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Whitmans has been getting a lot of buzz here in NYC lately…
Initially, it was because they offered a version of the Minnesota staple “Juicy Lucy” on their menu. Then more recently, it’s been due to the fact that Time Magazine columnist and Meatopia founder Josh Ozersky’s declared that Whitmans serves his favorite cheese steak in the country. So as a devout Juicy Lucy and cheese steak fan, I knew I had to take a trip down to the Lower East Side to find out for myself if all this hype is to be believed.
And it is. Whitmans is the real deal.
But not for either their Juicy Lucy or their “East Villy” Cheese Steak.
What sold me was a simple burger with a New York Jets inspired name… The Revis.
Let me back up a bit though.
Whitmans is small shop on East 9th St. between 1st Avenue and Avenue A…
The first thing you notice is that they have great signage…
When you enter, it looks like the joint only has one table and a small counter, but to the right there’s a small staircase that leads down to a cozy room with four tables. This room is not very well lit for photos however, so these pics ain’t gonna be the best. Sorry!
We started with an order of their blue cheese fries. The fries were easily some of the best I’ve ever had. Total surprise! Crisp and tasty, and the cheese sauce was not overpowering and had a more complex flavor than I was expecting. We were off to a good start!
Next up was the Jucy Lucy…
This one just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t a bad burger, by any means. It was pretty good. It just didn’t live up to my nostalgia for its Midwestern predecessor or the rave reviews it has been garnering.
The West Villy Cheese Steak was all aces though!
Wow. Easily the best cheese steak I’ve had in New York City! The chop on the steak, the melt of the cheese, the bite of the onion… it may indeed just stand toe-to-toe to its counterparts out in Philly. (No Whiz though.)
Lastly, my buddy Don, a huge Jets fan, ordered Whitmans newest burger, The Revis…
The Revis as per their menu: Grilled Brisket Beef Burger with melted cheddar cheese, red onions and horseradish cream sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun.
This burger was STELLAR!! Jaw droppingly so. It’s hard to put into words.
Don and I both took a bite, chewed, paused, mentally processed, gave each other knowing looks and smiled widely. It was one of THOSE eating experiences! Where you know you just found something special.
In the case of The Revis here, it was all about the beef. It tasted like… BEEF. There’s no other way to describe it. Bold. Meaty. Deep. Musky, almost. Its flavor just filled your mouth and spread through your body. The horseradish, cheese and raw onions simply served to enhance that beefiness!
The Revis may well be my new favorite burger in New York City. But before I go so far as to make it official, I’m going to have to make it down to Whitmans and enjoy a few more burgers first. I hope you’ll all do the same.
406 EAST 9TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10009