The Tallgrass Burger at Tallgrass Burger in the East Village
It was a sign of the times: Long-running Filipino eatery Elvie's Touro-Touro on First Avenue in the East Village closed recently, to be replaced almost immediately by an upmarket hamburger joint intended to push all the right foodie buttons.
Sadly, Elvie's was the last vestige of a Philippine micro-neighborhood that formed around the corner of West 14th Street and First Avenue in the 1970s, when vast numbers of Southeast Asian hospital workers -- including nurses, doctors, physical therapists, etc. -- were imported to work at nearby Beth Israel Hospital. This community once boasted three convenience stores and four restaurants.
The replacement is Tallgrass Burger, a name intended to suggest a special origin of the beef used in the 1/3 pound patties, though no sign or certificate says exactly where the beef comes from. Indeed, all over the newly renovated premises -- which feature big picture windows, and comfortable tables and counter seating -- are slogans suggesting the ground beef is local, grass-fed, and organic. And who are we to wonder about documentation?