Best burger in the village. The kale is awesome and the blue cheese fries are amazing.
The service is always friendly and the downstairs portion of the restaurant is super cool.
overpriced and underwhelming.
Having lived in the East Village for 10 years - and in NYC for 15, I have seen a lot of restaurants come and go. This one will, sadly, be a passing fad. NY restaurant competition is fierce. Rents are high and so is the bar for quality. While Juicy Lucy might fare well in a lesser city, NY demands the best -- or at least it demands quality that is commensurate with price.
At $9, the juicy lucy burger (their 'signature' item) is only ok. Other restaurants in the neighborhood serve truly great burgers -- e.g. Paul's on 2nd ave, or the Royale on ave C. Both of these other places serve larger portions with higher quality for less money.
Well intentioned, JL's 'Crack Kale' is salty and oily and not really worth the trouble.
The pulled chicken sandwich is dry and unremarkable. It's really quite mediocre.
Hopefully someone at the restaurant will take a look around at their competition so that they can reprice their menu and adjust their menu before the pressures of commerce close their doors just like so many places before them.
Citysearch Editorial Review. This small East Village restaurant would be unremarkable, but for its burger, one of the more interesting in town. The Juicy Lucy--named and modeled after a burger that originated in Minneapolis--is a messy, delectable concoction that features a blended short rib patty with a gooey, pimento cheese center. The two-floor space has white tiled walls, counter seating and a few tables upstairs and a modest 26-seat dining room downstairs. In addition to the Juicy Lucy, Whitmans offers a short menu of other standouts: a traditional beef burger, a tasty chicken sandwich, plus sides like French fries and flash-fried "crack" kale. The plates could stand to be larger (after all, the burger is messy) and the lighting dimmer, but the food manages to compensate for any atmospheric shortcomings.
DMANBURGER "Whitman's NYC".
As far as hamburgers go, few have reached such fame as the “Jucy Lucy”.The creation comes from either Matt’s Bar or nearby 5-8 Club in Minneapolis MN. The misspelling of the name coins its mystery and renowned reputation. As the Wikipedia page explains “ Matt’s Bar boasts on posters that if it’s spelled correctly, you’re at the wrong place”, while in contrast “Employees at the 5-8 Club wear shirts that boast the legend ” If it’s spelled right, it’s done right.” Despite the combativeness, no one is denying the idea that stuffing a patty with a luscious type of cheese is a genius one. New York native, Craig Koenig and a few of his buddies recently opened Whitman’s Restaurant in the East Village, which opted for the correct spelling of his version as printed on the menu [Juicy Lucy]. A simple shop front marked “Slow Food*Beer*Wine*Cafe” opens into a small space with muddled decor. Accented with an Americana theme, Whitman’s is fitted with simple barnyard walled sidings and minimal country seating and white subway tiles with a wall-lined bench. Service is counter style where two styles of burgers are available-the Upstate Burger-an all grass fed creation with seared onions and ultra-secret special sauce and the famous “Juicy Lucy”. A Mama’s Boy free range chicken sandwich with Coffee BBQ sauce and Fennel-jalapeno slaw [$9] and a Succotash Maide-Rite [$9] made with cumin roasted carrots; corn, edamame and poblano cilantro with cilantro, round out the menu. Fried accoutrements consist of hand cut French fries and Crack Kale-a flash fried kale dusted with red pepper.
An avid burger follower and critic Koenig says, “We were inspired by all the food blogs and TV shows surrounding the Juicy Lucy, namely -Food Wars -as inspiration for starting the venture.” This is his first foray into the restaurant business after owning various bars and lounges around the city. Koenig transplanted California native chef Chris Edwards to head the helm where together they focus on classic ingredients with simple twists that are locally sourced. The pair worked on their version for the New York Juicy Lucy for several weeks as Koenig states “It’s all about the quality of the meat and a special Pimento cheese recipe that blend the form together.” The Counter at Whitman’s, is the casual spin-off of the upmarket version slated to open soon in the basement. The menu not complete but, will feature a “Black Label-esque” blend of burger which is being sculpted by a Brooklyn butcher, The Meat Hook-who Koenig says, “Doesn’t even deliver-we have to go pick it up.”
As the Juicy Lucy arrived to my table the server warns me, “Watch out for your shirt- it can get messy.” Towered on a speckled sesame seed Blue Ribbon Bun with a vibrant green leaf of Bibb, caramelized onions, chunks of red tomato, spicy pickles and coated with mayo. The girth of the short rib blend was plump and glistening with color. A rush of pimento cheese flows into the mouth of the eater, bursting out of the patty with aggressive force, combined with a seasoned zest that represents Creole flavors. When asked what that was, Koenig stays tight lipped. The French fries were crispy, salty and plentiful, coupled with a wad of Crack Kale made for a wonderful gluttonous experience. Keeping in with Koenig’s idea of provided affordable fare to the neighborhood, he also features a small selection of quality Ales quench your beef soaked palate, Six point Rye and Blue point Summer Ale are available in frosted Mugs for $4-bottled beers for $7. With a the price tag of $8, the Juicy Lucy bursts in to the Gotham burger scene with succulence and originality.
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