First Impressions: Umami Burger

The latest in a series of flash reviews of the restaurants at Hudson Eats in Brookfield Place. Previously: Black Seed Bagels, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque, Little Muenster.

Hot and crispy and salty and abundant, the fries at Umami Burger are fantastic. I didn’t “umamify” them, whatever that means, and I couldn’t have been more pleased about it. If you order to go (they ask), however, the fries come in a cardboard container with a plastic lid, dooming them to sogginess if you don’t release them immediately. Release your fries, people!

I imagine that 95%—or even more—of Umami Burger customers will order beef, and I was ready to make the sacrifice for you, dear readers, until I asked whether the meat was humanely raised or even where the meat came from, and the staff had no idea. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, and while you can sub a portobello mushroom instead of beef, I’m not a portobello fan, so I got the Sloppy Mami, a sloppy Joe made with lentils. It was fine, but you should know going in that the greasy fried onions on top made it far from healthy.

The service was friendly and fast. Don’t panic if they say your order will be ready in 10-15 minutes—I think that’s the default warning, because my lunch was up in less than two minutes. You’re given one of those buzzers, like at Shake Shack, so there’s no yelling of order numbers. One more thing: Make sure you’re ravenous before you go for the burger with two patties. It’s mammoth.

So tell us, how are the burgers at Umami Burger?

P.S. A general thought regarding Hudson Eats: I was thrilled to discover that the stairs by Umami Burger lead to an exit out by the wooded area south of the plaza, so you don’t have to go into the Winter Garden, use those narrow escalators, or deal with the maze of construction hallways. I ate at a table in the wooded area, which was a delight, although it could use a recycling container; you have to carry recyclables over to the section with all the tables, directly in front of the Winter Garden.

Umami Burger Sloppy MamiRecent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
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8 Comments

  1. Burgers at Umami are worth the try!

    They recommend the Manly and Truffle burger both were good NO REGRETS!

    I’m a fan and plan to be a repeat customer and try other items on the menu

  2. I was there two weeks ago and the burgers were pretty good. We used that elevator right by the stairs you’re talking about which made the trip with our stroller much easier than going all the way around.

    I tried going back this sunday around 11 AM but that door was locked with a thick chain wrapped around the handles.

    So now I’m not sure if that exit/elevator is normally supposed to be used or not.

  3. Terrible review. Just annoying really.

    Lentils at a burger place? Uhhhh. Sounds like more concerned with location of recycle bins than with the food…

    Just get the burger and review it.

  4. I went for my first visit on Sunday- not a fan of fast food especially burgers, but had wanted to try them for a while. Had a truffle burger- as noted orders come up pretty quickly. Burger was cooked medium rare as requested, flavor was good, truffle cheese sauce/aioli/glaze was truffly, but all seemed to blend together, and there was not a lot of it on the burger. A bit greasy/oily but was definitely a step up from a high end fast food burger like In-N-Out, but not quite like you might cook on a backyard grill.

    Had a bite of their eponymous burger (sans onions & tomato- kids!) which was also good. Also had the tempura onion rings- crispy and large, they went down way too easily. Felt pretty full/slightly sickly the rest of the afternoon, but still plan to go back to try pastrami burger (they were out that day) and the manly burger, and hopefully the stilton version if they ever carry it at this location. Just not for a few weeks.

    Overall, for a fast food mall setting, the food and experience were very good, service quick & very friendly (I was wished a happy fathers day) but burgers still felt a bit mass produced in a way, not like a sit down restaurant burger.

  5. I’ve been twice now. Had the pastrami burger, which was delicious and unique and the green turkey burger which was also tasty but messy. The smushed potatoes were wonderful – too good actually (calories) – and tried the onion rings which were delicious. I assumed since all of the other places stated that the beef was “natural” that this place had better beef too – particularly because of the prices. However that was a stupid assumption and I will ask next time.

    Also “natural” is meaningless in terms of how the animals are cared for – it usually only means that nothing artificial is added in the processing. They should just state if the meat (not just the beef) is hormones/antibiotics free and free range. Also they should state if the tuna is wild and not farmed. If they are reading these reviews, I think that this level of quality adherence and transparency would justify the high prices to me. $18 for the pastrami burger and pots, with tax and $19 for the turkey burger and rings….

    One peeve – I wanted the beet salad with the ahi tuna on the side ($5 extra). They wouldn’t make this exception – you can only get this with the other two salads – because they want you to stick with their “flavor profiles.” Come on – this isn’t a Michelin rated restaurant. If the customer wants a $5 side of ahi at the same time as the beet salad they should be accommodated. Geez.

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