The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Kåre Week, Day 3: Dumont Burger, Midtown Horrors, and BBQ (Fried) Chicken

Note: This post originally took place on October 18.

A few months ago I was made the editor of Serious Eats' burger blog, A Hamburger Today, despite that my burger fiend quotient is 1/100,000th of these guys. Yet I'm at the top of the page (eating gelato; not even a burger!), thus giving the impression that my diminutive head is brimming with burger knowledge. Lies. All lies. I'm mostly good at blogging things and keeping the content a-flowing.

But this doesn't mean I don't love burgers or that I'm not opinionated about them. Being the AHT editor has given me an all-access pass to "Screwing Moderation," meaning that I can stuff myself with more juicy patties of ground beef than ever before—I'm shooting for at least one a week—in order to catch up to my burger-loving peers and inch closer to death. I still can't write about burgers in any authoritative way, but I'm discovering what sucks and doesn't suck about burgers. This is the stuff they don't teach you in college. This is real life, man.

Dumont Burger
Dumont Burger

Dumont Burger has been on my "to eat" list for a while. Although it got mixed reviews from my friends and the Internet, it seemed dumb not to try one of the most famous burgers within walking distance of my apartment. Kathy, Tina, Alex, and Kåre joined me on my burger-eating quest; we would all success—or fail—together.

DB shake
I would also call this a DAIRY BUCKET

Before eating the burger, I prepared my stomach with a vanilla milkshake, aka "the most socially acceptable way to mix ice cream with your meal." If you ate a spoonful of ice cream in between each bite of burger you might be labeled as having brain damage, but blend a bowl of ice cream with milk, suck it with a straw, and you're totally normal. DB's milkshake made with Ciao Bella gelato passed the grand "intense face sucking" test, that is, my first sip required such intense sucking that I could feel my brain gradually collapse into itself as the dairy-based semi-solid crept its way up the straw. You should burn at least one calorie with every sip, each of which, unfairly, probably contains about 50 calories. (I made up that number; the real one is probably scarier.)

ohai alex!
Ah, warmth

When we realized how stupidly cold it was outside (although nothing compared to the borderline freezing weather we're having now), we moved our party of five inside, even though there was only enough room for us to awkwardly sit in a row facing the wall that was non-conducive to conversation. (The central communal table was full.)

dumont mini burger
Mini burger

While I know I can eat a 10-ounce burger without feeling too sick, I know I'm better off eating something smaller. At only five ounces, Dumont's mini-burger was just the right size. The burger came with thin slices of sweet pickle and crisp red onion, a fat slice of tomato, and a fresh, soft leaf of what may have been butter lettuce.

meat goo

I put everything except for the tomato in my burger and bit into...unappealingly chewy bread. A ciabattini, or a mini ciabatta roll, to be exact. While I love a good, chewy, crusty roll for most sandwiches and I liked this ciabattini on its own, I don't like them in my burgers. The patty was too soft to hold up to the bread, and since this burger was so tall—you can't get your mouth around the whole thing unless you unhinge your jaw—meat patty and toppings were constantly at risk of squishing out. I'd rather not have to readjust my burger after every bite like an uncomfortable pair of underpants. (...That doesn't just happen to me, right? Have I said too much?) I liked the patty for being juicy and flavorful with a bit of char around the outside, but it was just so damn...fat. Overall, the burger was tasty as some kind of meaty sandwich, but as a burger I have to give the bread and patty thickness the thumbs down.

Vegetarian friendly

One of these problems could be easily solved by using a soft brioche bun instead of a ciabattini. They have them—it was used in Alex's chickpea burger (like a giant falafel patty sandwich). Why are they holding out? Why? Maybe you can specifically ask for it.

onion rings
Onion rings

The burger comes with either fries or onion rings. Onion rings were of the humongor, perfectly round slice variety, but were on the greasy side. I preferred the skinny fries.

Alex haz a milkshake

Near the end of the meal Alex decided that he too wanted to partake in face sucking milkshake goodness with a chocolate milkshake he would proceed to nurse for the next hour, thus providing him with 500% of his RDA of calories, which he easily burned off by merely breathing. Skinny bastard. I'm showing you this photo because I want you to see how awesomely he gives the squinty eye. I live for the squinty eye; one glance sends daggers of joy into my very soul.

HEY GUYS, line up.
Kåre, Alex, Tina, and Kathy

And here's that random group shot I posted a while back. "Hey guys, stand in front of that picturesque grate. And make a weird expression. Okay, thanks." The unparalleled creativity of my art direction knows no bounds.

floor cake
What's the use of inedible cake?

Kåre, Alex, and I went to the Museum of Modern Art after lunch and saw such revelatory food-related exhibits such as this inedible floor cake.

