Tag Archives: burgers

Smashed

Smashed is a new smash burger joint on the lower east side. They just opened four days ago. My wife and I stopped by to try a few items out. We went with the classic double and the blue cheese and bacon burger.

I was blown away by the flavors and the quality. This joint uses fresh beef, and they grind their own burgers in house.

The burgers were perfect in every way. Great toast on the bun, perfect crisp on the patty, great melt on the cheeses, nicely prepared griddled onions, and a killer, unique sauce that really puts the “special” back in “special sauce,” because these days everyone is really just using thousand island dressing. That’s lame.

I preferred the classic double, since the meat really shines there. I can’t wait to go back and try their rendition of a smashed Big Mac.

And the fries? Excellent as well. But I’m looking to try their smashed potatoes on my next trip.

SMASHED
177 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002

Wagyu Social

I recently got delivery from Wagyu Social and it was a really fun experience. Everything came nicely packaged in round boxes, no spillage, still hot and crispy, and everything neatly organized.

This place is doing some high end burgers that range from $35 for hybrid wagyu burgers to $85 for 100% A5 Japanese wagyu burgers. They even have some sushi items too.

I tried the curry burger and the high roller. The curry burger is a wagyu/angus blend that comes with a delicious sauce for dipping, and it even pairs well with the crispy shoestring fries.

I also tried the high roller, which is their 100% Japanese A5 burger that’s topped with foie gras and truffle sauce. Total decadence!

I think I liked the curry burger best. It was a totally unique burger, and the flavors worked great. Give it a shot!

WAGYU SOCIAL
238 E 53rd St 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Empire Burger House

Opening up a new restaurant during this madness takes balls. The folks from Empire Steakhouse are evidently chock full of balls. Not only have they just launched Empire Burger House, a really friggin great restaurant that delivers steakhouse quality beef burgers in smaller, more affordable sizes, but they’re really upped the game in terms of comfort and class in their outdoor dining space. I saw with some friends for a full steakhouse dinner on a very cold night, and I was wearing just a long sleeved shirt. Awesome!

Anyway I tried their single, double and spicy chicken sandwich. I was really impressed. The double was by far my favorite of the three – just the right ratio of meat to bun and toppings. And the special sauce on the burgers is incredible. It’s almost like zingy ranch of some kind, or an Alabama white sauce.

Call this place right now for delivery, or go sit outside in their warm outdoor dining space.

EMPIRE BURGER HOUSE
147 E 50th St Second Floor
New York, NY 10022

Strassburger Steaks

Strassburger Steaks‘ “Steakhouse Collection” of home delivery chops is wonderful. Thick, aged cuts of highly marbled beef are vac sealed and shipped right to your door in tight styrofoam coolers, surrounded by ice packs.

The first thing I made was a rib eye. I overcooked it a little, but here’s my video:

It was really flavorful, and the aged profile really came through nicely.

Next up, I did a Philadelphia Italian-inspired twist on taco night: ground beef, blue cheese and broccoli rabe.

These were incredible! The beef was 80/20, really brightly colored pink and delicious.

Then I tried a “dry-brine” on a highly marbled porterhouse. Here’s a pic before brining.

And after:

Check out the video:

As you can probably see, with the exception of the area right near the bone on the strip side, this technique made for a really great Maillard brown crust.

I undercooked it a bit, but thoroughly enjoyed.

I still have a lot more to try, but this is a great start. I definitely recommend these steaks for home delivery. And don’t forget, I wrote an article about Suzy Strassburger and this company way back. Check it out HERE if you haven’t read it yet.

Dudley’s

Just a quick note here about Dudley’s, which has a great brunch on weekends. My wife and I tried their Bloody Mary with “chicken salt” rim – delicious. I got mine with mezcal, she got hers with vodka.

They make a great double cheeseburger, reminiscent of Big Mac flavors. I’ll definitely be back for this more often, now that I live close by.

And on the healthier side, poached eggs with smoked salmon and salad. Very nice.

DUDLEY’S
85 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

The Family Value Pack

Good morning, Meat Minions!

I hope you are all surviving the madness of Covid-19. I know that grocery stores have become pretty thread-bare lately, especially in the meat department. I figured this was a good time to let you know about the Family Value Pack that I have in the shop.

Here’s what you get for $119:

  • 4 10oz NY Strip Steaks
  • 8 Half-Pound Burgers
  • 4lbs of Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts

CLICK HERE to order, and stay safe out there you fuckin’ animals!

