Having been the first haute cuisine chef whose restaurant I visited on my very first trip to New York City, Chef Daniel Boulud has a special place in my gastronomic heart, and I was thrilled when he decided to open an outpost of his DB Bistro Moderne in Miami. While Chef Boulud offers many ingenious creations that fuse his classically trained French background with New World flavors, it's his impossibly gourmet interpretations on the All-American hamburger that gained him perhaps the most acclaim. In fact, he can be credited with starting the whole gourmet burger craze that seems to have been sweeping the country. His signature burger encases red wine-braised short ribs and foie gras, is topped with tomato confit and a horseradish sauce, and is sandwich between a house made bun.
Hamburgers are an essential part of bar menus, casual dining eateries, and behind the success of every fast-food chain from White Castle to Roy Rogers. May is National Barbeque Month so it’s fitting that most commonly fire-grilled food, the hamburger, and shares its celebratory month with the technique often used to cook it. When it comes to burgers the variations are endless. You can add a fried egg, chili, avocado, any type of cheese you can think of, or even ten strips of bacon. Want all of those toppings? Not a problem. We’ve even seen burgers with a bun made from Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.
In celebration of Fast Food Day today, foodies will be using the day as an excuse to binge on the delights of greasy, no-shame fast food joints. However, some of us can’t afford the extra calories considering the holidays are just around the corner, so here are a few menu items at some of the most popular fast food restaurants in America that you can order without snapping your belt buckle.
The hamburger is considered by many the world over to almost single-handedly represent American cuisine, which is a pretty awesome feat considering the size and diversity of this country. Any attempt at researching the origin of the hamburger can turn into a wild goose chase with different individuals, restaurants, cities, and states claiming ownership to the creation of the modern hamburger. This goes to show just how important the hamburger is to not only our gastronomic heritage, but our cultural heritage, as well. Besides being tasty, portable, and relatively simple to prepare, the hamburger provides us with the one thing Americans really crave: freedom of expression.
119 West 56th Street
(between 6th and 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10019
Peer through the floor-to-ceiling curtains in the lobby of Le Parker Meridien hotel and you'll find a perfectly delicious $7 hamburger. Faux-wood paneling, vinyl booths, and children’s artwork set the mood in this secluded steal, where a mug of Sam Adams on tap is $5. The menu is small, but to the point – you get what you order, nothing more, nothing less. Cheeseburgers arrive with the appropriate char marks and two types of cheddar for big flavor, which is only highlighted further by the shoestring fries, served in a grease-stained paper bag. If by some twist of fate you’re still hungry after all that, nibble on a super-sweet brownie for only $2.50.
c/o Time Out New York
Cuisine: Hamburgers, Health Food
Price: Kobe Beef Burger, $9.25
72 Nassau Street
(At John Street)
New York, NY 10038
Looking for a juicy burger that won’t make your cardiologist cringe? Visit Zaitzeff for all-natural burgers served with lettuce, tomato, and grilled onion, that are made with prime, free-range, antibiotic and hormone-free cattle and cooked precisely as ordered. Bottles of organic ketchup line long, wooden communal tables in the clean, white dining room. The American style Kobe beef comes straight from a ranch in Nebraska, guaranteeing the freshest burger, which is served on a Portuguese muffin, for only $9.25. The hand-cut fries, which are cooked in cast iron skillets, the oil of which is changed daily, are a must have.