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West 3rd Common

When a great new burger hits the New York market, it quickly becomes the talk of the town.  With that in mind, it’s pretty shocking that West 3rd Common has not popped up on all the popular food blogs and media reviews.  This new addition to the burger circuit has not yet received the popularity it will ultimately receive.  Somewhat hidden on West 3rd St., in the heart of the newly trendy NoHo, West 3rd Common produced a burger that absolutely blew our minds.

Executive Chef David Scott Walker, an F.C.I. graduate who is extremely proud of this new Gastro Pub, has supposedly been boasting since the day they opened that West 3rd Common has the best burger in New York City.  Our assessment, so far, is that his claim is warranted.

West 3rd Common, not a traditional sit-down restaurant, maintains the atmosphere of an upscale neighborhood pub that looks much like a library found inside a 19th Century mansion.  Owner Dan Warren, who has had Common Ground Bar in the East Village for a number of years modeled the look and feel of his Alphabet City counterpart, but then added a full kitchen to greatly expand his menu.

The secret behind the success of the West 3rd Common burger is the fact that they steam the burger.  The burgers are all served medium, but the meat comes out juicy and delicious.  (Note: We usually order our burgers medium rare.  The server explained the preparation to us when we ordered.)  Walker explained that by steaming the burger in the house marinade, the patty absorbs the juiciness and flavor of the sauces.

Ground Beef: We usually approach large patties with caution. From time to time, we encounter one that is so massive and monstrous (like Jackson Hole) that the size has consumed the chef’s ability to add flavor and maintain texture. Relax, burger enthusiasts, the steaming method that Walker implements results in the juiciest of burgers. You’re bound to lick your fingers clean and give any attempt to catch the grease that drips down your hands. This is most certainly a quality in which all burgers should possess. In addition, Walker uses Pat La Frieda ground beef, which is known for being the best beef available in New York.

Extras: The toppings that accompany the Common Burger are surprisingly unexpected, most likely a result of Walker’s F.C.I. education.  Herbed aioli and sautéed onions make for a wonderful combination, one we totally support.  This burger needs no ketchup, mustard, or relish.  As is, it was enough to overtake the winner in the meat category.  In addition to the toppings, the cheddar cheese added a wonderful, rich flavor.

Bun/Roll: Sad to say, there are simply not enough burgers served with soft brioche buns.  This is, bar none, our favorite type of bun, and Tom Cat Bakery makes the best one this city has to offer.

Value: West 3rd Common charges $12 for their burger and serves them with outstanding garlic fries (an extremely rare treat).  For this price, this combination is simply unbeatable.

Burger Rating: 98 out of 100