Meet Andrew Zurica, the chef and owner of the infamous Hard Times Sundaes burger truck and new brick-and-mortar location.
When I originally reached out to Andrew, I thought it was more of a shot in the dark than a request for an interview. The hype around this truck was real and has gotten even more real since, for good reason. It has been featured in publications such as Eater, New York Times, Grubstreet, Zagat, Gothamist, & was recently ranked the number 1 burger in NYC according to Bloomberg!
The first time I went to Hard Times Sundaes was on a weekday. Andrew posted his location for the day on Facebook as he typically would when the truck would sometimes be in different places. This was before he moved over to Williamsburg in the Pfizer Building parking lot. I took the trip to Mill Basin, Brooklyn because I knew this was a good chance to get my hands on the infamous burger, without having to wait in a huge line. Once I got there, I couldn’t help but realize all of the happy people outside of the establishment. After talking to a couple of them, I found that It was in front of a family owned real estate office, and proceeds from sales of the truck would be going to a great cause that day. As I approached the window to order my burger, I could barely hold back my excitement, because I’m a huge fan of well-crafted burgers. I placed my order and waited patiently for what I hoped would be amazing. I could have approached him about the interview right after I ordered, but
your food has to be good to be featured on Beyond The Eats!
So you know, I would never lead anyone who follows my food adventures to somewhere I don’t like. Anyway, I received the burger and it looked DELICIOUS, Instagrammable to the max’, but it was time for the real test. Does it taste even half as a good as it looks? As I took my first bite and surveyed, I immediately said out loud,
“marbled to perfection!”
After quickly devouring the first burger, I knew two things.
1. I needed another burger ASAP
2. I REALLY wanted to get this interview
I ordered my second and followed it with “hey, my name is Farouk, nice to meet you” after a quick glance, Andrew responded, “I have a friend named Farouk”. This threw me off as it was far from the typical response I usually get… Anyway, I continued with “hey, are you open to doing an interview?”. Andrew asked some clarifying questions such as “who’s it for?”, and “will this be a video?”, but he was ultimately down to do the interview. I was honestly amazed that he would support the “little guy” considering he had been featured in larger publications, even at that time.
Fast forward a couple months of building Beyond The Eats, and I was ready to go! Admittedly, there was some lag on my end, but I reached out to Andrew and we eventually scheduled a time that would work.
On the day of the interview, I circled the large Pfizer building in search of the truck on a FREEZING cold day, It was about 19 degrees outside. I even made this quick video.
So ready for @hardtimessundae interview ?? pic.twitter.com/QjNau5ZuR9
— Beyond The Eats (@beyondtheeats) February 15, 2016
After some searching, I found the truck in the large lot and approached it. I waited outside for a few minutes as he and his crew (of 2) got ready for a day of serving these perfect burgers. A man named Mike who also works on the truck with him asked me “you here to see ‘Drew?” To which I responded, “Yeah, I’m supposed to interview him today.” “He should be out in a couple of minutes” Mike said, and Sure enough, Andrew emerged from the building a few minutes later.
Upon seeing Andrew, he asked if I would want to reschedule for another day as it was cold out. Although I appreciated the thought, I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, even if I had to get frostbite to get this one! It was important to me to suck it up and get it that day, which I’m glad I did. After the interview, I devoured a burger and it was even better than the first time I had one. I went back the following week and ordered 2 (because yes, I love burgers that much).
After the interview, I had a burger, then packed up. Andrew went out to do some deliveries, and I was on the truck just chillin’ with Mike. I found it hilarious and telling that he told me “I work on this truck almost every day, and I still don’t get tired of these burgers”.
Just battled the cold to interview Andrew, the owner of what is arguably NYC’s hottest food truck right now @hard_times_sundaes. Interview will be up on the site soon. Oh, and of course this burger was beyond amazing. 2 patties, bacon, caramelized onions, & ketchup on a potato roll ??? #beyondtheeats #BTEstory number 3
A photo posted by Rouk (@beyondtheeats) on
I want to give a huge shoutout to Andrew for not only doing the interview but for motivating me through his own actions. He is so hands on with his own business that it’s inspiring to witness. I’m sure he could delegate at least half of what he does to other people, but he doesn’t. He puts in the effort to make this burger truck everything that it is and is being recognized for, and I’m glad he’s getting the recognition.
If you’re ever in the area of either Mid-town east or Williamsburg, stopping by this truck or location in Urban Space Vanderbilt is an absolute MUST. This is a top 5 burger in NYC without a doubt, regardless of your original preferences in burgers.
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