HandCraft (3rd/27th)

Had a chance to drop by HandCraft and tried the meatloaf sandwich, while watching the Mets choke away the World Series.

It’s a big sandwich. Comes plated on nice toasted ciabatta bun, with a loaf that’s part duck, part boar, and part bison, with some bacon thrown in for good measure. There’s fried onions on top as well. Sound busy? Yes, but it works for some reason. The leanness of the boar and bison are nicely offset by the duck and, in part, by the bacon. The smokey ketchup its topped with doesn’t hurt either.

The hand-cut fries that come with it, however, need a different pair of hands me thinks.

All in all, a nice spot to grab a bite to eat at the bar, and grab a cocktail and a hard cider. Solid Sazerac too.

3rd Ave (between 27th and 26th)

Handcraft must be new? Our apartment is just a few blocks away, but I don’t recall seeing this place along the “bar central” stretch of Third Ave. the last time we were in (we split our time between NYC and our house in NJ). We’re always looking for a good burger conveniently located, so we’ll definitely check it out. The fact that they take reservations is a major plus.

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Bartender told me about 3 months old.

If you try the burger, let me know how it is. Couple next to me was sharing their burger, looked pretty good, and tall. I’d like to try their sliders and tots sometimes.

We stopped into HandCraft late last Wednesday after coming back from a concert at Lincoln Center. We had actually taken a quick peek inside the previous Saturday night. It was jammed and very LOUD! I avoid places with insanely high noise levels like the proverbial plague, but on a Wednesday at 10:45 p.m., HandCraft was pretty empty. And though the music was tuned up, it was not headache producing. I had called before walking over and was happy to learn there were regular tables since neither of us likes sitting at the bar or at high-tops. The regular tables are in the rear where the space narrows down.

The cocktail list includes Berry Lemonade with vodka or tequila and fresh lemonade. Since I don’t drink alcoholic cocktails, I asked our server if I could have just the lemonade. She checked and said yes. Mr. RBI chose the Saratoga IPA on draft which he liked a lot.

We shared the HandCraft Burger with smoked bacon, aged cheddar, and spicy onion jam on a brioche bun, served with hand cut fries. The burger was cooked perfectly to our medium rare specification. Juicy and flavorful, it was enhanced by the add-ons and the excellent brioche bun. The thinly-cut fries were hot, crispy, and correctly salted.

HandCraft Burger

HandCraft photo set

For us, this is a great, very convenient spot to go late on a weekday for a bite. For those who don’t mind the hubbub, anytime is a good time.

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Well, now I’m definitely have to go back and try the burger. And maybe give the fries a second look.

We went back to HandCraft at the end of December for another late supper. Had the burger and fries again. Still excellent. Started by sharing the Louisiana Gumbo. The kitchen split it for us. This was my bowl. Hearty and delicious with a good bit of spiciness. Perfect on what was a bitterly cold night.

Louisiana Gumbo

The entire photo set for this visit to HandCraft can be seen here.

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