Prandially Yours: Grazin’

-A Monthly Column By Joshua Wanger, Featuring NYC Restaurant Reviews-

What is more quintessentially American than a well-crafted burger? Grazin’, which opened March of 2015, in Tribeca, offers hungry visitors the supreme satisfaction of a burger cooked to their preferred temperature, as well as the satisfaction of knowing each burger supports the Grazin’ brand’s ethical, socially responsible, animal and ecological welfare ethos. Grazin’s sister restaurant in Hudson, NY, holds the title as the first Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world. The Grazin’ family farm provides the pasture-raised, grass-fed beef that comprises the majority of the fare at the casual downtown restaurant.

Being ethical has not changed the primary focus: burgers—truly amazing burgers. Specialties like “The Suzie Burger” (a 6 oz patty with sautéed onions, ketchup, and pepper in the patty) or “Uncle Dude” (a 6 oz patty with cheddar, bacon, carrot jalapeño relish, and chipotle mayo) indicate the culinary intrigue behind this joint. Patrons less tempted by fancy toppings will relish three sizes of plain burger (4 oz, 6oz, and 10 oz) to which they can add any of the house-made condiments: sweet, lightly spiced ketchup, whole grain mustard, or herbaceous mayo.

Prepared medium rare, the Suzie Burger arrives quite juicy and fragrant with lettuce, tomatoes, and house-made pickles. To experience the best of the rich, grass-fed, beefy flavor, leave the condiments for the crisp and salty French fries. Every detail of the Suzie Burger, from the fresh, springy bun to the mildly spicy patty, is wonderful. Medium-rare burgers arrive browned on the outside and a beautiful rosy pink in the center. Try pairing it with a fruity IPA, such as the Finback Trees & Leaves.

Cocktails are a must, and the knowledgeable bartenders will steer your choice. In the spirit of the restaurant, the bar is stocked with many local spirits like Owney’s rum and Brooklyn Gin. The bartenders skillfully craft drinks highlighting the particular flavors of a spirit. The seasonal cocktail list regularly changes—certainly more often than the season—so you can always enjoy the freshest concoctions.

Pair one of these excellent cocktails with a decadent, fresh, organic dessert. The crustless cheesecake is phenomenal: The chefs use farmer’s cheese, a softer cheese akin to cottage cheese, and top it with a tart fruit puree. Served in a mason jar, the cheesecake coats your mouth with fresh and lingering sweet sensations.

The atmosphere is fun and inviting, the drinks are well-crafted, and the food is both ethically sound and delicious. Grazin’ is a humanitarian’s dream. Burger prices range from $14 (for the basics) to $24 (for the chef’s specialty). Stop in for the daily happy hour drink and a snack if you aren’t in the mood for dinner—but beware! The friendly staff, the relaxed atmosphere, and the smell of burgers may convince you to stay for dinner after all.


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