Three years ago, a Turkish butcher named Nusret Gökçe became an internet phenomenon after he posted a video of himself stripping, slicing and then sensually salting a hunk of meat.
Salt Bae was born and the internet couldn’t get enough for a few months.
Today, Gökçe still boasts of more than 26 million Instagram followers, who eat up clips of his over-the-top seasoning style. He’s also been able to use his viral fame to grow his branded empire of steakhouses and burger restaurants around the world.
Today, Gökçe operates over a dozen eateries, but his latest venture, a burger place in New York City called #SaltBae, is definitely not as popular as the man himself.
Gothamist’s review, “Salt Bae Burger Is the Worst Restaurant in NYC Right Now,” compared #SaltBae’s cuisine to “hospital food” served in a “theme-park” setting.
Like several other critics, Scott Lynch also took issue with the “free for ladies” veggie burger served on a pink bun.
“I had to pay $14.50 for mine, but honestly? Free is no bargain for this horror show, which tasted of old broccoli and was garnished with a pathetic slice of wilted iceberg lettuce that was browning at the edges,” Lynch wrote.
Eater critics Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton also panned the eatery, which sells a “gold burger” for $100 that’s made with wagyu beef and gold leaf. There’s also a $99 “golden” milkshake.
“The wagyu burger ($22.95) did not taste like wagyu, it did not taste like beef. It had the texture of a hot dog and the flavor of liquid smoke and gas grill. It had none of the other characteristics of beef except juiciness,” Sutton noted.
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