Yesterday, on the way to play with kittens and puppies at an animal shelter in Williamsburg, I walked right by Blue Collar, the latest cheap patty place to open in New York. Suddenly, I was craving a juicy, one-hand burger. That hunger mixed with the eatery’s breezy, open windows, intimate-yet-airy space, and the burger shake décor, made me walk in.
Blue Collar opened last week and is owned by Gavin Compton and Jeff Slag, who run the charming new American restaurant Miller’s Tavern nearby. With their latest venue, the team aims to bring West Coast-style burgers to city saturated with Shake Shacks. Chef Brian Perry told the New York Times Blue Collar is similar to the California-based burger chain In-N-Out, and, given on the prices and style, it’s clear he isn’t lying. You can get a basic hamburger with lettuce, tomato, secret sauce, and pickles for $4, and 75 cents gets you goopy yellow cheese on top. They have an array of hand-spun milkshakes like peanut butter, cookies and cream, plus a rotating flavor (Heath Bar, I believe, yesterday). They also serve the burger joint basics like crisp, golden fries, a beef hotdog, and, you can add chili to anything for $1.50.
But, the final question: is the burger good? Short answer: yes, it’s a perfectly fine, simple, cheap patty, though there isn’t a lot of flavor going on in the meat. Given the choice, I would pick Shake Shack, Bill’s Bar and Burger, or Five Guys for my low-key burger fix, but, for a quick and easy filler upper while stumbling home from the bar (they are open until midnight on weekdays and 2am on Friday and Saturday), Blue Collar is everyman’s burger.