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Not Just Another Friday Night Burger: Korzo Haus

June 28, 2012

Last February, Eater NY hosted a contest for correctly guessing 12 great burgers in New York based on pictures only.  The winning was a whole month supply of Pat LaFrieda meats and steaks.  Enticed by the prize and of course, driven by my competitive nature, I spent a good two and half days turning over every food memory I have in my head, scouring the Internet and consulting every burger loving male on my team.  In the end, I was positive that I had all the burgers correctly identified but one.  And that one plagued me until almost the 11th hour when a fellow coworker threw a hail Mary and identified it as the Korzo Haus burger, a deep fried delight of Hungarian origins.  Yes, that’s right, a delicious juicy beef patty wrapped up in Hungarian fried bread.  For some reason or another, it took me over a year before I found myself stepping into Korzo Haus to give its burger a shot.

Two Friday nights ago (before my cleanse) with no reservations, MD and I wandered around a packed East Village for a good half an hour before we spotted Korzo Haus on the map.  Seeing that name instantly jogged my memories and needless to say, we found dinner that night.  The restaurant is located on a quieter strip of 7th street with the grill and bar seating in the front and less than 20 seats in the back, packed in nice and tight.  The menu consisted of a few Eastern European specialities such as goulash, halusky, and wursts in addition to a whole section dedicated to its famous burgers (including a vegetarian option).

A hot sticky night called for an ice cold Golden Pheasant for MD and the Korzo ale for me.

A house made pickle platter and German potato salad to start.  The eggs and cauliflower were big hits but the celery was quite weak, lacking that tart kick we were looking for.  We were both much more enthralled by the German potato salad.  Still warm and extremely creamy, the potatoes had absorbed all the seasonings which included very strong mustard.  Giant pieces of tender bacon hid within the salad and had us very happily devouring the whole bowl.

Given the social media age that we live in, Korzo Haus was no exception and showed its connectivity with a dish called Twitter’s Choice.  The particular dish is determined by tweets to the chef and he then puts his spin/interpretation on it.  And that Friday night, it was tacos.  Served in a set of three, these were made with quality ground beef (probably the same used in the burger).  A good few bites but they did not satisfy MD’s taco cravings.

I had my sights set on the fried burger the second we walked in and that did not waver one bit.  After hearing Steve’s special burger that night, I could not resist and picked that over the “signature”.  And let me tell you, Steve’s special did not disappoint.  The burger, created by the chef Steve, was paired with smoked bacon, the usual tomatoes and onion, cream cheese and homemade jalapeno relish.  As weird as the combination might sound, the cream cheese and jalapeno relish elevated the burger to a whole new level.  Tangy and creamy with a big hit of spicy, my mouth waters even now thinking back on it.  The fried dough completely enveloped the meat and filling, making it a great catch-all for the drippings, absolutely delicious down to the last bite.

Wrapping up with a bowl of red bliss fries, crispy and hot, we were ready to move onto dessert.

Dessert that night at Korzo Haus was a fried nutella pocket.  The chef used the same dough as the burger to create this amazingly simple yet irresistible dessert.  Stuffed with nutella and fried then tossed in powdered sugar, the pocket was served onto a smear of the same jalapeno relish found in the burger.

Given how rich our meal was already, MD and I split the fried nutella pocket.  One bite had me wishing that we had saved room for this. Sigh, what a way to end a meal.

Korzo Haus |178 E 7th Street  New York, NY 10009 |

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