The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
Zinburger at Walt Whitman mall: First bites
Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar is among the new crop of restaurants at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station.
The space, done in a whimsical cow motif, has industrial-style ceilings and hard surfaces everywhere, making it a virtual echo chamber for loud, pulsating background music and chatter. In fact, the decibel reader app on my cell phone registered an earsplitting 100. Dinburger might be a more accurate name for the place.
A recent meal there can only be described as chaotic. A promised wait of 10 to 15 minutes stretched closer to 30. Instead of being handed a beeper, though, you’re allowed the run of the mall if you leave a number to be texted when your table is ready.
Our well-intentioned server took drink orders but came back with only my companion’s beverage. About 15 minutes later, I hailed a passing waitress and, after about 5 more minutes, finally got my glass of red zinfandel ($9). Only then was our food order taken.
Which would have been fine, had my bacon and egg-topped breakfast burger ($12) been served medium-rare instead of well-done. Nice brioche bun, though. And while the other toppings — avocado, mayo, American cheese — added interest, the overcooked, congealed egg detracted. My companion’s bowl of “Z best” chili ($9), however, turned out to be rich, deep, slyly spicy. An order of hand-cut fries was lukewarm, tasting mainly of salt.
To give credit where due: Management was on top of the wine situation, taking the $9 charge off the bill without a word from me. And, as I was toying with my burger, a manager stopped at the table to check on things, declaring the overcooked burger unacceptable and asking what I’d like instead. The turkey burger I ended up getting ($10), topped with Swiss cheese and mayo ($10) had a dense, grainy texture.
But a salted caramel milk shake ($6) capped with freshly whipped cream ($6) was an unadulterated treat. And banana cream pie ($5) would have been ideal, had its center not been partially frozen.
Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar faces Route 110 at 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, 631-271-3891, zinburgereast.com