One of the biggest challenges I foresee about reviewing a bunch of burgers is heart disease. Another one is not letting my bias of the restaurant bleed into the singular dish I’m eating. Piggyback Bar is a great test case for this. I love Piggyback Bar. It’s right off the Harborside HBLR stop so its super convenient for me to get to any day of the week. It’s got one of the best happy hour menus in JC. The food is usually pretty damn good; $5 Frose – it’s checking a lot of my boxes.
Despite my Remora-like suction on Piggyback Bar, I won’t let that cloud my burger judgment. This review is specifically on the burger and not their other delicious offerings. Fortunately for me I’ve never had their burger, so that makes things a little easier.
Here’s the menu description of the burger: “ Pat Lafrieda Blend, Cheddar, Pickles, Spicy Mayo, Pretzel Bun”. This place is already getting points for a concise description in the format of my choosing.
Also, side note, when you see “Pat Lafrieda Blend” on the menu that means you’re getting a blend of flat iron, brisket, and short rib from American Black Angus beef. It’s almost impossible fuck up one of these patties because they’re juicy and flavorful, but through God all things are possible, so you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Some chefs get really anal about their cuts and ratios for burgers and insist they have the best and its best you let them cook. So you should view this as the floor being raised, not the ceiling coming completely off, if that makes sense.
Let’s take a look at this fucking thing:
Holy shit, look at me taking pictures. I’m about to quit my day job, buy 40k followers, and suck my own dick like Steve Bannon. Almost deducted some points for the jaunty lil’ fry basket on principle. NOBODY LIKES THESE.
For the full judging criteria, as well as some other pithy musings, read the Best Things: Burger post.
Patty type. Pat Lafrieda blend. Excellent.
Is it cooked well? Yup. Cooked on a flat-top medium-rare. Runs hard to the rare end of medium rare, but I like that irony goodness. Very, very juicy. Fatty in a good way. Not a great sear on this, but doesn’t effect the burger.
Is it seasoned? Yup. Decent amount of salt, no pepper. Lets the beef do the talking. Really solid.
Does the size or amount make sense? Yup. Single patty, about as thick as your thumb. It’s a perfectly sized patty. Its big enough to be satisfying, but not too big where it becomes dry or unruly. Given how juicy this thing is I’d think two patties might become a grease fest. Very solid.
Bun type. Pretzel bun. It’s fine.
Does it work? Kinda. I fucking hate pretzel buns. Who likes these? Who really likes pretzels either? If you want a pretzel you should just not eat. Does the pretzel bun work? Sure, its functional, but if you replaced this with almost any other type of bun you’d have a better experience. Fuck. A. Pretzel. Bun.
Toasted? Of course not. If you have the terrible judgment to use a fucking pretzel bun, you probably also have the terrible judgment to not toast this fucker.
Is it dry? Almost. Again, this patty is a gusher. I’d be in an open relationship with this burger if it could sit on my face. But somehow the gross negligence of the bun saves the burger. You need a lot of this bread to catch all that delicious grease-gasm. But, then why not toast it and give it some fucking texture??? Not sure.
Cheese type. Cheddar. Waxy, rubbery, greasy. Cheddar is a great cheese. I love cheddar. But it’s not how god intended a cheeseburger to be made. Not a great choice. Embarrassing.
Is the cheese melted? Kinda. Like all cheddars on a burger, they were melted at some point, then turned into a rubbery casting of what melted cheese looks like. Stupid.
What type of shit are they putting on it? Pickles and spicy mayo. A solid minimalist approach. OK results. The pickles bring some much needed acidity with all this fat. It also adds some nice crunch and texture to all the fluff. With out the pickles this burger would be like trying to rim a Care Bear. The spicy mayo is good because spicy mayo is good, but could have just done with some regular ass mayo. Not a huge complaint, but it was detracting a bit from the patty, which is the star here.
How much shit are they putting on it? Not a lot. Which is kind of a good idea at this point. You’ve got this big ogre bun, a pretty big patty, if you put lettuce on this fucker I’d have to lunge at this thing mouth first to try and get a bite.
Does all this shit add to the burger? Yeah, I’m not sure what I’d rather have on this, but I think these compliment the burger well enough.
How do all of these things above work together? They work well together. Outside of the cheese, there seems to be thought and intent into why certain choices were made, which is a good sign. Nothing more 2019 than a thoughtful burger.
Its good, not great. This is a better than average burger that has a few weird things going on that fucks up its score. I like that there’s some thoughtfulness and creativity going on so I’m not shitting on its goofy bun as much as I should, but the cheddar is a really dumb move that keeps this from being a really good burger. I think this rating is fair. Get a frose with this. Save yourself some cash and go to Piggyback’s happy hour. Definitely worth the visit.
3.4 out of 5
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