There's no shortage of burgers - or burger snobs - in New York. So when you dare to throw your patty in the ring, you've got to be pretty confident, and most definitely come correct.
Billy Durney, the proprietor of Hometown Bar-B-Que and now, the recently-opened Red Hook Tavern, seems to have taken home the heavyweight belt. This season, at least. The seemingly-straightforward signature burger at his new restaurant-pub in Brooklyn has earned roaring praise from some of the city's most discerning carnivores. Grub Street's Adam Platt called the creation "majestic." The New York Times' Pete Wells declared it "mandatory." The sentiment is certainly shared by foodies across Instagram, and, well, anyone who's eaten it.
At first glance it looks like your categorically "no frills" pub burger, if not slightly cheesier. But this instant-classic has been carefully crafted. It's inspired by the old school lunch staple over at Peter Luger - an 8 oz. melding of dry-aged scraps of prime cuts, a raw onion, a crusty sesame seed bun. Durney actually begged the owner of Luger's to reveal the secret baker behind the Italian-style bun until he finally gave in. Durney also worked with legendary butcher Pat LaFrieda to come up with the perfect patty (a 75/25 beef-to-fat ratio). Then he covered it in melted yellow American cheese. Ketchup, FYI, is not encouraged.
If you're already drooling and on your way to make a reservation, you're unfortunately not alone. Tables are sturdily booked at Red Hook Tavern for the next month, but if you're willing to kill a few hours as an irreverent walk-in, this burger is probably worth the wait.
View this post on InstagramHey look! It's the talk of the town. The Peter Luger-inspired cheeseburger at @redhooktavernbk is a very good burger, says Eater critic @thebaddeal, if you're willing to wait for it.⠀ 📸: @jean_photos. Tag #eaterny on your best food posts, and we'll share our favorites.
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[Photo via Red Hook Tavern]