that soft, airy potato bun down a bit and cut it in half, and my spirits were lifted when I saw the vibrant pink on the interior. It was an immediate improvement over Bon Chon’s grayish center, although the topping-splosion that occurred makes the photo I’m about to show you slightly repulsive.
More importantly, this burger beats Bon Chon hands down. It’s bigger, juicier, more delicious, and more fun to eat overall. The sweet/savory bulgogi flavor is front and center, with the cucumber kimchi, red onion, and lettuce adding some bite and the spicy mayo bringing it all together. Slop on a dollop of the side kimchi and/or a squirt of sriracha and you are in business. You’ll have juice running down your elbows, so ask for some extra napkins.
Yes, it’s a splurge. It costs $3 more than the Bon Chon version, but it really is much better. And if you read my post on the Bon Chon burger, you won’t be going to Bon Chon for the burger anyway. Social Eatz has defined itself as a burger destination with its unique Asian twists, and everyone deserves a splurge every once in a while. BONUS: The Scoutmob deal I mentioned in the Hanoi Burger post is still valid until April 6 (on the mobile app only).
Social Eatz, 232 E 53rd St (btw 2nd & 3rd Ave), 212-207-3339