By Michelle Gillan Larkin
We had just run ourselves silly at the park when my 5-year old stopped short at the sandbox and announced in his big boy voice: “I’m starving, and I want to eat NOW.” So I replied in my most motherly tone: “Let’s get a Mooyah burger!” (I’d been dying for an excuse to try one, and poor baby was hungry!)
Before any whining could commence, I got us to the counter at the Briarcliff location where we placed our “better burger” order. Lately, I’m all about the “better burger” joint — a temptation-laden place where fast food and fine dining come together in a tasty tango of high quality, affordable eatin’. It’s a tad pricier than your typical fast food chain, but well beneath the cost of a meal on a white table cloth. Such establishments (think Five Guys and Shake Shack) are popping up all over the place; there are 80 Mooyah locations across the globe, but this is the first one in New York (the Larchmont spot opened second). The draw at Mooyah: The burgers are 100-percent beef, never frozen, and the buns — artisan white or multigrain wheat — are baked fresh on premises.
On the down side, it took 15 minutes to get our food, but at least at the Briarcliff location, we had a table outside where we could play “count the red cars, now the blue ones” that drove past us in the parking lot. Our order was delivered to us: Kids cheeseburger for the boy, complete with fries and milk, and a big girl cheddar burger for me. There were toppings galore, but I went for the “Mooyah style” loaded with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, pickles, and Mooyah sauce (which was pretty much identical to that other special sauce — yeah, you know the one).
We made fast work of our dinner, but it wasn’t mere hunger driving us — the burgers were really yummy, albeit a little on the thin side. I wouldn’t call them juicy, but the meat was tender and fresh. There’s also a turkey burger option, and I was excited to see a vegetarian black bean burger on the menu, but pretty crushed to find out it was out of a box and not freshly made.
The fries at Mooyah — regular or sweet potato — are hand-cut and not too salty, and the shakes are super creamy. Calorie counters will be happy to see a couple of salads on the big board, and the ability to substitute the bun for two giant pieces of lettuce, aptly called the “Iceburger.”
My little guy and I left Mooyah happy and satisfied, and ready for bedtime.
Mooyah, 1882 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor; and 1943 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont