How many signs outside restaurants in New York read, "Best Burger in New York City"? Probably as many as there are "Best Coffee," "Best Pizza," and "Best Line of Baloney." That's what you think when you walk by Korzo on East Seventh Street between Avenue A and B across from Tompkins Square Park. Then you figure, "Eh, let's give it a shot," and you end up telling everyone about it and asking why, if they knew about it, for crying out loud, they didn't tell you. It's a deep-fried burger for the love of all things holy! The couple behind Korzo are Maria and Otto Zizak, who met in "the 2nd grade of their grammar school, in the mountain resort town of Poprad — an eastern region of what was then Czechoslovakia." The restaurant serves Eastern European comfort food, and one of the city's most underrated burgers.
Langos, the Hungarian fried bread is made according to Maria's three-generation-old family recipe. Otto makes mustard from organic Saskatchewan seeds soaked in Korzo Organic Ale (which he brews with Peak Organic Brewing Company). The meat gets mustard and apple-smoked organic bacon and is wrapped in the langos dough and deep fried. They halve it and the resulting burger is juicy and delicious as all hell, its juices self-contained in a fried dough pocket. You don't understand. You need to eat this burger. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.