Patty & Bun: Average Patty, Awful Bun
Patty & Bun talks a big game with fancy burgers, a fancy modern look, and fancy beers, all at fancy prices. And yet, this Greenwich Village burger joint just falls short. A stone’s throw from NYU and Washington Square Park, Patty & Bun brings the wrong type of burger joint to this otherwise student-friendly neighborhood. You’d think when opening a restaurant on a block otherwise populated by Cosi, Au Bon Pain, Johnny Rocket’s, Eva’s Health Food, and a downmarket BBQ spot, you’d question the sanity of charging upwards of $17 for a burger and fries.
The dim interior is all dark wood, non-existent ambient lighting, and the neon glare of big flat-screen TVs. A short-order kitchen window blasts bright white light into the murky back set of booths. Near the front, a bar is your best bet for quick service, a beer, a quiet place to watch whichever New York team is playing that night. Patty & Bun has all the trappings of a sleek and contemporary sports bar, but none of the oomph to back it up.
The menu is short and comfort food-focused, with burgers taking up the most space. The ‘American tavern’ fare looks scrumptious, with options including mac & cheese with bacon, steak frites, cheese sliders, a lamb burger, a monkfish BLT, and the Caddy Patty burger with braised duck on top. All I can say is too bad all these delicious choices are rendered useless by the kitchen’s utter inability to execute.
The mac & cheese with bacon is difficult to screw up: cheese, pasta, bacon, all revered foods. And yet, it was bland and impossibly close to Kraft mac & cheese (it just HAD to be). The Caddy Patty burger with pickled vidalia onions, braised duck, and goat cheese was unapologetically over-cooked on the outside. It tasted of char and burnt cheese more than anything else. The 3 cheeseburger sliders were also over-cooked with the cheese blackened and crusty on top. The lamb burger was perhaps the only success of the night with a creative jalapeno sheep’s cheese spread that I could eat all day. For a burger place, it is just unacceptable to consistently overcook and overchar your burgers – what’s the point if you can’t even taste the meat?
All in all, Patty & Bun fares better as a bar with good beers on tap, a full liquor selection, and big TVs. The food tastes as though it was an afterthought to the design and concept and just can’t compete with the series of acclaimed burgers nearby (Bill’s Burgers, Minetta Tavern, BLT Burger, Rare Bar & Grill, Corner Bistro, even Five Guys).