540 East 5th Street
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-6067

The first time I'd been to Black Iron Burger, the small almost-hole-in-the-wall sized gastropub in Alphabet City was several months ago with Mr. Dogz. We had a Groupon, and we figured we'd get a cheap lunch cheaper. We did not expect to be blown off our bar stools by one of the best burgers we can remember having. I do not say that lightly. We found ourselves wandering the East Village the other day, having been decided that the utterly ridiculous crowd at McSorely's was nowhere near worth the hassle of enduring, when Dogz said "Let's go to Black Iron". How can you disagree with that suggestion?

Corner Bistro and Minetta Tavern and Shake Shack and JG Melon all have their die hard fans, especially in the Top-10-List Media circles and never shall they be swayed from their rock solid opinion that this grouping represents the best that burgerdom has to offer. But, since it's always the same list over and over again, we can assume that these people are too cool to go out and explore, or their opinion is the froth-mouthed ravings of a fanatic mob bent on the conversion of the masses to their collective subjective taste. Either way, it's our duty as educated progressive citizens to ignore them.

Personally, my favorite hamburger has been Five Napkin Burger's Gruyere cheesed and rosemary spiced Five Napkin burger because the mere thought of it would my mouth water. I'd crave it out of nowhere. I've had plenty of JG Melon hamburgers and Shake Shack hamburgers. I've never craved them. I've never gone out of my way to get one because, God damn it, I needed one. I've done that with Five Napkin. Now, it appears Five Napkin has been tied. 

As I write this, I am craving Black Iron's Masterpiece burger, a double patty hamburger (I think that they all are) with layers of Swiss cheese, caramelized onion, applewood smoked bacon, and a fried egg. Mr. Dogz opted for the namesake Black Iron burger, horseradish cheddar cheese, horseradish mayo, caramelized onion. These burgers are, in a word, divine. And they're greasy. There's no texting while eating these babies or you'll wind up voiding a warranty. The sweetness of the caramel, the cheese oozing onto the plate... and the egg bleeding all over the place is literally heaven in your mouth. 

The nice thing about gastropubs like Black Iron is that they don't just hand some slob a spatula and a deep fryer and tell him to get to work. There's thought behind the food. There's skill and something is done to differentiate the otherwise generic menu from the competition. So when Dogz and I ordered a side of Buffalo Wings, seasoned in a spicy adobo rub, we were in for a treat. Most bars soak their wings in a buffalo sauce that's really nothing more than Franks Red Hot, and that can be fine if really all you want is something to soak up the booze in your stomach. Here, the buffalo sauce is on the side and it's absolutely unnecessary. If anything, it's wasteful to even offer it. The wings on their own are perfect and unlike the burgers not even a little greasy. They only give you five wings, so order a double. We also snagged a side of the Ai-oli Fries, french fries with crirpsy bits of bacon and diced scallion under a drizzle of ai-oli. Also, delicious. We thought that it could have used more bacon, and you should certainly ask for extra ai-oli to dip your fries in.

Black Iron, while not expensive, isn't fast food cheap. The burgers average $10 and the plate of five wings set us back $9. Two beers each, plus the food, plus tax and tip came to $80.

Black Iron Burger has a second location in Midtown.

 Black Iron Burger on Urbanspoon

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