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State of My Union: The New Classics of New State Burgers

4:23 AM EST on December 9, 2021

After last week’s Alton Brown-related double-burger debacle, I decided I wanted to go around the city and randomly try a few famed burgers that either I’ve never had or, at least, hadn’t had in about a decade or so. The first place I sampled on this meaty trek was only a few blocks (and then a few more blocks) away from me, New State Burgers, 1705 NW 16th, Ste. A.

A few afternoons ago, my beloved pup Sean and I decided on taking a gorgeous walk that way for dinner; after getting settled in their convenient outdoor seating, the waiter brought not only me a menu, but Sean a bowl of water that he took a few sips of, only to go back to people watching. I truly wish other restaurants were this sweetly accommodating to the canine class.

With a small menu that, as I perused it, seemed quite big on taste—something that I truly value—though it was a bit of a hungry struggle that I was immersed in, I eventually settled on one of the most inventive appetizers, the Kentucky Fried Banana Peppers ($5.99), which is, thankfully, just like it sounds.

With no teeth-grinding or eye-wincing from the yellowish peppers, these have more of a mouth-watering bravado to them, with each slight dip into the ranch a wonderfully southern spark of spicy flavor that is sorely missing from my life most days. Moderately coated in a brown trench coat of zest and zing, these were a wonderful preamble to my dinner.

But I was here for burgers. And when it comes to New State’s burgers, even though this is my first time trying this particular taste from here, I have to say that my new favorite is the ol’ diner standby, the Hot Hamburger ($11.99), a mom and pop classic reloaded and reimagined for today’s hungry Plaza hipster, loaded with fries and gravy, sin and indulgence.

On my once-white plate, it was now completely covered in a large open-faced burger set on a thick cut of Texas toast, drowned in brown gravy and, on top, French fries desperately trying to survive the deluge; they perished first however, as I picked them off with my fork one-by-one, but not before giving them one more sadistic pass in the gravy.

Bringing the knife and fork down into the thick patty, I cut off small chunks to rapidly stuff in my mouth and, of course, Sean’s mouth; we were like starving children, I’ll tell you. And while I’ve had these types of gravy-drenched hamburgers many times, many ways, New State’s is near perfection, especially when paired with something like the otherworldly Garlic Green Beans ($3.00), much like I did.

As I sat there, sipping on my ice water while Sean effortlessly accepted pettings from random strangers, I packed up my leftovers, feeling safe and secure in this wholly New State; somewhere in the back of my mind, I was already planning my next trip to this Plaza joint.


 Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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