LaBan Blasts Bobby’s Burger Palace


In Craig LaBan’s online chat today he opened things up by blasting the burger at Bobby Flay’s Bobby’s Burger Palace.

Check the crushing synopsis after the jump.

I suspect this place is going to be a meat-grinding money machine no matter what I say. But rarely does a meal fall this short of the marketing hype. The cheery pink cactus pear margarita slushy? This batch was so bitter, it was absolutely undrinkable. The beer battered onion rings were shined with grease. The unremarkable fries were overcooked to hollow brown crisps. My long-ago “toasted” bun wasn’t fresh or crispy.

As for the burgers, the quality of the meat was pretty good, but they had a tightly packed consistency that gave them a pre-fab feel that would be unremarkable if you encountered it at your next block party. It was the cooking, though, that was most. They failed twice to cook my burger medium-rare, and the second version (which was at least vaguely pink) was jarringly over-salted. Granted, new grill guys need might need a while to get in the groove problematic – but maybe Bobby Flay, who skedaddled town shortly after the grand opening hoopla, should come back for a little extra training.

I lambasted 500-degrees a few weeks ago for a similar offense (three tries to get it right). But all things being equal and perfectly cooked, I’d say the quality of 500’s burger and fries beats Bobby hands-down. And in a hand-to-hand between Iron Chefs (Flay vs. Garces’ Village Whiskey), there isn’t even a competition. The Village burger is still king. Of course, I’m sure I’ll be going back to BBP in a few weeks to check on progress….

Talk food with LaBan []

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  • Mike H

    oops, did i do that

  • Jimmy

    Should we be surprised? The steak at Mesa Grill is garbage, too.

  • eldondre

    he’s a bit over the top, burger is fine for what it is. perhaps a little salty, but not terrible. fries do suck though.

  • Bobby Flay

    Hey Jimmy… I challenge you to a throwdown!

  • HeyyyNo

    Steak at Bar American is excellent!

  • Ryan

    LaBan is completely pointless. If this were one of Starr’s or Perrier’s restaurants, he would speak as though the heavens opened up and graced us with the most delicious meal he had ever eaten. Those who aren’t in his inner circle rarely get good reviews. I’m guessing that Flay is a bit too big to play that local game. I can’t speak for this restaurant yet, as I have not eaten there, but I will go out on a limb and say it is probably significantly better than LaDouche says.

  • Epernay

    I agree with most of what he says about BBP. But strongly disagree with the Village Whiskey and Burger Palace comparison. I don’t think they are even in the same category. If you walk into BBP expecting food that is a few steps above fast food you will not be disappointed.

  • no

    I was there opening night, and the food was great – the fries particularly. Maybe standards went out the windows as soon as Bobby took off…?

  • Barry G

    Hard to imagine a burger worth waiting in line for, when $10 at Royal Tavern will get you something great.

    In any case I am not surprised, his steakhouse in the Borgata is very expensive and very mediocre. I like his TV personality, but his restaurants seem to miss the mark.

  • Ryan

    Don’t judge his restaurants based on a burger chain and AC casino experience. I was recently at Bar Americain and it was phenomenal. I am very critical of most restaurants, particularly those of “celeb” chefs, but I had nothing bad to say about my most recent experience there.

    FYI, Shake Shack burgers (NYC, Madison Square Park location @ 23rd & BWay) are totally worth waiting in line for. The same food can be had on the UWS, but the Mad Sq location makes it worth every minute.