Les Halles – Bourdain Burger

Since I already had Tony Bourdain’s sausage, I figured he owed me a burger! You know we love burgers here at Pluck You, Too. I daresay I even love them more than hot dogs. So, when I had a gift certificate to kill at Les Halles, I decided to see how Tony B does a burger. The grapevine whispered that the burger at Les Halles was as top-notch as their frites, so I had to give it a go. We opted for the downtown location on John Street as usual- I’ve been to the Park Ave location and while it’s a little more tony (har de har har) it is harder to get into. Plus Firecracker works in the banker’s ghetto, so it’s convenient.

We ordered appetizers that never showed up- that’s the trade, the service downtown is rather spotty- but she ordered the French Dip, which should just be called the Dip, right? and I the burger with gruyere. A couple of Kronenborgs and we were happy. The Dip was fantastic- tender slices of beef with caramelized onions on a crusty baguette and a rich gravy of dipping sauce. Could a burger stand up to sliced steak?

It sure as hell can, especially when it’s sirloin ground to order. It was amazing, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Topped only with a lightly grilled onion round, a melted layer of sharp aged Gruyere, it was perfect. The brioche bun was soft and tasty, and the burger needed no condiments. The burger tasted like good gravy, y’all. Fantastic. At $15, it had better taste like a beef bomb exploding on your palate! That’s the same price as the equally worthy burger at The Spotted Pig, minus the monster gorgonzola infusion. That was the last burger that amazed me this much, and Les Halles lets the meat speak for itself. And it says, “EAT ME.

So pop in for a kick-ass burger and some of the best fries in Manhattan. Belgian style frites. The beer selection is acceptable with Kronenborg and Blue Moon on tap, you’ll be seated quick, and while I’ve had an order disappear or go wrong, in the 5 times we’ve been here we’ve never had bad, or even mediocre food. For brasserie-style grilled meats and comfort foods, buckets of tasty mussels and kick-ass mac ‘n cheese, Les Halles is hard to beat. The few places I’ve been that have lower prices, like Les Sans-Cullotes in Turtle Bay, the food is not in the same league. So the punk rock celeb chef from Jersey’s joint is still worth going to.

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