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The Early Word on Michael Huynh's LES Newcomer, Mikey's

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After a generous weekend of free burger handouts, Michael Huynh opened his latest new restaurant, his LES Rush Hour replacement Mikey's Burger, for business last month. Despite enthusiastic tweets announcing the free burgers, it took longer than usual for the internets to chime in and assess how good (or bad) those Southeast Asian-inspired burgers actually are. Now that they're in, the reviews are somewhat mixed:

The Great News: Only two Yelpers have taken the time to rave: "GREAT burgers. One of the guys that work there his nickname is 'sunshine' made me and excellent! Cheeseburger. It was so juicy and good. Small, clean, cute, and cozy with great burgers. The staff is very friendly. TRY IT!" [Yelp]

The Mostly Ok News: It's not a ringing endorsement by any means, but an Eater commenter thinks Mikey's isn't so bad: "So I work across the street and my co-workers and I sampled all the burgers on the menu over the last two days, as Rush hour was usually pretty lousy in most aspects and even gave me terrible food poisoning a few years back. So, there is a regular simple burger, american cheese option. Then there is the BLT, layered with what is described as chinese bacon, it's thick, but chewy, not very crispy, and spiced with some sort of "asian" something, I didn't really detect a particular flavor, maybe peppercorn and some sweet glaze, it really wasn't so bad, but didn't contribute anything special and was far from wow. The last, Mikey's burger, was by far the best. It involves corned beef hash, a pile of caramelized onions and spicy mustard, I added cheese to mine. I don't like tomato on my burger, especially out of season and looking almost white and very watery, the roll is classic potato roll ala shake shack, the lettuce is romaine ribs, if this burger wasn't so well done, it would have been really good. it's 4.50, which sounds cheap but you need two for sure to make a meal." [Eater Comments]

The Bad News: The Pink Pig is not a fan and guesses the place isn't really ready for its debut: "The Mikey patty is a small but chubby thing, along the lines of the Shake Shack/In-And-Out fast food model served on a potato roll. As for the BLT, there is no novelty in finding lettuce and tomato in the sandwich. The excitement lies solely in the Chinese bacon, and although it was there and I could taste it, I couldn't taste it very much. This was only a couple of degrees away from being a quite anonymous burger - nothing wrong with it, but nothing I couldn't make as fast at home. In a kind of worst-of-both-worlds moment, I heard a customer asking if the place could make him just an ordinary burger. An ordinary burger is pretty much what I'd just eaten. If the restroom and credit card machine need attention, so do the fries. Way too thin and stringy, the effect is closer to eating warm potato chips. Not good. Burger, fries, coke (no sign of any booze) - around eight bucks. [Pink Pig]

The Short but Sweet News: A Chowhounder gives it a short, yet positive assessment: "And a pretty splendid burger it was, plenty juicy and tasty; I made full use of the napkins I had." [Chowhound]

The Pretty Good News: Salmaland deems Mikey's a good single digit dinner: "if you’re in the area, $5.50-$6 gets you a small-ish but thick and filling burger topped with just cheese or ratcheted-up with Asian toppings like Chinese bacon, sausage, and kewpie mayo; the lamb burger comes with jalapeno, mint, and spicy peanut sauce. Drop another $3 for a classic egg cream made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup, or $5 for a milkshake (chocolate, vanilla, Vietnamese coffee, or flavors like avocado and black sesame for the adventurous). P.S.: For the burgered-out, $5 buys an exceptional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich at one of the Huynh-owned Baoguettes." [Salmaland]

The Alternative Option on the Menu News: If burgers aren't your thing, an input on Foursquare advises to "get the spicy chilli if you are in need of a solid warm me up." In this cold weather, it doesn't seem like such a bad idea. [Foursquare]
[photo credit]

Mikey's

134 Ludlow St., New York, NY

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