This burger was so good, I didn’t realize I ate a tomato slice until the last bite.
Let’s just get this out there; I don’t like tomatoes. I love tomato products and cooked tomatoes in meals, I love sauce, salsa, and even an occasional bruschetta, but I do not ever, purposefully, eat raw tomatoes. I don’t like their mouthfeel, the slimy seeds, or their flavor and I’m bothered by how commonplace it is to have cold slices of raw tomato saturate toasted hamburger buns and hot burgers with their viscous, acidic juice; however, this isn’t an article about my disdain of the raw tomato.
No, this article is about my admiration for a burger that not only kept me from identifying one of my least-favorite food items, it got me to like how it tasted! (The burger, not the raw tomato slice. Those are still gross).
Behold, the Rex Burger with lobster: two patties of “all-natural certified Angus beef from Niman Ranch served on a toasted fresh bun with American cheese, hand-leafed lettuce, vine-ripe tomato, and Rex sauce,” according to the menu description.
No… I did not read to the bottom of description; I was excited about adding lobster to my burger.
I ordered a side of their hand-cut fries with a black truffle “sauce,” which tasted like a well-made aioli, and thought I would wash down the decadent meal with their signature milkshake, “The Rex Shake.” A vanilla shake with Ghirardelli brownie, hot fudge, and whipped cream. It was as fantastic as described.
Before I continue about the meal, let me talk about the establishment. The Rex Burger & Lobster had a distinct “fast-casual” restaurant feel, although a bit more refined than a trip to Shake Shack (my four year-old son’s favorite restaurant). The restaurant itself is nestled in a small strip mall that also serves as home to a pizzeria, a Chipotle, a Panera Bread, and a local cosmetics store. The bright red awning draws your attention away from the other eateries, all which have embraced earthen-tones.
There are a fair amount of parking spaces but should you arrive on a day where the immediate lot is full, there is an additional lot across the street.
The inside of the Rex was cozy and casual, but classy. A stylish mix of whites and deep browns. A tile floor, bordered in a Greek Key design leads you to the counter and you are greeted by a smiling, friendly cashier who is ready to take your order.
My only critical note about the restaurant itself is that the seating is limited. They do make the best with the space they have, and I’m sure they’re up against New York’s strict occupancy laws, so I don’t fault them much. That being said, when you have limited seating, you need fast turnover and thankfully, the service was quick.
A runner brought our food soon after ordering. The presentation was simple; a tray and deli paper held this glorious melding of beef and lobster, nestled within the sanctity of a bun. A stainless cup held a bouquet of hand-cut fries which towered above the Rex Burger and a small cup of the black truffle dipping sauce. Juices from the burger saturated the deli paper and served as the primary “sauce” for my fries, despite how good the black truffle dipping sauce was.
I want to discuss proper burger construction. A lot of burger places do this wrong. Places that have the word “burger” in their name do this wrong. The Rex does it right:
The most important aspect of constructing a burger is if you’re going to put lettuce on a burger, it goes on the bottom, beneath the patty, to keep the burger’s juices from getting the bottom bun soggy. This is not up for debate. This is burger law.
Do you see all of those burger juices in the picture above? Do you know why they’re on the tray? Because they’re not making my bottom bun a soggy mess. The lettuce did it’s job. I only wish, they used a different lettuce and not iceberg. My lettuce of preference on a burger is butter or bibb lettuce. That being said, it isn’t a big deal.
Remember that tomato slice? Well, it was hidden under the lettuce. A thin stowaway on this voyage of flavor; however, it actually added a necessary, acidic note that cut the richness of the lobster meat and the beef. I actually thought it was something in the Rex Sauce—which was also good, though I wish they were a little less generous with it; it didn’t get in the way of the beef and lobster flavor, but it was close.
The lobster and the beef didn’t overpower one another. They complemented each other well. Immensely well, in fact. The two burger patties weren’t overly salty and the melted American cheese worked. I was nervous about the inclusion of cheese with seafood but it worked.
The meat was cooked to a perfect medium, cheating towards medium-well, which is where I like my burgers to be. The claw and knuckle meat, which sat atop the cheese, tasted fresh and sweet.
All in all, this was a great burger.
There are a lot of “gimmick” burgers out there but this is not one of them. This was a carefully-crafted meal comprised of ingredients meant to complement the overall flavor, experienced with every bite.
The Rex Burger will cost you $9.95 alone. Adding lobster to the burger raises the price by $11 to $20.95. This is not your everyday burger but, in my opinion, it’s worth the price if you want a gourmet burger in a fast-casual atmosphere.
Despite the fact that I actually enjoyed the flavor of the burger with the unknown tomato slice, I still feel that putting a cold tomato slice on a hot burger should not be allowed. For that, I gave the Rex Burger & Lobster an overall rating of 4 plates of bacon out of 5.
I would absolutely return to The Rex Burger & Lobster. Especially because I would love to try their lobster roll and I was too full to get it after my burger. If you haven’t been to The Rex Burger & Lobster, it’s worth the trip.
Have you eaten at The Rex Burger & Lobster? Let me know what you thought of your experience in the comments below or reach out to me on any of the social networks by clicking the buttons below.