R.S. Jones – Merrick, NY – So this week we ventured to the restaurant belonging to a family friend, RS Jones in Merrick, NY. This week we came up Juba-less, and our special “guest” Tom Napolitano came with us again. The restaurant is a Southwest styled bar/restaurant with an inviting atmosphere. There’s tons of stuff on the walls, and you could literally spend all day looking at all of the southwestern-related stuff. R.S. Jones recently debuted the RS Burger, the only one on the menu, and we came out to try it.
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Being Friday night, the restaurant was packed, like any good restaurant should be. Upon walking in the back, we made our way to the front to wait to be seated. Turns out there was zero wait, and we were ushered to a round table in the back. The hostess was friendly and welcoming, and called us out on all looking too serious. If this is an indication of anything, it’s that we don’t mess around on Burger Friday. Water and drinks came to the table in mason jar glasses, and they left the pitcher of water at the table. So far, so good. Also, automatic chips and a bean-based salsa. That was gone pretty fast.
After getting the thorough rundown on today’s specials (and feeling bad because we all knew we were getting the burger) – we all ordered the burger. There was a debate on appetizers, but when we saw a burger being brought to another table that looked humungous, we opted to wait. All of us ordered our burgers to varying degrees of done-ness and waited for them to come out.
When the burgers came out – first thought: these are huge. The patty was 12oz. 12. That’s 3/4 of a pound of just meat. Adding the Kaiser roll bun, lettuce, pickles, onions and the side it came with, everyone was leaving at LEAST a pound heavier. The RSJ Burger includes: 2oz fresh ground beef, seasoned with their six shooter sauce, served on a bun with melted white cheddar cheese, lettuce, red onion, pickles, sweet potato fries and habañero-ketchup. Upon getting into our burgers, it was hard to discern the difference between Tom’s medium-rare and Dom’s medium-well. The burger is loosely packed and the six-shooter sauce gives some flavor to the meat. The cheese is melted on the buns, but in our crew, we like the cheese melted on the meat.
While being big, the unanimous decision was that the burger could have used some tweaking. The 12oz patty is huge, but if it were a bit smaller, it may be easier to dial in the degree of done-ness that the burger is much easier. We all agreed that there was something missing about the burger as well. Perabell Food Bar’s secret ingredient to everything (including the macaroni and cheese) is bacon. Now I don’t think baconing your way out of every situation is going to work, but maybe some sort of southwestern special sauce?
The RSJ Burger comes with sweet potato fries by default, but you can swap that out for mac n cheese or garlic mashed potatoes. Tom and I got the sweet potato fries, and Dom and J got the mac. The sweet potato fries were good – not too soggy, good amount of crisp and not overly salty. The macaroni and cheese was also good too. It was a standard home-made style mac and cheese with a blanket of melted cheddar(?) on top. They also brought an order of collard greens to the table, but we weren’t quite sure what to do with them.
Overall, the RSJ Burger was not bad, falling in the middle of the rankings. The thing is, that all of the food coming out of the kitchen looked great, and there’s potential for the burger to be up there. It was agreed upon that we’d all go back, but for some southwest style food as opposed to the burger. The RSJ Burger is still a new menu item and we agree that it could use some southwesting. Maybe a chipotle aioli, some fried jalepeno slices, some sort of bacon, mix some chorizo into the patty? We’d definitely recommend going there, but maybe get one of the great sounding specials or something southwestern.
Check out the Burger Hierarchy rankings and see how R.S. Jones was placed in the list.
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