Last week, Umami Burger (432 Sixth Avenue) unveiled one of the most vile-sounding seasonal specials we've encountered in this business. That would be the "Pumpkin Spice Latte Burger": a beef patty topped with pumpkin pie-spiced mascarpone cheese, tempura-battered kabocha squash, a coffee-molasses drizzle -- and a little garlic aioli. "Umami Burger decided to have a little fun with their fall-themed creations this year, and the end result is a burger-fied version of everyone's favorite flavor obsession -- the Pumpkin Spice Latte," a spokeswoman told us in an email.
As if it weren't bad enough to have missed the memo that everyone's hating on the pumpkin spice this year, Umami Burger has managed to come up with what may well be the lamest marketing tagline of 2014: "Nothing #basic about it."
That said, we're equal-opportunity eaters -- willing to sample all manner of insect or innard, still harboring fond memories of the mystery casseroles of our youth (you know: whatever leftovers were in the fridge + Campbell's cream of mushroom soup + breadcrumbs), open to junk- or fast-food novelty of any stripe. Heck, we don't even share the pumpkin-spice vitriol that's going around. (Not that we're jonesing for a Starbucks venti, but we're not saying no when someone offers a pumpkin beer or cocktail or pastry or, hell, latte.)
We were pretty sure we'd draw the line at a burger. How could this possibly be a good idea?
But we tried it.More »