How does this burger chain stack up?
We normally don’t DO chains but Umami Burger is a bit different. You see, they’re not everywhere, sure, they’re in major cities like Chicago, Vegas, New York, and they have even more locations in No Cal and So Cal (where the original location is in L.A.). On this coast though, there are only three; one each in Greenwich Village, Williamsburg, and the one I went to at Brookfield Place over by the Freedom Tower.
So why write about Umami? Well, I’ve always wanted to visit for a burger but I was just never near one, and I heard good things. Finally, I found myself near one when I went to go check out that Glade promo that popped up near the holidays called The Museum of Feelings, and knew this was my chance for Umami goodness.
After the semi-cool experience at the pop-up museum I plugged Umami into Apple Maps and couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Apparently I was right there but saw nothing. Turns out Brookfield Place is a mall of sorts and Umami is right in the way higher class of food court in there. Like you can get booze there, people were like hanging out at a mall’s food court. That’s cray right there, but also kind of cool.
I placed my order and kept it classic; out of the 10+ burgers on the menu I went with their signature burger dubbed the “Umami.” The Umami Burger is an American Wagyu patty, ground on the premises, and it’s seasoned with a secret Umami sauce and Umami dry seasoning that apparently includes dried porcini ‘shrooms and dried fish heads. Don’t worry, it’s mad good. Toppings include shitake mushrooms and caramelized onions, homemade ketchup, roasted tomato, and a crispy Parmesan frico. The burger was far from bland, in fact, it was seasoned well, and really juicy, because unlike some burger chains, you can specify the way you’d like it cooked and I’m a medium rare burger boy. As far as juices are concerned, the bun holds up too. The toppings didn’t take away from the burger either since they don’t overdo it and load it up too much. Overall, it was one of the better “chain” burgers I’ve ever had.
If you go, don’t skip the crispy shoestring Truffle Fries that implore truffle cheese rather than that overly fragrant and artificial truffle oil. It’s also worth noting that they have a solid craft beer selection as well as cocktails, wine and a few oddball sodas to choose from.
As for prices, don’t think you’re going to pay $5-$10 and be in and out, it’s more like fast casual and prices are slightly higher. For two burgers, Truffle Fries, sweet potato fries and a couple sodas it came to around $40+, which was fine with me since it was a damn good burger.
I look forward to another visit, and this time I’ll make sure if I’m not near an Umami Burger location, I’ll take the extra subway or walk a little more to get to one 🙂