Lots of things about The Burger Loft work: its unpretentious atmosphere, affordable prices and a simple, streamlined menu that offers a variety of American classics. But the real draw: it has been producing wonderful, juicy burgers since it opened in 2012.
The restaurant grinds its own beef daily from short rib, chuck and brisket. Depending on how well-done you order them, the six burgers on the menu are delicious, slightly crunchy on the outside, moist and pink in the middle.
The menu has other entrees (fish tacos with fresh cod and four-cheese mac-n-cheese, among others), but we concentrated on a few of the creatively topped, yet traditionally tasty burgers.
What we tried
BL Blue Salad ($8): For starters, go green with this appetizer: thick-cut bacon bits on crispy wedges of iceberg lettuce with a tasty slather of blue cheese dressing and juicy tomato. Also on Burger Loft’s menu: a garden ($5), crab cake ($9) and citrus salad (chicken with lemon and herbs on romaine lettuce with ciabatta croutons and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, $8).
The Butterfly Burger ($8): Don’t try to be virtuous and eat light. Go for a gut-buster. Despite its flighty moniker, The Butterfly comes loaded with bacon, cheddar, watercress, tomato and smooth avocado chunks. It’s a juicy creation for people who like their burgers a bit unwieldy.
BBQ Burger ($8): For all-out barbecue lovers, this seasoned, succulent chuck is topped with pepper jack cheese,red and white cabbage cole slaw and homemade barbecue sauce.Try it with a plate of the crisp and slender fries, cut thin from Idaho potatoes and double fried. Dipping sauces like truffle aioli, three chili mayo and horseradish Dijon add another level of flavor.
The Classic ($7): They call it “Classic” for a reason: two patties topped with a layer of melted American cheese and garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and special sauce. This burger stands apart.
Drinks and dessert
Start the evening with the $7 sampler, 5 1/2 ounce tastes of four tap beers (we like hoisting a glass ofReissdorf Kölsch, $6, a crisp and refreshing German ale). The high-end selection of 12 craft beers on tap includes everything from citrus-y California IPAs (Firestone Union Jack, $6) to spicy German lagers(Kostritzer Black Lager, $6). The drinks list has nine fruity cocktails with names like The Scarlett (gin, strawberries, sweet basil, sugar and ginger, $8) and The Squeeze (Tito’s Handmade Vodka and orange juice, $7) and almost a dozen bourbon brands, like Maker’s Mark ($7) and the 12-year-aged Van Winkle Special Reserve ($14). There’s no dessert menu, but the milk shakes ($5) are rich, creamy and surprisingly filling confections. They come in three flavors — strawberry, vanilla and chocolate — and are likely to please ice cream lovers. Or ask for the off-menu caramel milkshake. It’s delicious.
The Burger Loft sits in a little strip mall at the end of South Main Street. The dining area isn’t huge, which means the place can get packed on weeknights and weekends. It draws all sorts of area residents — families, couples, singles and football fans who gather at the bar on Sunday afternoons.
Where to sit
Try for one of the tables in the exposed brick dining area, or make your way to the bar. When weather permits, you can sit in the outdoor patio. If there’s a secret to getting a seat, it may be to visit in the late afternoon.
Owners John Potenza and brothers Dimitri and Kirk Theofanides also ownthe blu Fig in New City and Stony Point and Cicero’s in Bardonia. They are in the process of expanding the menu, adding more entrees, vegetarian options and beers on taps.
What we will order next
Two other burgers beckoned. The Buffalo burger ($8) comes topped with provolone, lettuce, tomato and a slather of blue cheese dressing and buffalo sauce and the Mushroom burger ($8) is weighted with sauteed wild mushrooms, onions and dripping Swiss cheese.
Downtown New City isn’t particularly well known for its night life. Try catching a movie at Bow Tie Cinemas (Clarkstown Plaza, 202 S. Main St., 845-634-5100,www.bowtiecinemas.com) which opened last year at the former Clearview Cinema. The theater shows art and independent films. Or play a few frames at New City Bowl and Batting Cages (90 N. Main St., 845-634-4977,www.newcitybowlandbattingcages.com).
By Alex Taylor. Read on ‘The Burger Loft’ on lohud.com.
The 411 on The Burger LoftCuisine: American. Entree price range: $7-$10.