DAVID BURKE AT BLOOMINGDALE'S4/03/2012
1000 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
I always tell people that if Bloomingdale's cost half as much, I'd shop there twice as often. I far prefer it over Macy's. Though that might be because I truly loathe Herald Square. In any event, a day of wandering midtown's tourist spots with Shrink (from Times Square to Rockefeller Center to 59th Street) led us to Bloomingdale's. Side note, people who call it "Bloomies" are seriously annoying. David Burke, of occasional Food Network fame, whose name adorns all of his restaurants except Hawaiian Tropic Zone (I can't imagine why), has set up this small eatery for weary shoppers.
David Burke at Bloomingdale's serves haute comfort food (burgers, fried chicken, meatloaf, surf & turf) at a decent price. The atmosphere is a schizophrenic mix of trendy cool and un-trendy diner. The floor is tile and the beers are common, but there are cocktails and dance music and Viking wine coolers line the wall. The menu doesn't really break any new ground, so one might argue that it's overpriced. True, you could probably find the same food for a few bucks less five blocks south on Second Avenue, but then you wouldn't be eating in Bloomingdale's. The atmosphere would be gone.
The first thing we got, instead of a bread basket was a Cheddar Cheese Popover pastry. While Shrink liked it, I can't agree. It was overcooked and brittle. While it was free with the meal, if they offer you something else, consider yourself lucky. Shrink ordered the Lobster Bisque and I can attest to it being the worst lobster bisque that I've ever had. Visually, it was almost brown, which for a dish normally served a pale pink can be off-putting. But that aside, it included shrimp and green apple. Shrimp tastes close enough to lobster that it hardly altered the taste, so I have to assume that it's a cost cutting measure. Rather than have a some big chunks of expensive lobster, they tossed in some shrimp. Meanwhile, the apple added a sourness to the soup that was wholly unwelcome. What should have been a mellow, relaxing soup instead was this funkified tangy mess. Thankfully, my griping ends there. I ordered the Cali Style Crispy Fish Tacos, and they were absolutely great. Fried battered fish, avocado, pineapple, some kind of mildly spicy sauce, and some lettuce in a semi-soft shell. Blew me away. Loved it. I would literally stop by again just for this.
For an entree Shrink ordered the Juicy Burkey Hamburger. It's a super thick beef patty that has cheddar cheese and bacon stuffed inside of it, served with french fries, a pickle, and garlic stir sauteed string beans. The fries were very good, the string beans were very good, the burger was very good. It's also about two inches thick, like eating a baseball. Shrink wished that they toasted the bun because it bled all over the place and in no time the bun was a sopping spongy mess. Still, I suppose that there are worse ways to get your hands dirty.
The couple at the table next to us came only for wine and dessert and the desserts looked pretty good so I had initially intended to get them. But by the time we finished (and we could not, in fact, finish) we were too stuffed to eat anything else.
Two appetizers, two entrees, one beer, tax and tip totaled $86.
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