I was recently invited out to Humboldt & Jackson to judge round 11 of an ongoing, late night steak battle cooking competition, pitting Chef Courtney Harris of Chef RLI (defending champ) against Harry Rosenblum of The Brooklyn Kitchen (challenger). Both bovine brawlers were given two-bone rib eye steaks that had been dry aged for 60 days after being raised out on Niman Ranch.
The chefs’ rules were simple: cook it and serve it however you want, to whatever temperature you want, to be judged blindly by 25 ravenous carnivores who lie in wait.
We cast our votes and the decision was made: steak B was the better of the two preparations. It turned out to be the nice, simple salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and rosemary preparation by Chef Courtney Harris that won the crowd over.
But that didn’t mean Harry Rosenblum’s steak was bad, by any means. In fact, I really liked the flavors he had going on. He took influence from Japanese preparations, where they use koji rice bacteria and fungus to mimic the dry aging process and flavors. It may sound nasty but it’s not. Check out my article here, where I mention koji toward the bottom. Anyway, he also used citrus like yuzu with miso and fermented bean pastes to make a dynamic sauce. I loved it, and, for me, the decision was tough between the two.
H&J is doing this for one more week before switching over to lamb battles. Be on the lookout for more!
I heard the burger was good here, and I had been in for drinks in the past… so I went in for some food with a buddy of mine. The place has a cool namesake, after a crazy old judge from way back in US history who used to do some outlandish shit in his courtroom. You can read it on their website or Wikipedia. I ain’t going into it here.
With no happy hour specials for drinks, I stuck to the cheap shit ($4).
I ordered the burger with American, but they didn’t have American, so I picked pepper jack. They offer this puppy for $10 during lunch hours (with fries AND a beer included), so I was a little bummed that there wasn’t at least a happy hour deal for drinks. This is $14:
It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great either. It was mediocre pub food. The meat was cooked nicely, but the bun was a little weak:
Fries were decent. Crispy and well seasoned.
I mocked my friend for getting another chicken sandwich. This is the same guy that I routinely blast for ordering turkey burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches at bars. There are few things that standard bars can do well (outside of the gastro-pubs): they are burgers, wings and a variety of fried appetizer shit. I wasn’t surprised that his sandwich was way under par. It had a small smear of guacamole on it (instead of sliced avocados), a small, thin chicken breast, and the single slice of bacon was cold and limp, contrary to his asking for it well done and crispy. Oh well. Lesson learned – stop ordering bitch food at manly bars.
JUDGE ROY BEAN PUBLIC HOUSE
38 W. 56th St.
New York, NY 10019