First Look: Clarke’s Standard Has Quality Burgers And Fries, At A Price

I was out of town running a marathon earlier this week when Clarke’s Standard officially opened its doors on Maiden Lane (at Pearl St.), but was more than happy to go eat a burger and fries after punishing my body for 26.2 miles.

The place was not too crowded at prime lunch time mid-week and it only took a wait of a few minutes to get my lunch. You’ll find no complaints from me about Clarke’s Standard’s food in this initial review, but I do question whether a burger and fries lunch of more than $10 (with no drink) from a quick-service place has become the norm.

The burgers range in price from a regular hamburger for $6.75 to the black and bleu burger for $8.75. You can also get four different permutations of hot dogs including a $6 version topped with nothing but three onion red sauce and a banh mi version for $6.75. If you’re not into red meat, there are turkey and veggie burgers and two types of chicken sandwiches, along with a host of potato-based sides, milk shakes and ice cream cups.

I ordered a green chiles cheeseburger ($7.75) which comes topped with American cheese, charred, chopped green chiles, garlic aioli and mustard. I also added on some hand cut fries ($3) to my order although they also have sweet potato fries and tots. My total with tax was nearly $12.

There were a lot of flavors going on with the burger – beef, cheese, mustard, chiles, garlic aioli – that my mouth was a little overwhelmed at first. The burger itself was great, still slightly pink in the middle with a nice salty sear on the outside. I also appreciated that the bun was appropriately sized to the burger patty and that the top half had been toasted.

The fries were also tasty, and nicely salted. This should be the norm, but I can’t tell you how many places I’ve gotten fries from that do not salt them at all and then just give you little packets to shake on yourself.

Plus, I loaded up on fancy spiced ketchup and tomatillo relish from the self-serve bar they have. I would suggest you take advantage of this extra since you’re paying a lot to eat lunch here.

That leads me to my hesitation to ever eat here again. Yes, it was quality food handed to me in a hurry, and it’s still cheaper than nearby Zaitzeff, but I have a really hard time paying more than $10 for a burger and modest cup of fries no matter how much free fancy condiments I can get with it.

What did you all think of the food at Clarke’s?

Clarke’s Standard, 101 Maiden Lane (at Pearl St.), (212) 797-1700



  • We love Clarke’s Standard’s new location in the Financial District. The Cheesy Tater Totes are particularly delicious. They don’t use a cheese sauce, but instead sprinkle them with grated parmesan. Yum!

  • Beautiful decor, very good service, but unfortunately just an average burger and fries. It’s all about the beef — they need better beef for that price if they want to compete with Five Guys or Zaitzeff.

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