These days it can be hard to find a good burger in Brooklyn for less than $15 — before toppings.
But at Tea & Burger on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst, a no-frills burger joint serving American food with an Asian twist, you can create your own burger for less than $8 and wash it down with a Bubble Tea.
For years, the Chinese-owned American burger place stood on this Bensonhurst corner as Peggy’s Burger House has rebranded their image and menu offerings.
Like an oasis in a neighborhood that doesn’t have too much else to offer when it comes to burgers, Tea & Burger’s bright orange decor shines like a beacon on the corner of 72nd street under the elevated subway tracks.
Arriving extra hungry and extra cold — and near closing time — my dining partner and I went overboard with two full trays of fried appetizers and burgers to comfort us on a recent, chilly March night.
And even before the food arrived, the ambiance warmed us right up with neon colors underscored by a bubblegum pop music soundtrack; Taylor Swift belting, “we are never, ever, ever getting back together” echoing through the near empty restaurant.
We were extra excited about a unique combo item: an onion ring and french fry combo basket, a delight for those of us who hate choosing and wish we could order one of everything.
Delivering on their promise of beef that’s never been frozen, the burger ($7) was juicy and fresh. It was also well portioned — not so huge that I couldn’t bite it, and allowing for a little extra room for the appetizer extravaganza we ordered.
Plus, there’s even more value than first meets the eye: Along with the burger, you can order an unlimited amount of free toppings like grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, pickles, and jalapeno peppers in addition to the regular cold veggies and condiments.
I was delighted to find that the veggie burger ($5) was packed with green peas, carrots, and grains — rather than the ‘fake meat’ processed soy imitation patty that some burger joints resort to appeal to the vegetarian crowd.
The cajun-spiced curly fries were rich and decadent, and the medium-cut sweet potato fries ($3.75) came overflowing in a heaping basket and were the perfect texture — crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside to retain the sweet, starchy flavor.
As if that wasn’t enough food, we couldn’t resist the chicken meatball appetizer (because how often do you see that?)
The balls were a bit springy and tough but slathered in a thick, black pepper BBQ-type sauce that made them quite addictive.
Check out Tea & Burger at 7202 New Utrecht Avenue near 72nd street, seven days a week from 11am to 10pm.
Let us know where else you go for casual burgers, and which place is your favorite in the comments below.