Two Cheeseburgers, with Everything

And these inedible cheeseburgers.

glare, alex...glare

One of my favorite things about modern art museums is finding that one piece that makes you think, "What the fuck? No." This skinny canvas painted red on its face and black around the edges was out WTF-piece.

In Central Park
Focus...has failed.

We roamed around Central Park after leaving the museum. A giant splotch of nature surrounded by the opposite of nature. I've never been a fan of Central Park, but it's nice to know it exists.

After stopping into FAO Schwartz for a little peek (it was definitely more appealing when I was still in the single-digit age range), we made our way towards 42nd Street in hopes of catching a movie. Not that we had to go to Times Square for that; it just happened to be the location of the closest movie theater I could think of. However, I forgot something important about Times Square on a Saturday night: it's really, really crowded.

Times Square
Sweet baby jesus.

Squeezing through hoards of slow moving people does not make for a pleasant walk. I used to go to Times Square all the time when I was younger—before I discovered that the rest of Manhattan was less theme park/zoo-like. However, being in Times Square could be fun—in a surreal way—without all the human interference. Maybe. I don't plan on ever being there late enough to find out.

When we finally reached the movie theaters—there are two across from one another on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues—we realized that the movies either sucked or we didn't know enough about them to want to fork over $12 to be possibly disappointed. Besides that, we were semi-exhausted.

Kare and Alex lookin for movies
Let's find a movie!

Our new plan took us to Kim's Video & Music (great music and video store) on St. Mark's Place, which is having a closing sale until January. (It's 55,000 volume film collection is up for grabs.) Unfortunately, we didn't find any movies we were dying to buy.

fried chicken from BBQ Chicken
Fried chicken, yes.

But going down to St. Mark's wasn't a waste of time; I got to introduce Kåre to the fried awesomeness that is BBQ Chicken. It's not barbecue chicken; BBQ stands for "Best of the Best Quality." The chain originates from South Korea so they can take whatever liberties they want with the English language. Besides that BBQ makes my favorite fried chicken in the city, I knew that the fried chicken would still be crispy and juicy long after being cooked, like after being dragged it to the subway, on the subway to Williamsburg, and on the walk home from the subway.

It may have cooled down by the time I finally got it out onto the living room table, but just as I predicted, the skin was still crispy and the meat, still juicy. Even the soggy waffle fries weren't bad. Mashed potatoes were of the goopy, far-removed-from-a-real-tuber variety, but the biscuit was a soft, buttery chunk of wheat-based heaven.

We ended the night by watching Chungking Express (given to me by Colin a few months ago). And there was also this:

plush toy stacking

Ezra, Tristan's awesome friend who was visiting from Oberlin, showed us his plush toy stacking skills. From top to bottom: Little Manatee, Jerome (kapibara-san), Manatee, and Giant Manatee.

It's non-stop, intellectual, skill-building action at the 'Boppy household, I tell ya.

Kåre Week, Day 2 (Part 2): Lower Manhattan Tour, Bubble Tea, and Sonia Rose
Kåre Week, Day 2 (Part 1): Freakin' Sweet Lunch at Momofuku Ssam Bar, and Riding the Staten Island Ferry
Kåre Week, Day 1: Falafels at Taim
Fried Chicken: A Prelude to Pizza


Dumont Burger
314 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019

Kim's Video & Music
6 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003

BBQ Chicken
26 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003


Jane H. / October 31, 2008 2:27 AM

MEAT GOO: funniest caption I've read anywhere LOL

The teeny tiny manatee is SOOOOOOOOO CUTE!

SuperChomp / October 31, 2008 9:52 AM

I don't understand burgers that are the size of your head... Surely no-one can get their chops around something that stacked! I'd have a go at that falafel one though. It looks yum.

The food art looks fun, but more in the sense of 'kitsch home furniture for flomping on'.

maggie / October 31, 2008 11:46 AM

I was meaning to try Dumont Burger, now maybe I'll skip it, thanks for the review.

To continue with fried chicken goodness you should try the chicken (just across the street from BBQ) at Boka on St. Marks. Delicious.

roboppy / October 31, 2008 4:52 PM

Jane: Teeny tiny manatee was my first true manatee love.

G: I hope that there is no other blog where someone would feel compelled to just say, "Dairy Buckets rule! / SPOON"...I feel special.

SuperChomp: The cake didn't look too sanitary; not sure if I wanna flomp on it. :( But someone should make a flompable version!

maggie: A lot of people love Dumont, might like it! My fave burger is the In-N-Out style though. Simple and not like 5 inches tall? ;)

I had no idea about Boka, thanks for the rec!

John: I should make a sign in the shape of an arrow and take photos with it in the museum.

FN / October 31, 2008 6:19 PM

All you burger-heads out there - "A Bistro" in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. They make a Senegalese burger that will put a smile on you. TGWAE - ever been there?

Danny / November 1, 2008 1:10 AM

Hmm.. you've got a good naming scheme for the manatees. It's kind of like a Goldilocks convention. I like it.

