Pastis: Burger with Fried Egg Recipe for Disaster?

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I’ve never had a cheeseburger with a fried egg on it and I never go to the Meatpacking District. It was time to knock off two birds with one stone by having the Cheeseburger a cheval ($17) at uber-trendy French bistro Pastis. Once I overcame the ostentatious cougars milling about the bar, I was ready for action. Would this be a delicious experience or an overpriced one that would leave me in need of angioplasty?

Read on for the answer to that question plus a review of the Fried Calamari with Harissa mayo ($13) and the Grilled Chicken Paillard ( $18 ).

For an extra dollar, Gruyere cheese was draped over my sirloin hamburger. Unfortunately, the cheese didn’t do anything to enhance the overall bland flavor of the entire sandwich. The coarsely grilled burger had a nice charred flavor and a crisp exterior but it was masked by the sharpness of the Gruyere and the overwhelmingly viscous nature of the runny egg yolk.

This was the richest, greasiest burger I’ve ever had. It was a total slop fest. I needed every bit of the airy brioche to mop up the fry & burger grease and runny egg yolk all over my fingers. I realize Gruyere is a richer cheese than cheddar or American, but I don’t think anything could prevent the food coma that ensued after I disposed of this entire burger.ย  I won’t be getting a burger with a fried egg again any time soon, I’ll stick with bacon and cheese when it comes to clogging my arteries.ย  That doesn’t mean I won’t get a fried egg on my bacon wrapped hot dog at Crif Dogs.

I’ve had this burger once before, with just cheese, and after two tries, I’m still not impressed. For the $15 basic price tag, I’d go to Brooklyn Diner over Pastis any day of the week.

Fries

The fries were superb, however. Light, wafery, crisp and highly addictive. Just what I’d hoped for at a French bistro. Unfortunately, as you’ll read below, the other fried food didn’t fare as well.

Fried Calamari

The fried calamari ($13) tasted like Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion, equally salty but fortunately not as greasy. The harissa mayo had a barely detectable level of spice and did nothing to enhance the calamari. The bread we were given was better with the marinara sauce than the calamari.

Grilled Chicken Paillard

The Grilled Chicken Paillard ( $18 ) featured frisee, spinach, shallots and cherry tomato. The grilled chicken was overwhelmed by the flavor of fire from the grill, no other spices were detectable. It all boiled down to an unsubstantial hot salad. Brutal. The chicken honestly tasted better when dipped in ketchup. I’d steer clear of this dish.

In the end, after trying Pastis’ burger twice, I can honestly say it’s not good enough to warrant a return. If I end up in the neighborhood, however, and I’m looking for a bite late, it’s good to know Pastis will be serving until around 2AM Thursday and 3AM Friday and Saturday.

Pastis

9 Ninth Ave. at Little W. 12th St.
New York, NY 10014
212-929-4844
Photo: http://www.travelmail.co.uk
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7 Responses to “Pastis: Burger with Fried Egg Recipe for Disaster?”

  1. grace Says:

    i’ve only been to three restaurants in the city, and this is one of them! i went for brunch and had a way over-priced (but still tasty) bowl of yogurt with granola and berries. my friend, however, got an awesome omelet that came with fries, and you’re right–they are fabulous.
    …and i just realized how ridiculously excited i am to have actually eaten at one of the nyc restaurants reviewed by someone else! i’m such a geek. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. mr. meatpacking Says:

    is this a porn-site? what’s all this talk of meatpacking districts?

    -MM

  3. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Grace,

    Congrats. This is a big moment for you ๐Ÿ˜› I’m glad the fries at Pastis weren’t an anomaly. What other restaurants have you been to in NYC that you think are worth a review?

  4. DocChuck Says:

    Please allow me to comment on this public health menace. Though it may not matter since over 25% of all NYC residents have infectious herpes. Or so Iโ€™m told.

    That burger looks like a great deal of intestinal trouble. And my wife agrees with me. She is an ostentatious cougar, by the way.

    I came down with a rather debilitating bout of salmonella poisoning last year. We kept no filthy turtles in our home, though I did have a rather impressive collection of anoles (which I named after Food Network personalities), as well as my beloved housecat, Mr. Wiggles.

    My doctor ruled out Mr. Wiggles and told me that the cause was likely the anoles, my daily sunny-side up egg or the never-ending salad bowl at the Olive Garden, which I used to patronize several times a week.

    After what I went through (I will not get into the details here), I humanely disposed of the anoles and vowed never to eat eggs or restaurant salads again.

    Although I am NOT a nutritionist, I AM a PhD and my wife is a respected health professional. Eating a runny egg on top of a burger showing pink inside is playing Russian Roulette with your health. Only an uneducated numbskull would do that.

  5. For the "doc" Says:

    (212) 543-5566โ€Ž….just a thought doc upchuck

  6. ratbuddy Says:

    Hmm, I’m on to you, Mr. “trying to scare people away from this site,” or should I say, Mr. Levine! You can’t fool me..

  7. Uneducated Numbskull Says:

    Dear DocChuck,

    Uh, what’s the PhD in? You must be real smart.
    And why would anyone go to Olive Garden several times a week? Did you own the franchise?

    Unedukated Numskul

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