Burger Battle: Westville East vs. Royale

Burger Battle

Westville East vs. Royale

Burgers… like manna from the midwest, they have infiltrated our culture and expanded our butts, thighs and guts.

Tonight, in an epic battle of well-ground beef, an East Village blog determined who has the better burger: Westville East or Royale.

As pictured, on the left, with an estimated burger weigh-in of less than half a pound, the cheeseburger from Westville East (A West Village intruder – but hey, I can be impartial. Maybe.), located at the corner of 11th St. and Avenue A in New York City’s East Village.

And on the right, also less than half a pound, the cheeseburger from the restaurant/bar on Avenue C between 10th and 11th streets in 10009 – Royale.

Editor’s Note: Damn, I was hungry.

It was kind of muggy out tonight and I cleverly killed two burgers with one bun to maximize travel time to and from each restaurant. I started at Westville East. Ordered and paid. Went to Royale. Ordered and paid. Ordered a Bud Light. Drank the Bud Light. Received my cheeseburger. Then I went to Westville East to pick up my other cheeseburger. And then I was off to the East Village Podcasts blog offices for photo shoot and taste testing.

What a difference between eateries. Westville East was packed with Upper East Side ne’er-do-wells. Royale was relatively empty with a great back patio and a couple of bar thumping drunks. If I had been eating in, Royale’s my place, no question.

The Price

  • Westville East: $10.85 included a medium cheddar cheeseburger with salad.
  • Royale: $6.00 included a cheddar cheeseburger.

I actually just wanted a cheeseburger from each place so the fact that Westville added a salad with an extra $4.85 in cost was unwanted and unnecessary. But, I kept an open mind in spite of the money-suck. “Supersize me” in this case meant salad rather than a big plate of fries.

Time To Mauw (as in “cow”)

Cheeseless Burger

Westville East Ether Cheeseburger

The first burger to be engulfed was Westville’s. As you can see, the cheddar cheese was barely visible and, if it ever did exist, appeared to have nearly melted into the ether rather than the bun or burger. The bun itself looked more appropriate for an Egg McMuffin than a burger, and the tomato, leafy greens, pickle and onions which came on the side made for an ungainly burger.

At my request, all meat had been cooked to a “medium” setting and at first bite, the Westville burger was dry and overcooked. Some might say, “Well, you’re eating take-out, what did you expect?” In response I say, “Suck it.” I expect “medium” to be juicy whether I’m eating in the restaurant or out. Nevertheless, I had several bites of the Westville cheddar cheese burger before putting it down for a burger re-load.

Royale Has Cheddar

Royale’s Cheeseburger

Next, the cheeseburger from Royale.

A couple of notes on the competitor: the cheddar is visible; and the lettuce, tomato and onion are pre-loaded on the bun rather than on the side like Westville’s.

I would have thought that Westville’s burger would enjoy an edge with crispier vegetation. But, Royale’s veggies were just as crispy and it was pleasing to have my burger already “built.” It’s as if the chef had seen the burger creation through to its final state and said “Voila.. burger.”

I chomped down. The meat was soft, still pink inside, juicy (can you tell where this review is going?)… “hey now, this is a pretty darn good burger,” I thought.


A Burgervore

I had a couple of additional bites. I was waiting for the burger to lose its flavor or become overcooked. But, no. It retained its flavorful effect and quickly hypnotized me into gorging on burger.

Before I knew it, I’d eaten nearly three quarters of the Royale burger – nearly twice the eaten amount of the Westville competition.

The Final Analysis

It was a hard decision. The Royale burger tasted better, was cheaper and provided overall gastronomic satisfaction.

The Westville East burger provided a clever doorstop to let the feted hallway breeze into my overheated apartment.

The Winner: Royale

The one on the right

Burger Aftermath

Best of the Burgers

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September 4th, 2007

Entry Filed under: Food - Competitive

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