Bill's Bar and Burger

22 Ninth Ave at W 13th St

Ranking: 17


Can the restaurant group that brought us Blue Water Grill, Ruby Foo’s, and Dos Caminos give us a good snack bar, griddle type burger?  Well, we wanted to find out.  Bill’s Bar and Burger is part of the B.R. Guest Restaurant family.  They already have a spot in the BOTM’s Top Ten with their Park Avenue steak place, Primehouse, but Bill’s is different.  This is not a 10oz steak burger; nope, with Bill’s, B.R. Guest is aiming for a casual, lower priced burger offering.

Bill’s offers a number of burger options which are mostly variations on the basic Bill’s Classic (a thin 5oz patty on a toasted sesame bun with lettuce, tomato and pickles on the side).  At $5.50 it was priced right, and the burger itself was satisfying, but nothing more.  Cooked on a griddle, it has the ‘snack bar’ look and feel but it seemed a bit bland, and in some of our opinion, boring .  It’s not a burger we would make a special trip for.

Now, the Fat Cat, that’s a burger worth a cab ride to the edge of the meat packing district for.  Caramelized onions and  American cheese are added two 2.5oz patties on a buttered English muffin! (Lettuce, tomatoes and pickles on the side).  This was some burger!  Dripping with a combination of the butter, melted cheese, onions and juice from the burger patties, the Fat Cat was a mess (in a good way).  It was questionable about whether the 2.5oz patties would be dried out because they were so thin, or they would retain some of the their own juice that they end up being cooked in on the griddle, but they were juicy and tasty! (Bill’s claim is that ‘medium’ is their standard cooking temperature, but some of ours were definitely past medium which seems expected based on the thinness of the patties).

The Fat Cat oozed ‘Snack Bar Burger’ and the $5.95 price seemed fair.  Fries are a side order, and were an acceptable side to the main act.  If you try Bill’s, the Fat Cat’s the way to go – it’s even worth a special trip (and if you have room for them, try the boneless wings – they're excellent).

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