Ruby’s Bronte Burger

by Susan on February 19, 2008

My quest to sample the burgers offered in my neighborhood recently led me to Ruby’s in NoLiTa. Ruby’s miniature storefront is easy to miss (I knew exactly where it was, but still managed to walk right by the entrance). The interior holds less than twenty people and the kitchen is smaller than most Manhattan bathrooms. Ruby’s dimly lit room with dark wood communal tables and benches is undeniably cozy.

A touch of flair graces Ruby’s menu; pineapple, avocado, and sweet chilis abound. In addition to a menu of burgers, paninis, and salads, Ruby’s offers a variety of fruit smoothies which can be prepared with your choice of milk or orange juice. Beware that there is not a potato to be found. Instead, a lovely mix of balsamic dressed greens is the sideshow for the sandwiches and burgers. If it is French Fries you crave, you best go elsewhere.

Having read and heard rave reviews about Ruby’s Bronte Burger, I ordered one without a moment’s hesitation. It would be impossible to deny the unique flavor and presentation of the Bronte. At Ruby’s, all the burgers come on ciabatta rolls. The thick burger patty, more oval-shaped than round, was clearly formed to fit snugly inside the oblong roll. The ciabatta roll was slathered with sweet chili mayonnaise and topped with fresh tomato slices and dark green lettuce leaves. Slices of Swiss cheese provided the final layer.

Swiss cheese is bland and my dislike for its presence on the Bronte Burger was only heightened by it not being melted. Thick, slightly chilled slices of it were laid on top of the burger. They did not add any texture or flavor. My cheese issue aside, the Bronte is tangy and sweet. It was different than any burger I’ve yet to consume in NYC and I could easily see how its unique flavor could become addictive. My complaint was about the beef itself. While the burger’s center had the perfect reddish hue of medium rare ground beef, it was dense and chewy. In addition to the unappealing texture, the ground beef lacked any semblance of flavor and seasoning to stand on its own. The Bronte burger was wholly dependent on its accompaniments.

Oddly enough, I left craving a burger.

219 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 925-5755

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