Sunday, March 21, 2010

Video Review: Ruby’s - Burgers so Delicious, Even a Vegetarian Couldn’t Resist a Bite

Yesterday our solution to the conflict of gorgeous weather and a dire need for office furniture was resolved with a decision to walk what felt like the length of Manhattan to Seaport Village then hop onto the free water taxi to Ikea.   Getting somewhat lost somewhere below Canal Street, the journey downtown turned into a two-hour walk in the sun.  The serene boat ride was followed by the usual chaos of navigating the mega store, muscle-powered lugging of our findings back onto the water taxi, and finagling of a cab from Seaport with our belongings.

At 4 p.m. our stomachs alarmed us that the slice of pizza shared among three women was not cutting it.    To quench our huge appetites, a friend suggested Ruby’s in Nolita – “supposedly the best burgers in New York” she said. 

Check out our video review after the jump.

Our first impression of the ambience was very positive. The limited menu selection made picking our meals simple and the picnic-like communal seating on extra long benches started us off with a bonus effect of meeting someone cool.   We shared our table with @stefanieh88, an intern at a soon-to-be-launched site called “InTheMo” (Get your minds out of the gutter, buddies – the Mo is actually short for “moment” and the site she explained will be a “Yelp with videos”). Hear Chrystal's take below. Full review after the jump. 

Although a trip to the bathroom is not for the faint-at-heart (be prepared to step over an Alice in Wonderland type hole in the floor and inhale years of dust), the taste of the food makes it all worthwhile.

When our bubbly waitress arrived the two of us who faced an amazing three-panel painting of a cow sympathetically ordered the pumpkin and roasted vegetable salads.  Both were refreshing, flavorful and humongous.  In both salads, the pumpkin was cut in large chunks so it was hearty, like a vegetarian steak, but delicate and complex in flavor. Very pleased.  

The third of us got the bronte burger with Swiss that was so succulent it felt like we’d been transported to a time when people didn’t care about fat content.  The sandwich was minimalistic in toppings but the Ciabatta bread absorbed the burger’s juices so that the first bite was an old-fashioned, home cooking taste you wouldn’t find at a larger establishment.  

We all moaned with delight at each of our entrees, tasting each other’s foods.  To our amusement, our vegetarian friend even took a bite of the bronte. “I’ve tasted meat before, she explained, it always makes me sick. But this really is good.”

While waiting for the check, our bellies were too full for dessert. but we spotted Balaboosta across the street.  (Update: @Grubstny posted pics & a menu).  What a cool name for a restaurant - the word in Hebrew colloquially and roughly means “one who makes a cozy home” and the décor looked very inviting. Fortunately for us, it was closed so we could only peak inside in anticipation for the next fix -  and leave with our bellies full of Ruby’s love to set up our Ikea treasures in the office. 


Ruby’s Cafe

219 Mulberry @ Spring


Go there when…You’re hungry

Great for:  Big appetite, solo dining, grease fixing with a kick

Not so great for: big groups (it’s a small place), clean freaks

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