Bill’s Bar and Burger in the Meatpacking District
Bill’s Bar and Burger, the super-casual, spanking-new Meatpacking District restaurant from Steve “B.R. Guest” Hansen (Dos Caminos, Ruby Foo’s, Blue Water Grill, etc., etc.), seems like a sure thing. It’s in the former Hog Pit space, that somewhat battered but handsome old triangular brick building in the heart of the Meatpacking district party zone. The menu is all about “secret blend, ground-daily” Pat LaFrieda burgers, dogs, fries (disco and otherwise), shakes (boozy or regular), and the odd chicken wing / chili / blackened fish sandwich. Bill’s Bar and Burger’s prices are low, the atmosphere warm and welcoming, the staff and management experienced with exactly the sort of loud, late-night crowd that is already pouring (staggering?) in.
So all of the elements are in place for Bill’s Bar and Burger to be an instant Meatpacking District restaurant smash. And, as we experienced about a week ago, on the restaurant’s first Saturday night, for the most part Hansen and crew deliver. It’s no Shake Shack–yet?–but Bill’s Bar and Burger does offer first-rate takes on the menu’s obvious crowd-pleasers, plus enough tasty twists and surprises to keep us coming back for more.
Bill’s Bar and Burger beats other low-priced Meatpacking District restaurants
First, the burgers. New York City’s Meatpacking District restaurants are plentiful and Bill’s Bar and Burger makes the mark. We tried three, and two were winners. The best of the bunch was the restaurant’s signature sandwich, the Bill’s Classic, on a soft, unobtrusive sesame bun (an impressive line-up of condiments are on your table, if you choose to go that route), which we topped with american cheese and bacon. The griddle masters at Bill’s Bar and Burger flatten the patties as they cook, but rather than drying out the burger, the smashed-up results remain juicy and full of deep, beefy flavor. Also terrific was the Sunset and Vine Burger, served with lettuce, tomato and a special sauce that actually was. The Bobcat Burger was the only misstep of our meal, a Bill’s Classic made irrelevant by a far-too-large pile of canned “New Mexico” green chilis.
The accompaniments at Bill’s Bar and Burger stand up to main attraction. New York hot dogs are a big deal and the all-beef Hatfield’s Hot Dog was bold and snappy, though whomever was manning the kitchen’s sweet relish station needs to ease up a bit. The Strawberry Shack was fruity, creamy, and blended with love. The Disco Fries, smothered in melted cheese and hearty brown gravy, were suitably salty and gloppy. But the biggest side-order surprise had to be the delicious Crispy Veggie Fries, a basket of lightly breaded, deftly dunked carrots, broccoli, green beans and mushrooms. What could have been a mere garden-grown bone thrown to the MePa’s Lo-Cow eaters was actually the dish we devoured first, proving that someone’s definitely paying attention in kitchen.
Bill’s Bar and Burger details
Bill’s Bar and Burger is located on the corner of Ninth Avenue and 13th Street, and is open on Sunday to Wednesday from Noon until 11:00 p.m., on Thursday from Noon to Midnight, and on Friday and Saturday until 4:00 a.m. For more information on this Meatpacking District restaurant and a complete, check out the Bill’s Bar and Burger website, here.