There’s something to be said for simplicity.
Recently, burgers have become monstrosities, packing more than half a pound of meat and thousands of calories into artisanally produced buns, selling for more than 10 bucks, and leaving the diner overstuffed and overweight.
It sometimes seems as if we’ve lost our way when it comes to burgers, which were once an exercise in simplicity and balance.
Which is why it was such a relief to stumble upon A&A Coffee Shop, a hole-in-the wall lunch counter nestled into a tiny storefront midblock on 20th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in New York City. It’s been there since 1980, and hasn’t changed at all in the intervening years, which brought drastic change to the very fiber of the city’s being.
Taking a seat on a stool, we decided to order a bacon cheeseburger, the litmus test of a great burger. A fresh patty was placed onto the flattop, flipped after getting a nice sear, and topped with a slice of American cheese and a few strips of bacon. A soft, squishy sesame seed-topped bun soon joined it on the flattop, and was removed right as it started to brown. When assembled with some lettuce and fresh-sliced tomato and placed in front of us on a Styrofoam plate, it reminded us of what a burger used to be. A moderately-sized, perfectly balanced sandwich.
Click here for other featured sandwiches or check out the 2012 Year in Sandwiches and the Sandwich of the Week Slideshow. Know a sandwich that should be featured? Email The Daily Meal or comment below. Better yet, become a contributor and write up your favorite today!