Bang for your Burger Buck: The Village Kitchen – Filipinotown
The Village Kitchen: where getting bang for your burger buck also means doing the right thing. The Mayor may not be sitting on a stoop, bugging Mookie to do the right thing like he did on a certain, very hot day in Bed Stuy circa 1989; but he would agree that eating at Village Kitchen is supporting a worthy cause.
The Good Shepherd Center for homeless women and children is just that; both sanctuary and second chance for women and their children to get back on their feet. The Village Kitchen is a burger shelter for the hungry in Filipino town and a training ground for the women at Good Shepherd, where they can become certified food handlers upon completion of a 500+ hour program.
The Village Kitchen burger is a price busting stand out on the menu. Coming in at essentially half what most of their sandwiches cost, the burger is almost as charitable as the good people running the place. But stay vigilant my broke brethren, even with the burger coming in at $4, a sweet budget buster looms in the baker’s case:
Let’s get down to business. This is a $4 cheeseburger and you certainly get your $4 worth. Though billed with ketchup, mustard and mayo, on this day I went dry. Thankfully the beef was not. Fresh toppings go a long way for successful burgers found on this quest, but what stays with you in particular about Village Kitchen is a juiciness and unctuousness that is delivered from an inexpensive beef patty. It dawned on me, well after I was 1/3rd of the way through, that I failed to mention my usual temperature request of medium rare. Usually this mistake is followed by panic, failure to flag down a waitress and significant regret, but not so today at Filipinotown. The burger was juicy. Village Kitchen trains their people well, and they execute, perhaps because they are cooking for a higher power. And I barely broke the $5 mark walking out the door with tip – everybody wins.
The bottom line: $ 4.36 with tax for a solid cheeseburger that comes with a side of doing the right thing, on the house. The bang for your burger buck comes through on price foremost, but I will say that Village Kitchen strikes a balance with the serviceable preformed patty that is cooked just right and paired with fresh toppings and a decent bun. The result is neither gourmand nor gut bomb, but it is good, and you feel good that you are doing a small part to help out those in need. A worthy cause never tasted so beefy.