More often than not, simplicity pays off a lot more than when you try to be cute in the restaurant world. That was my immediate reaction when I finally got to sample the two strikingly different burgers from chef April Bloomfield’s latest burger joint, Salvation Burger. The name sort of sounds like an oxymoron, as it’s hard to associate a burger with anything that boosts your health or otherwise relates to a person’s salvation, but I still had to try this place knowing chef Bloomfield’s mastery of the art of burger at places like the Spotted Pig and the Breslin, which showcases one of the best burgers (made of lamb) on my list in this burger-crazed city. Anyways, let’s get to the two tales of the burgers.
When you look at the Classic Burger and the Salvation Burger, you already can tell the prominent visual difference. The Classic Burger looks like a plain-vanilla burger, a little larger than the one from Shake Shack or McDonald’s and looking anything but fancy. The Salvation Burger, on the other hand, seems to have that ambitious edge to it, not just in size but with the way the beef is presented. It almost resembles the lamb burger at the Breslin and the signature burger at the Spotted Pig, heavy on meat without much else (although this one has hen of the woods mushroom and smoked blue cheese, too). Who was the winner between these two? The Classic Burger, by a mile! The Salvation Burger was just a bit too salty for my taste, although the meat itself was cooked perfect medium rare. On the other hand, the Classic Burger was just pure bliss. Combined with cheese and pickles, it was just rich and sensational in flavor without being overly salty, and the meat was impeccable cooked medium rare. Pound for pound, this was one of the best burgers I’ve had recently, and I’d be delighted to come back again just for this burger. Add some fries and giardiniera pickles, and you have one satisfying meal, which I also capped with delightful, off-the-menu popcorn-flavored ice cream and pie.
Salvation Burger doesn’t take a reservation, and the wait can be pretty long (I waited for slightly over an hour when I showed up around 8 p.m. on Saturday) so make sure to show up early. There is a full bar with some beers and cocktails on the tap as well as bottled cocktails that would go well with the burgers. I liked the casual and fun vibe of the dining space that is located inside the Pod Hotel 51. I need to make a list of best burgers in the city at some point in my life, but I will certainly think of the Classic Burger here when that point comes. I highly recommend visiting Salvation Burger just for that beauty, after which I will work out like crazy to burn all those calories.
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 230 East 51st St., New York, NY 10022
Telephone Number: (646) 277-2900