Yours in Beef,

Johnny Prime

Coterie

We stopped in this joint for brunch after landing in New Orleans with an empty stomach. They offer a trio of broiled oysters with three different styles (you get two of each for $18). These were great, and if you eat here, this is what to order.

The fresh raw oysters are nice too.

I ordered a cajun burger, which was supposed to have a sausage patty, a beef patty, and some remoulade. But they gave me the “Hangover Burger” instead by mistake. It was okay, but pretty basic as far as burgers go.

COTERIE
135 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon Butcher

I stopped by this NOLA joint last time I was down in the Big Easy, but I didn’t try anything. I was too full from eating at Cochon, their sister restaurant, next door. This spot is the more casual, bar-style deli. They offer up some meaty hot and cold sandwiches. On rec from a friend, I tried the muffuletta, which he said was better than Central Grocery. I disagree. There was a noticeable lack of meat, and the olive salad and giardiniera is much better at Central Grocery. Pass on this.

I was also disappointed by the porchetta cheesesteak sandwich. This came served in a strange hybrid between a pita and an English muffin. It also lacked meat.

The saving grace at this joint, and a possible best bite of 2020, was the Pig Mac burger.

This was killer, and I highly recommend this if you make the trip over here.

COCHON BUTCHER
930 Tchoupitoulas St b
New Orleans, LA 70130

The Playboy Club

NOTE: THIS JOINT IS CLOSED

The Playboy club in NYC actually serves up some decent grub. The joint is not what you’d think, either. It’s not a strip club or some raunchy spot. It’s more like a classy version of Hooters with a night club in back. Hostesses near the front wear bunny outfits, similar to what you might see as a “sexy Halloween” outfit on the streets of NYC. But the restaurant part of the space is pretty much devoid of that kind of eye candy. I assume they hawk for bottle service in the club and show/stage space in back.

In any case, we came here to check out the food. We started with four apps: tuna tacos, wagyu sushi, crispy fried rock shrimp and beef tartare. Of these, the wagyu sushi was probably my favorite.

For a mid-course we shared the lamb chops with pesto (a little overcooked, but delicious) and the dry aged burger with aged cheddar, black garlic aioli and bacon onion jam (topped with a slider).

We were dipping our fries into that pesto from the lamb. It was awesome.

Last up, a 34oz dry aged rib eye with spicy citrus broccoli and more fries. This was actually a delicious 8/10, and it came with a bunch of nice sauces – my favorite of which was a sweet yet savory soy garlic sauce.

We had this with sides of garlic string beans and a towering phallus of onion rings.

Safe to say we were all pleasantly surprised by the food here. I’d probably go again.

THE PLAYBOY CLUB
512 West 42nd St
New York, NY 10036

Gotham Burger Social Club

My friends at Gotham Burger Social Club have really started ramping up their presence at food festivals and charity events, offering up their delicious creations for generous revelers and hungry festival goers. If you ever get a chance to try one of their burgers, you need to do it!

They’re deceivingly simple and delicious. Lots of crispy-crusted texture from the smash on the flat top, great creamy melted cheese, perfect ratios of seasoning and toppings, and overall high quality ingredients and meat – whether it’s a Pat LaFrieda dry-aged blend, a Schweid & Son’s combo of chuck, short rib and brisket, or high end Kow domestic wagyu/angus cross.

The first time I ate one, I had the “Cafe Tappi” burger, by George “Tappi” of Booze and Burgers. It’s a double smash with dry aged beef, melted American cheese, caramelized onions and pickles on a toasted potato bun.

This has evolved a bit, sometimes showing itself as a single smash with caramelized onions, pickles, American and a special sauce.

But at most of the events where they pop up, they’re doing a delicious Oklahoma style smash, where thinly shaved onions get smushed into the burger patty and steam-cooked as the burger crisps up on the griddle. They’re topped with melted American, ketchup, mustard and pickles. Check out these videos:

They’re a delicious ode, homage and tribute to the great American roadside burgers of the past. Keep an eye out for these guys at events around NYC and even beyond. I’m hoping for a brick and mortar shop sometime in the future, since these are addictive, every day kinda burgers.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to book them for a party or an event, reach out to Mike Puma at Gotham Burger Social Club on Instagram or at GothamBurgerSocialClub@gmail.com and tell him Johnny Prime sent you.