A lot of burgers are pricey these days, but you can still get a solid one on the cheap. Alex Van Buren of CHOW.com filed the following report from The Burger Garage in Long Island City, Queens.
Burgers can get expensive in this city. Minetta Tavern has a famous $26 burger, and Daniel Boulud introduced the first $150 option a few years ago. It had foie gras and truffles.
But most people want to keep it simple: top-quality meat, cooked well, on the cheap. That’s what The Burger Garage is trying to do. It’s located on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, right by the Court Square subway, and it’s run by two brothers from Flushing, Adam and Jim Pileski.
This is a cute, family-friendly place. It’s reminiscent of a sock-hop diner from the 50s. It has a red and black motif, comfy booths and “garage” tchotchkes, like hubcaps.
Jim and Adam proudly sell their double cheeseburger for $6.95. And they’re not cutting corners. The patty is made with hormone-free, antibiotic-free Black Angus beef.
The patties are a blend of chuck, brisket and shortrib. They’re not hand-formed on the premises, but are ground daily at Pat LaFrieda, a well-known Manhattan butcher who also provides meat for the famous Shake Shack burgers. This burger has that same luxurious flavorfulness and fattiness of the Shake Shack Burger.
We recommend two patties stacked together, topped with American cheese. They’re skinny, and they’re cooked well-done unless you order them otherwise, so if you want rare or medium-rare, you have to pipe up. And listen for your number: If you don’t, and you’ve ordered the fries or the crispy, tasty onion rings, they will be cold, which would be tragic. In fact, try putting those onion rings on the burger. The special house sauce is somewhere in the Russian dressing family, so if you’re on the fence, get it on the side.
If you like a thicker burger, apparently there’s a debate going on between these two brothers about serving a seven-ounce patty. If you have an opinion, you can chime in when you stop by The Burger Garage.