Just as we were swearing ourselves off the Meatpacking District for good, Bill's Bar & Burger opens its doors and drags us right back in. Bill's took over the space that used to be the Hog Pit, and even though we had a handful of good nights there somewhere around 2003, it was time for something new. Luckily, what took over the space is not another nightclub with a chef or restaurant with a DJ, but rather an excellent burger joint reminiscent of the great middle-of-nowhere dives around the country.
Bill's burgers are griddle-top masterpieces with a low profile and a soft sesame seed bun, and they‘re definitely one of the best burgers in town. Variations on the standard include a burger with Anaheim chiles and an excellent homage to the In-N-Out classic. The prices are middle-of-nowhere cheap, and the service is laid back and friendly. We were especially pleased to find two well placed flat screens in the bar - perfect for discreetly watching a game while you house a burger or two.
At the end of the day, it's probably a good thing for our health that Bill's didn't open in a neighborhood that we visit more frequently. Plus, that central Meatpacking location will make them a mint feeding all the drunks before they hop back in the limo and text their friends from a phone they dropped in the toilet. We'll save our visits for afternoons.
Food RundownBill's Classic with American Cheese
These burgers are made up of a "secret blend" of beef that is ground fresh daily, and they're a nice manageable size. They're done on the griddle, so the patty is thin but there is perfect bun to beef ratio. Bill's Classic is very good as is, but we like to throw on some extra fixins like bacon and sautéed onions just to up the ante.The Sunset and Vine
A brilliant homage to the In-N-Out burger, this is cheese and a "special sauce" just like you find at the west coast burger Mecca. So good. They nailed it.The Bobcat
The Bobcat comes topped with jack cheese and Anaheim chiles, which give it some freshness along with a bit of a spicy kick. A nice way to switch it up.Boneless Buffalo Chicken Wings
These are actually very good. The chicken is nice and juicy and cut into two bite strips. They could use a little extra sauce, but that's an easy fix. Just ask for a little on the side.
The only let down at Bill's were the fries. It's strange how many places that sport a great burger have disappointing fries (In-N-Out again comes to mind). Order onion rings instead.
Nice big onion rings that hold their batter and aren't mushy. These are definitely greasy as hell, but they should be.Oreo Shake
Yep, we ordered an Oreo shake. So what. It was awesome.