I used to work near the Piper’s Kilt in Eastchester. It was a very popular destination for my coworkers and other people in the area, so much so that it was packed nearly every day around lunch. Everyone would rave, “It’s simply the best burger.” I had it a number of times and while I found it good, I was not sent into the near orgasmic bliss that my dining companions enjoyed. The Kilt, as it was affectionately called, is part of small chain. The other day, I decided to try the original.
I rarely make it over to the western side of the Bronx. Parking can be a little dicey, but thankfully, on this midday afternoon, I had very little trouble finding a spot. Travelers beware: bring quarters. This neighborhood has not migrated over to credit card meters. If taking the train, the restaurant is only a block from the 1.
The Kilt looks like what one would expect from an old Irish bar. There is, of course, a bar. The seats are wooden benches, hemorrhoid suffers take note. There is a single television dedicated to horse racing in one corner. On to the food.
I got the bacon cheeseburger ($8.95) and my girlfriend got the Eastchester Burger ($9.50). Both plates feature a bacon cheeseburger, but the Eastchester comes with a side a chili and a few onion rings. Every burger comes with french fries or potato salad.
The potato salad is complete forgettable, bland, and worthless. Don’t bother. The chili is as bland as the potato salad. No amount of salt or pepper could help either lackluster side. The fries were pretty good, but purists may not be pleased as I believe they were dredged in flour before frying. Nevertheless, they were well cooked and had a nice flavor. The onion rings are thick cut and well cooked.
The burgers were nice. They have a pleasing flavor and the meat tastes fresh. There is no exterior char, but it was cooked properly nonetheless. I asked for a medium, my girlfriend for medium-well. We got a medium and a medium-well, just not on the right plates. An easy enough fix. The bacon tastes like standard supermarket Oscar Meyer. The cheese is probably yellow American. If it was cheddar, it was not particularly sharp. The bun is plain, white, and seeded. Fine, but not spectacular.
A word on the service, as many people have commented that the staff was either rude or unhelpful: my experience was fine. My waitress was not particularly friendly or helpful, but she was not rude or aloof either.
Don’t go out of your way for this burger. It’s good, but it is not sole destination good. I would recommend it for people driving to Yankee Stadium from points north, as it is just off I-87 (Deegan Expressway).
170 West 231st Street
Bronx, NY 10463