My food writing class, headed by the fabulous, Andrea Strong, descended on Bill’s Bar and Burger 22 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 like wild female cats, pouncing on everything edible, and some of us were in heat. It was the final official meeting of our class and I was pretty sad. I really love this fierce group, producers, a sommelier, chefs, and bloggers, but we promised to eat together again. (Just remember, I have some incriminating photos.) You will definitely be hearing about all these great food writers again. To our future publications ladies!

Aimee 2 Amanda 3 Andrea

Audrey Claire Jessica at Chelsea Market

MH Portia crop Tracy with glasses

*In alphabetical order, Aimee, Amanda, Andrea, Audrey, Claire, Jessica (me), Mary Helen, Portia, Tracy.

Some will say Bill’s Bar & Burger (a B. R. Guest venture) is a copy cat of Shake Shack’s burger. I will let let the thin burger patty fanatics fight that out. I’m a big fat burger girl, Jackson Hole all the way. The thin patties just don’t do it for me. Size, or rather thickness matters, and so does a warm pink medium rare, which they don’t do either. All burgers are smashed and cooked to thoroughly brown. Bill’s does use 5 ounces vs. the Shake Shack 4 ounces, so in a pinch, I won’t complain about eating here, especially at these prices (burgers $5.50 to $6.96). I blame my out-of-focus pictures on these crazy ladies who made me laugh all night long. I couldn’t hold the camera still.


The fries were thicker than my preference too. I like skinny crispy fries, but I was surprised by how good these are, especially the Disco Fries, drenched in gravy and cheese. They managed to be crispy on the edges, taste like real potato, and are the most grease-less fries I’ve ever tasted. Is there a little army back there blotting them?

Tracy and Claire with fries

Other sides were pretty good too, crunchy Beer Battered Onion Rings, Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings, and little balls of veggie fries. Again, good control on the oil.

veggie frie and onion rings boneless buffalo wings

The desserts are priced really well but none of them interested me that much: Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Brownie, Fruity Rice Krispy Treat (didn’t taste), and Ice Cream Sundae from $2.75 to $5.

My absolute favorite item though, the thing I will come back for, is the Stout Float, vanilla ice cream with Sam’s Oatmeal Stout. The bitterness of stout cuts the sweetness of the ice cream so well! Such synergy! If I suddenly become a drunk, this may be why. This is especially funny to me because the one thing I go back to Shake Shack for is their Vanilla Concrete with Blueberry Pie mixed in. Notice that the name Shake Shack emphasizes the shake and not the burger, and that Bill’s Bar & Burger but the “bar” first.

cookies 'n cream shake

What B.R. Guest does really well is take any concept and fine tune it to making you feel like you got just a little more than you paid for. This no frills burger bar is priced like any other local joint, but it’s a full-service restaurant with well-trained staff (and a good looking waiter), and attention to ingredients.

Tracy, Claire, Jessica, Amanda

Hope to see you all again soon! Very very soon!

posted by jessica at 03:55 PM Filed under American and New American, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.