The Spotted Pig



314 West 11th Street at Greenwich Street

Not counting yesterday's lunch, I have only eaten at The Spotted Pig a grand total of one time--and I used to live in an apartment right around the corner! Why, pray-tell, would I not make myself a regular at this fabulous West Village gastropub? Well, it's kind of hard to eat somewhere that's so consistently packed that you're always quoted with a 2-hour wait time. However, if you do manage to snag a seat on one of their mismatched barstools, or wait it out without fainting from hunger, it's worth it. With April Bloomfield's influence in the kitchen, everything is bound to be a hit: deviled eggs, chicken liver toast, burgers with Roquefort, and sheep's milk ricotta gnudi. If you do happen to feel light-headed during the 2-hour wait for a seat, you can surrender and go to White Horse Tavern next door. Or, try coming back on a Monday afternoon as I did. You might have better luck then.

Classic Cheeseburger

2 Prince Street at Lafayette Street

Okay, I don't know how much credibility I have in saying this, seeing as how I have yet to try a Shake Shack burger, which everybody apparently loves... However, I still have to put it out there: Soho Park's cheeseburger is pretty great. The soft, warm potato bun allows you to give it a good squish before digging in, and they've somehow locked down a good proportion between the beef patty, melted cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I think there maybe be a schmear of secret sauce in there, too. Did I mention that the lettuce is shredded? This is key. The worst is taking a bite of a burger containing a whole lettuce leaf and having the entire thing slide out. This is a lovely classic cheeseburger that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.