“Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.”  Sydney Smith

Eatery:   Gravy, 32 East 21st Street, New York NY

Yep, that’s right – I detest gravy (the sauce).  I hate its drab color.  I shudder at its turgid consistency.  And the idea of creating a jus out of fat and flour just plain grosses me out.

But this didn’t stop me from sampling Gravy (the restaurant), a new southern-influenced spot in the Flatiron District.  This is not a place that would necessarily be known for its burgers, but the description of what’s on The Gravy Burger intrigued me:  “Green tomato, spicy remoulade, black pepper bacon, pepper jack cheese.”  All those adjectives used to describe the toppings (now is the time to remind you that I am a sucker for wordplay and marketing).  So, I gave it a go but also got an order of Crispy Mac & Cheese to make sure I was ordering at least one thing that was somehow in keeping with the cuisine of the restaurant.

The green tomato was actually on the side along with a bit of lettuce.  I didn’t add the green tomato to the burger, partly because I just think that tomatoes should be fire engine red.  But mostly it was that I didn’t notice they were there right away.  The burger came along with fries, which were medium cut (midway between my beloved McDonalds fries and Husband’s treasured English chips) and jacketed in what I believe was Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.  They were fine – not brilliant, not problematic.  Just fine.

Gravy Burger with fries at Gravy (photo by MJ Byers)

The burger was similarly “just fine.”  It was small (I assume it was the “single” – the menu also lists a “double”) and cooked medium rare, having a straightforward raw meat flavor.  I am usually “less is more” in the area of how well to cook beef, but this was one occasion where I think more cooking might have been beneficial – perhaps a bit more of the Maillard reaction (see glossary) would have helped the flavor along.  The cheese and remoulade sauce didn’t contribute much to the experience, but the bacon was crispy and flavorful.  Overall a good – but not great – burger.

Crispy Mac & Cheese at Gravy (photo by MJ Byers)

Now, you may be wondering “What of the Crispy Mac & Cheese?”  This dish was basically a ball of boiled macaroni deep fried, with a coating of cheese sauce over top and beneath it.  One look at the cheese sauce and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like it. I am not a fan of cheese sauce (I never actually believe they use real cheese – cheese sauce always seems to be something from a package of Velveeta), and this sauce in particular had a too-pale, congealed appearance.  In fairness, the texture of the sauce wasn’t too bad, but it was oddly flavorless save for a spicy note.  I could see myself enjoying this as a late-night indulgence after several martinis and no dinner. But in the harsh, cold light of sobriety…. not so much.

Price:  $12 for a single, $15 for a double.

Destination Burger:  No – it’s not really Gravy’s thing.

Optional French Fry Rating:  Not bad, but not a favorite.

Fat and Calorie Worthy:  Um – maybe the burger is; the Crispy Mac & Cheese is definitely not.

Today’s Weigh In:  Down another pound.

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  1. Surely a perfect piece of writing! We’ve book marked it and sent it out to all of my friends since I know they’ll be intrigued, thank you very much!

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