If you've spent the cold months fortifying yourself with foie/faux gras doughnuts or gorged yourself at a certain food festival last weekend, no doubt you're experiencing some anxiety about the prospect of donning a bathing suit for that first trip out to the Rockaways. So here's a roundup of seafood burgers around town that are lighter on the calories than a hamburger and cheaper than the ubiquitous lobster roll! N.B.: while purists may scoff at the "burger" classification, if it's patty-shaped and between two buns then it passes for our purposes!
Hell's Kitchen French-style bistro Marseille offers a seafood burger on their lunch menu packed with three different types of fish—salmon, shrimp and scallops—seasoned with Moroccan spices and topped with roasted peppers and a fiery rouile sauce. The $16.75 price tag is one of the more expensive that we found, but the sizable patty and generous portion of (non-diet friendly!) fries make for a very satisfying meal.
The typically meat-heavy menu at Blue Smoke has a fishy lunch addition at both of their Manhattan locations. The Low Country Shrimp Burger packs the tasty crustaceans onto a brioche bun and then layers on a light salad of crisp greens, pecans and tart apples on at the Flatiron location and tangy pickled onions and mixed greens in Battery Park City. Union Square Cafe also serves up a well-loved, Asian inspired tuna burger with a pungent ginger-mustard glaze and cabbage slaw for some crunch. Once again the $16.50 and $22 price tags are up there but come on, burger master Danny Meyer would never let you down!
Brooklynites can enjoy a Mexican-style salmon burger served up at Vamos Al Tequila, slathered in a spicy cilantro relish at the family-run Greenpoint eatery. Slap down $15 and you can buy yourself the burger and a homemade horchata. Classy Carroll Gardens burger joint Dubuque created their own, offbeat version of a seafood burger that combines cod and scallops! The juicy patties get a salty, creamy enhancement with black olive pesto and caper aioli spreads, perfect for enhancing the seafood's natural brininess. The burger will set you back $12.00 with a side of fries costing an extra $4 but since you're keeping it light you won't be ordering any deep fried accoutrement, right?
Over in Queens, Astoria seafood restaurant Psari serves a tender salmon burger on a baguette in their bright, cheery dining room. Ask for the tartar sauce on the side to keep it light and choose between baked potato, fries or rice on the side, all for $13.
Finally, if you're looking for a no-frills, inexpensive version of this fishy fare, head over to Burger House for a $6.45 shrimp burger that you can load up with free toppings like pickles, jalapenos and spicy mayo.