I remember the days when weekend nights were spent at The Loon (RIP) and were often followed by late night burgers and fries at Village Burger Bar. If I had a dollar for every time I called a cab to pick me up at VBB, I’d have about $7. (I miss the days that I could do that and not feel like death warmed-up the following day. Damn y slowing metabolism and adult responsibilities.)
Village Burger Bar has been around for years and has proved its staying power. So many other burger joints have come and gone, but they’re still around flipping burgers and slinging drinks until 2am in West Village — oh … and at three additional locations now.
Throughout the years, I remember craving their frozen rum & Cokes (which are a bit sweeter than what I usually go for). On these 100º+ days, though, they’d be a welcome refreshment. However, VBB recently switched out their longstanding Cuba Libre with an even more summery option–Frozen Cherry Limeades. Let me tell you, folks … they’re dangerous. They’re sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Make sure you bring a Sharpie to keep count of how many you’ve downed.
The next drink that hit the table (gently) was a Strawberry Martini (vodka, strawberry puree, simple syrup). It packed a decent vodka punch … along with some serious vitamins. The strawberry was just enough to give the drink some flavor without making it too goopy.
While VBB is famous for its burgers (and bar), that’s not all it has to offer. Their Grilled Buffalo Chicken Strips are a light way to start a meal, served “naked” with their hot sauce on the side. However, if you’re into the whole “eat so much that I need to unbutton my pants” thing, go for the West Village Dip. This dip’s legit, y’all … cheese, bacon, tortilla chips … damn. I mean damn.
VBB offers “Bespoke Burgers” where you can choose your own patty (beef, turkey, or chicken) then pair it with any (and all) of 9 cheese, 14 sauces, and 17 toppings (including a fried egg, dried cranberries, and bourbon caramelized onions). I kind of hate math, but my calculations show that you could make … a lot of different burgers. If you’re not super into the whole “define yourself by your burger choices” thing, they offer eight suggestions. My long time favorite has been the Swiss ‘Shroom Burger. Make that happen sometime.
I took my dad along for this review and he’s a finicky eater. (It was his second review with me and he’s getting good at it! I don’t have to smack his hand anymore when he tries to take a bite of his food before I’ve gotten sufficient documentation.) When I say finicky … I’m not kidding. This man likes well done cheeseburgers, “plain and dry with ketchup only and a side of well done fries” … and that’s exactly what he ordered on our visit to VBB. He said, as boring as his cheeseburger was, that it was a great burger and the accompanying shoestring fries were perfectly crispy.
To top off the meal, my dad got a tall, frosty glass of St. Arnold’s draft root beer. I mean … I was sick to death that I was sick (literally) and couldn’t steal a sip of it.
They offer a full bar, the aforementioned burgers, paninis, plenty of sides (the siren call of the onion rings and truffle fries was nearly unavoidable), some desserts (hello, root beer float), and plenty of other deliciousness.
Overall, Village Burger Bar is as good as I remember it. Now that I have eaten it (a bit more) sober than I was accustomed to previously, I realize the quality behind the menu.
Village Burger Bar
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Mon-Sat: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm