Zaitzeff – In some language it must mean “delicious burger”
Unfortunately for most people who either work or live in the far southern island that is Manhattan, the places to get a quick and good bite to eat are slim. It seems that your choice is either to sit down at a real restaurant or visit one of the 10,000 or so Chipolte that seem to be cropping up every block, much like the great Starbucks invasion during the 1990’s. Sadly the downtown area lacks this particular convenience that most of the other neighborhoods take for granted. There are a few little hidden gems that dot this area of the city and one such secret that most locals to the area don’t want to share serves up one hell of a burger.
Zaitzeff is a very small burger shop located in the heart of the financial district and has been serving up amazing food to wall street traders and downtown locals like myself since 2003. It seems it was opened by a fellow wall street guy who must have realized the goldmine of opening up a great place to eat where one really hadn’t existed before. While small in size (you will only really find about 3 tables that fit 6 people a table) this place is big on delicious. For the menu, they keep it simple by only offering up a few choices. Either you can go for the beef burger in two different kinds and sizes, the chicken sandwich, the BLT, the turkey burger, or the salad. This simplicity of the menu allows Zaitzeff to perfect everything that comes out of the kitchen. I almost forgot the fries, which are unique in their own right. My favorite thing to do is to get the mixed fries, sweet potato and regular, of which they cook these thick cut spuds in a cast iron skillet which makes them come out hot and delicious each and every time.
While the fries and other foods are all very good, the main attraction is most definitely the burger. Served on what only seems like a perfectly formed english muffin roll, the burgers at Zaitzeff are just a size below almost to big to eat. Every burger is cooked with grass fed beef from Washington state or Oregon and topped with lettuce, tomato, and sautéed onions. Each bite seems even more delicious than the last when you combine all of these ingredients together. If you are feeling a little special, go for the aged cheddar cheese or bacon to go on your burger. While an expensive addition, you can really taste the difference when this particular cheese or meat is added.
So remember, if you find yourself downtown and want something quick, easy, and delicious… remember that Zaitzeff is right around the corner. Don’t be afraid to eat like a local and enjoy one of the better burgers that you will find on the island of Manhattan.