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Hamburger Review: Teddy's Bar & Grill, Brooklyn, NY

Long before Williamsburg became the hipster capital of America, there was Teddy's. Long before Dumont Burger and Diner, long before The Meat Hook and Pies 'n' Thighs, there was Teddy's. While Bohemia has broken out all over Williamsburg with twenty-somethings looking for the next locavore/comfort food outpost, Teddy's Bar and Grill seems completely unaffected. It remains what it always was: a great neighborhood bar that serves a great pub-style burger.

Teddy's is in fact oblivious to the cultural trends that that seem to have sprung up all around it and have become the organizing principles of the New Bohemia. You won't find grass fed beef or organic beers at Teddy's, nor a rooftop garden perched above the bar growing sprouts for your burger, and you won't find skateboards and fixed gear bikes piled up in the vestibule. Teddy's constituency is older—they drive cars and have kids. They own flip phones and Blackberries rather than iPhones. And they know what a hamburger is supposed to taste like.

The burger at Teddy's is a hefty half-pound flamed grilled pub-styleburger. The beef comes with some impressively defined grill marks and a crust the color of the darkest mahogany. This gives way to loosely packed, moderately juicy inner flesh. Order it rare and it will be. Ditto for other temperatures. The patty has a good beefy flavor—it tastes like sirloin rather than chuck, having a more steak-like flavor but also a less bawdy mouth feel.

The double slice of American comes melted, but it sometimes gets a bit scorched and blistered. It doesn't affect the sandwich too drastically—at least they don't overcook the beef. The bread is superb—a sesame seed-studded white squishy bun that holds the burger snugly along with the mountain of rabbit food that comes standard.

The quantity of rabbit food furnished is enough to construct a small salad, and is both fresh and crunchy. It's not really necessary—the burger is good enough to go commando style—but it doesn't hurt things either; the beef has enough flavor to come through no matter how many greens you throw at it.

Teddy's makes a fantastic pub-style burger and one that should not be overlooked when burgering in the 'burg. The fact that it is served in the unpretentious surroundings of a classic Brooklyn watering-hole make it all the more alluring.

96 Berry Street, Brooklyn NY 11211


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