And BBQ chicken is the bomb. I went to the 23rd street one on the weekend and it was all fresh and delicious. Do they prefry the chicken? Because it seemed like it was to-order (otherwise it would have taken a much shorter length of time).

roboppy / November 2, 2008 1:08 PM

FN: Haven't been, but thanks for the rec!

Danny: I think they must prefry or else it would take FOREVER (I know cos one took forever). But it's SOODELICIOUS!

Rhianna: The non-manatee has been made an honorary manatee!

Julie / November 3, 2008 10:05 AM

I don't dig thick, crunchy bread with a sandwich any more than I like soft, very thin bread. I would've had to give the ciabetta an elbow drop, pro-wrestler style, to get it mouth sized and to break the crisp enough to crumble in my mouth enough to eat it.

Tristan in the group shop cracks my shizznit up! And kapibara-san is awesome. You have the best plushies evar.

roboppy / November 3, 2008 6:03 PM

Mitzy: Next time you come into the city, you'll get your chance! :D

Julie: Oops, do you mean Kåre and not Tristan? Tristan did not partake in ;_;

I LOVE KAPIBARA-SAN SO MUCH! I mean, JEROME! He has a name, we gotta use it.

emily / November 3, 2008 7:14 PM

i need a kapibara-san in my life...sooooo cute!!!
where did he come from?

p.s. i feel bad about your burger woes. i totally relate to the underwear re-adjusting comment (tmi? haha)

Julie / November 4, 2008 12:06 AM

Ohhhh, I meant Alex, with his milkshake! I get my own friends' names mixed up or forget them altogether. It's tragic. I'm old.

Jerome is as cute as the flesh-and-bone ones at the Phoenix Zoo. At least, they look that cute from 20 feet away.

roboppy / November 5, 2008 12:14 AM

Emily: Kapibara-san came from THE GREAT LAND OF CUTE NUBBINS! And by that I mean Japan. :) I haven't seen any in NYC, at least. They could make a killing here...kapibara-san imports! Yes!

A-HA, I knew I couldn't be the only one with that underwear...problem...thingy. Um.

Julie: NOO you are not old enough to mix up names, don't go there, DON'T GO INTO THE LIGHT.

I gotta say I prefer plush kapibara to the real. I take it I can't snuggle with the real ones as I sleep. (The baby kapibaras are cute though.)

Kate / November 5, 2008 10:35 AM

It is so sad when a burger is ruined by too much bunnyness (breadyness? breadybunnyness?). These people obviously did not think things through enough. We need to teach them the ways of the :)

MMM, bbq chicken. I have never had South Korean BBQ chicken...I wonder if they will mail me some? I mean, it lasted all that time till you could make it...

Yay! Stacking of soft animals is always fun! And they're all so cute and cuddly looking!

roboppy / November 5, 2008 11:07 PM

Kate: Bun to meat ratio, FAIL.

South Korea takes fried chicken to a whole 'nother level. I do not know why. And that wasn't even korean style. The chicken, they love it.

wix: HAHAHAHA sweet jesus, I love em. I want like 20 of em so I can surround myself in kapibara.

The Home Cook / November 7, 2008 1:45 PM

That's so husband and I were in NYC in some of the same places you were on the same day, Oct. 18. How funny! We wandered around Central Park and FAO Schwartz, too. :)

roboppy / November 9, 2008 5:52 PM

The Home Cook: That's so weird, especially since I hadn't been to FAO Schwartz since I was a TINY LITTLE GIRL. It wasn't as magical as I remembered, sadly.

professoressa floor cake / October 1, 2009 12:14 AM

oh lordy, I sure do love you the girl who ate everything. I too eat muchly, (minus cucumber and liquorice) but that is besides the point! yes, the point is that the combination of your beautiful photos and hilarious anecdoti has brightened what would otherwise have been a dreary day with my arch nemsis mister computer. thank you forever :)

roboppy / October 1, 2009 12:33 AM

professoressa floor cake: Thanks for reading! I'm glad to have provided some sort of joy in the face of mister computer. Bad, bad computer..(waggles finger at it...then shoots it..yeah that'll show it).

Gladwise / October 1, 2012 7:54 PM

I absolutely love manatees and I've been looking to buy a big one but I can't seem to find any online.

roboppy / October 8, 2012 1:34 AM

Gladwise: My friends actually bought it for me, so I'm not positive where they got it...but it's possibly they got it from, except despite the presence of a photo of the giant plush manatee on the page, they don't sell it. :( Maybe they ran out? Is there a giant plush manatee shortage? AHHH!!

Jess / February 14, 2013 6:45 AM

Oh please pretty please could you find out where your friends bought you giant manatee stuffed toy? I have had an obsession with dugongs and manatees and im in australia. I would pay everything i had for one of those! LOL half serious though :-)

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