250 Delaware Ave., Albany
• Food – 3.5 C’s (out of 5)
• Service – 4 C’s
• Family friendliness – 4 C’s
There is a restaurant in New York City called Five Napkin Burger that serves what our son considers the ne plus ultra of hamburgers – a 10-ounce beef patty topped with sharp cheddar, bacon, onion, lettuce and tomato parked on a soft white roll. Never mind that he does not eat the onion, lettuce or tomato – he is in love with this $15 behemoth of meat and has eaten his way through many local burgers in search of something approaching his ideal.
So, it was with great excitement that we found an eatery named Burger Centric, located on Delaware Avenue in Albany. Our first impression, however, was disappointing. Husband thought we were going to a modern “burger bar” based on his quick perusal of the online menu. What we found was definitely not modern but rather worn and somewhat “dive-y.” Being big fans of Food Network’s Guy Fieri (he finds delicious food in unusual places), we stuck with our plans. We assumed the timing of our meal was the reason for the empty house. However, we were quickly greeted by the friendly proprietor/chef/waiter, David Khan, and informed the lack of patrons is status quo for Burger Centric, and that he is quite happy cooking for small numbers of customers.
Rock music was playing from a nearby radio as we glanced around at the bright yellow walls with orange vertical striping, the haphazard artwork and the paper towel roll in the middle of our table. Things began to look up as David handed us menus and chatted with us about his own interesting history, including how he moved to America from Pakistan. He asked us how adventurous we were and said he was currently offering alligator, kangaroo and ostrich burgers. While those choices proved to be too adventurous for us, Mom did pick the Kebab Style Burger ($7.99) and Dad decided to go with the Kobe Beef Burger ($8.99). Son and Daughter both played it especially safe and ordered cheeseburgers (Daughter’s with bacon, $6.75, $7.49).