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Prime Burger Café

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Updating Old Homestead’s sidewalk seating with a nip and a tuck to pass it off as the new Prime Burger Café is clearly a bid to make the 1868 landmark seem cool. I’d say watching the glitz of their meatpacking-district neighbors had gone to the owners’ heads—except that the peppered bacon burger I’m barely able to wedge into my mouth may be the best burger I’ve ever eaten. All the variations here (Bourbon-glazed Kurobuta pork, the big-eye tuna burger, and the bunless farmer’s market special) are just $15, unless you must have the lobster-topped surf and turf ($23 extra). Having recently revisited our town’s favorite burgers, I’m sure I’ve never eaten chopped prime cow in nine ounces of plump juiciness done up quite so gorgeously—with or without Vermont cheddar, blue Stilton, or house-cured bacon, and cut into four skewered quarters by the waiter if you ask. The curried green-tomato pickles alongside are a definite asset. It’s surprisingly pleasant to sit surrounded by human-size buildings and watch the eclectic parade—mommies, scantily clad nomadic beauties, disoriented bums—the sky visible, and Madonna looming giant-size on the Gansevoort Hotel. It’s maybe worth another $15 for a Kobe-beef frank to get the trio of organic sauerkrauts with mustards. The hand-cut fries are first-rate, too. Marc Sherry is not ashamed to admit he’s practically giving away burgers to beef up lunch business. “I want our neighbors to know it isn’t all steak.”

Prime Burger Café
56 Ninth Ave., at 14th St.; 212-242-9040


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