Wollensky’s Grill

201 East 49th

Ranking: 42


Inconsistent.  If we were writing a one word review for our latest burger experience, it would easily be ‘Inconsistent’.  The BOTM Club reviewed the burger at another of New York City’s famous steakhouses.  As a rule, steakhouses are supposed to have excellent burgers, but based on our experiences (click here to see our full rankings list), that is not always this case.  For this month’s burger we ventured to Wollensky’s Grill, the ‘side’ restaurant attached to Smith and Wollensky’s Steakhouse on 49th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.  Smith and Wollensky’s, which has outlets in various cities through the United States, is well known for their steaks.  But the smaller, more casual Grill, with its entrance on the side on the building on 49th street also has a reputation for great burgers. 

We were seated in the small back ‘room’ which was almost like being in a private location.  Besides our table, there was only one other table of four in the  room, so it was a nice space considering the Grill was packed and the other areas, which were visible through the windows of the small room we were in, were full.

Back to the burgers (and the inconsistency).  We are talking about a half pound burger, made with a majority of sirloin and a touch of chuck for flavor.  The fries came in a miniature replica of a chef’s hat on each plate.  One of the great things about the BOTM Club is that our various members order their burgers in a variety of temperatures . . . and here’s where our problems started.  Two medium rare burgers, came out cooked perfectly, but a third came out cooked well done.  A medium-well came out medium rare, and a medium came out well done (the remaining burgers were close to how they were ordered).  Basically, half the burger were cooked right (or close to right), and half were cooked wrong.  At least three were ‘way off’.  There was also a disagreement on the quality of the fries, but after a few quick comments, we realized that some members fries were soggy while other were cooked well (and another note: the miniature chef’s hat is only HALF filled with fries, so as you get half way down the container, you reach the bottom and learn that you are basically out fries).  Lastly, the same comments that were made said about the fries could be said about the bacon.  Some people got crispy while other got way overcooked.  Inconsistent burger, inconsistent, fries, inconsistent bacon across the entire table.

Because the whole meal was hit or miss, the chance of getting the burger, fries and bacon all cooked correctly only happened for two of us, and even in those cases the burger failed to impress.  The correctly cooked burgers were juicy but were not overly flavorful.  As we have said about other steakhouses, for the price of the burger, go for the steak at Smith and Wollensky’s instead, but if you are looking for a burger at a steakhouse, try one of the others rated higher on our list.  There certainly are a  few to choose from.

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