I stopped by Social Eatz to try this now-famous burger from Top Chef alum Angelo Sosa. The restaurant is located in Midtown and I would classify the menu as fancy fast-food with an Asian twist. The atmosphere is loungey and casual at the same time, which is pretty cool, and overall the food was tasty; lots of good flavors and unique combinations. As for the burger…read on.
Do you know that I am obsessed with wings? Well now you do. I will eat them from bars, diners, sushi restaurants…wherever they make them. I would eat them on a train, I would eat them on a plane. These wings were covered in a sauce made of tamarind, garlic, sugar, chili, orange peel and probably a few other ingredients. A little too sweet and a little too saucy. I like my wings on the crispier, saltier side. I had to wipe off some of the sauce to enjoy it. Warning: avoid these if you're with anyone you're trying to impress. I am pretty sure I had sauce all over my face and fingers. Attractive.
I had never tried an Asian-inspired taco before, so why not now? Carpe diem. We got the Korean beef taco (marinated skirt steak) with a spicy bean sprout kimchee and sauce that tasted like the Big Mac "special sauce". Seriously. The consensus on this one was interesting - all of us agreed that the meat was delicious on it's own but overwhelmed by the corn tortilla. I MUCH prefer flour tortillas with tacos because of this reason, so we ate the other one open-faced.
Waited long enough? It's Bibimbap Burger time, bitches. What is Bibimbap? You might be asking. Well it's a traditional Korean rice dish that literally means "mixed meal" with vegetables, meat (beef or chicken usually), and an egg. So how does Social Eatz translate that into the Bibimbap Burger? They top a ginormous beef patty topped with pickled carrots and cucumbers, lettuce, and a 6-minute egg. If the idea of an egg on a burger sounds strange, believe me you're missing out. I actually had a fried egg on a burger for the first time when I was in Italy (weird, but true), and I fell in love with it. I have a thing for protein I guess. Anyway, this burger was legit. It's cooked perfectly, the sweet and vinegary crunch from the cucumbers and carrots blend beautifully with the ever-so slightly spicy sauce and super-juicy meat patty. Oh and the egg? It adds a creaminess to the burger that you really can't get from anything else. If someone wrapped this burger and gave it to me as a present, I would know that person truly cares about me.
After all that, can I say that it's the "Best Burger in America"? No, I can't. Mainly because I haven't tried enough burgers in all of America to make that kind of judgement. Can I say it's the best burger in NYC? Eh maybe. It's very different, I'll give it that, and it is definitely delicious in it's own right…but that's the problem. It's in a league of it's own so I feel like I can't compare it to a Minetta Tavern or even a Shake Shack burger. It depends on what you're in the mood for. I would crown it the Best Burger in Midtown for sure.
I had a few bites of some of the other burgers/sandwiches too. God bless my friends for letting me eat their food. I really liked the Kung Pao chicken sandwich with the exception of the cilantro on it. Soy-marinated chicken breast topped with thai chili and a roasted peanut sauce. Nums. Way better than I expected, and the menu calls it "certifiably insane" so how can you NOT try that??
Between the gigantic "burger'z", the "app'z" and the "cocktail'z", I wasn't sure if I had room for "sweet'z", but who would I be if I didn't take one or two bites? Not The Skinny Pig that's for sure, so we got the Yuzu Cream Puffs; I'm a chocolate person but holy crap I loved these. They are fried balls of dough, rolled in sugar and stuffed with a lemony yuzu custard. So fresh and hot, they were surprisingly light too for a fried ball of dough. Drool.
Dishes I'd come back for: Bibimbap Burger, Kung Pao sandwich and Yuzu Cream Puffs. The drinks were good too – try the Carrot-Ginger Fizz. Mmm…