Txikito Enters Burger Wars With New Lunch Menu

By and

Alex Raij and Eder Montero, the mom-and-pop proprietors of the new Basque restaurant Txikito, have just unveiled their lunch menu, and it comes as no surprise to the Underground Gourmet that the bill of fare includes an excellent double cheeseburger ($11). After all, a lunch menu without a burger on it these days is a risky business, like opening a dynamite factory without fire insurance. And besides, if Ferran Adri, a.k.a. the worlds greatest living chef, can hawk hamburgers, why not New Yorks preeminent Spanish-chef couple? Many burger aficionados will be delighted to know that Raij is an adherent of the thin-patty school and a believer in the idea that two streamlined patties (100 percent chuck) are better than a single stout one. She cooks them a la plancha, topped with Idiazbal, a smoky Basque sheeps-milk cheese, and she serves them with thinly sliced cornichons, pickled onions, and yes, a special sauce piquantly composed of crme frache and homemade mayo mingled with garlic and guindilla peppers. An unassuming bun, soft and yielding, from Tom Cat Bakery, just barely holds the juicy little concoction together. Raij calls the thing El Doble, which, when spoken in a low voice and with a suave Spanish accent, sounds vaguely illicit and even better than a Royale With Cheese.

Para Picar (Snacks)

espelette fries: crisp fries dusted with imported Basque chile powder 4
morcilla: crispy blood sausage filled bundles 8
kroketas: crispy creamy croquettes 5
piperrak: blistered peppers with sea salt 8
txistorra: spicy sausage ropes finished with sidra 7

Sopas y Ensaladas (Soups & Salads)

sopa dia: soup of the day 7
rusa: classic Russian salad; potato, imported tuna, homemade mayo 8
ensalada etxea: mixed salad with Bonito del Norte, olives, hardboiled egg 12
vainas en vinagreta: tender green beans with tomato vinaigrette 11

Bocadillos (Sandwiches)

el doble hamburger: 2 patties, smoked sheeps milk cheese, salsa especial 11
perrito noisette: brown buttered hot dog in natural casing a la plantxa 5
atuna: sandwich of Basque tuna, piquillo oil, sweet onion 9
gilda: egg salad with Ondarroan anchovy, manzanilla olive and guindilla pepper 8
lengua: crispy tongue sandwich with mayonnaise and tomato 12

Otros Platos (Other Plates)

putxero dia: slow cooked stew of the day 11
lomo adobado: sliced house cured pork loin a la plantxa with piquillo peppers 12