Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Great Find: Burger & Barrel

For over a year, I walked from the East Village to Soho across Houston Street to work. The space at the corner of Mercer & West Houston always looked like a spot that would work well for a restaurant, but nothing good was ever there. Until now.

After a day of Christmas shopping around the city, Patrick and I found ourselves hungry in Soho. We passed by Burger & Barrel noting that it looked good, and after checking out the menu, we were sold, it looked awesome. We walked in the door and we were greeted by a trio of friendly ladies and shown to a table for 2 near the bar.

The decor of the restaurant was the first thing I noticed, all dark wood and red tiles arranged to look like exposed brick. Our waitress was attentive and friendly, and she loved that I took pictures of the food (seriously, she high-fived me.)

Patrick & I decided to share 2 appetizers and 1 entree, so we each picked an app to start with. I chose the Short Rib Tacos and he chose the Tuna Tartare. The waitress assured us we had made solid choices, and brought us the wine and beer we had ordered.

When the food came out, it looked delicious. Two small tacos that were bursting with color and a perfect circle of Tuna Tartare topped with Avocado Mousse and surrounded by crunchy chips were placed on our table. The tacos tasted even better than they looked. The Short Rib was tender and full of rich flavor, not at all dry as Short Rib can sometimes get. The veggies inside the taco were fresh, and served as the perfect compliment to the meat.
The Tuna Tartare was the perfect shade of red/pink and tasted exactly as it should: chilled, with a great texture and taste. The Avocado Mousse on top was awesome and paired really well with the fish. The chips were the right amount of salty, and served as a great serving utensil for the fish and avocado. When all 3 elements were eaten together, the result was perfection.
For our main dish, we chose to share the Fried Cornish Hen with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy & Cole Slaw. The waitress again assured us we had made a great choice, and I only believed her once I tasted it. Frying a Cornish Hen results in a less greasy, juicier take on classic Fried Chicken. While I wish the portion had been a little larger since Patrick and I were sharing, that is my only complaint. We "ooed" and "ahhed" our way through the entire dish until our plate was completely empty.
When we were finished with our meal, we decided to share the Salty Peanut Butter Brownie Sundae, which was good, but I wouldn't recommend it. The brownies were cold and the Peanut Butter drizzle was just okay. This further confirms my theory that dessert isn't worth saving room for, but I'll leave that argument for another time. Overall, the meal, the drinks, the decor and the service were all outstanding, and I highly recommend everyone try this place as soon as possible. It's only been open for 3 months, and it's only a matter of time before it turns into a Soho gem.

On the dessert topic, I'm interested to hear your take on ordering dessert. Do you always order it? Never order it? Do you specifically leave room for it, or are you one of those people who proudly shouts "I always have room for dessert!" after a meal? Let me know, I love hearing from you.

Let's Eat!
-The Fabulous Foodie


  1. I love New York! Your meal looks absolutely delicious.

    Happy New Year!


  2. Oh man! LOVE ME some B&B!