On its own, few things are as recognizable as the Umami Burger. I've seen my fair share of Umami Burger posts on Instagram, and you just know from that "U" seared into the bun (side note: do you think they use the font Impact?). I've also added to that trove of Instagram pictures, obviously. This is mine:
Veritasty finally got a chance to visit the New York Umami Burger after hearing much hype. I had to wait for my dining companion/co-blogger for some time, so I sat at the bar and solo-drank. Although my loneliness was killing me, it was assuaged by the Left Hand Milk Stout on tap. I had first fell in love with Left Hand Milk Stout at Dinosaur BBQ and was thrilled to see it at Umami Burger (side side note: I was so thrilled to see my friends bring Left Hand Milk Stout for a recent Friendsgiving that I was literally jumping up and down and hugging them...my friends, not the beer). I specially requested a half-pint, since I would have been wasted with a full pint on an empty stomach. Bartender laughed at my lack of tolerance and obliged. It was deliciously creamy and sweet, though not cloyingly. There was still some bitterness of beer/stout in there, but super palatable. Before I knew it, Alex waltzed in and grabbed my remaining milk stout and chugged it down while we waited for a table.
We ordered a "Manly" fries - thin french fries with beer-cheddar-mustard sauce, bacon bits, and fried onion. It was...um...I don't know if I'd describe the fries as manly, but it was a huge heaping pile, definitely messy and a bit soggy. Maybe I would describe them as manly after all. Zing! In terms of flavor, the toppings were a bit gratuitous and coated my mouth with saltiness, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I had a truffle especial burger and Alex had the special five spice duck burger. He remarked that his duck burger was a little overwhelming in terms of flavor: the spices were a bit overpowering and there was this chutney on top of the burger that made each bite taste strongly of...everything. I really enjoyed my truffle especial burger. On top of the patty - which I noticed was not packed together too tightly and cooked to a medium rare so that sometimes bits of pink beef would fall apart from the rest of the burger and creeped me out just a little - there were a few sprigs of arugula, truffle butter, a fried Parmesan tuille thing, and a fried egg. I think the only misstep in my burger was the fried egg. I love a runny sunny-side-up egg, but it was way too messy and goopy in a burger. The small amount arugula surprisingly shone through the other salty flavors every few bites or so, which was different from the unilaterally chutney-five-spice burger that Alex had. I loved the Parmesan crisp, which added a crunchy texture here and there as well. Although this burger was touted as a truffle burger, the only thing I did not get a strong taste of was...truffle.
Overall verdict of Umami Burger? I would absolutely go again. I would absolutely go again to just sit at the bar and get the Milk Stout. I think Alex would also go again, but perhaps order something else. I will absolutely be posting more U-branded burgers in the future!