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Monday
Jan142013

Peter Luger's Pattysmith

What do you get when you take the scraps from all the dry-aged meat trimmings at one of the city's most iconic steakhouses and grind them into a patty? The Luger Burger.

Few burgers compare to the perfectly cooked, well-seasoned 8oz patty Peter Luger has on the menu. The Luger Burger, available for lunch daily until 3:45pm, is a success for a number of reasons. Flavor is the obvious, and much of that comes from the aging process applied to short loin cuts of steak Luger uses for their Porterhouses and burgers. Before they make the trip to the broiler, the Porterhouse steaks are trimmed, both for aesthetics and to elimate some of the fat. The scraps are ground together to make the burger and it yields a patty with a lean to fat ratio that probably hovers around 75/25. For the "Fat Is Flavor" school, the ratio says it all. The burger is full of salty, buttery, lip smakcing umami beefiness that can only be found in dry-aged beef.

The burger is simple. Cheese is an add on, without it, the only other features are onion and a lightly toasted bun, which absorbs all the juice from a burger cooked to the low side of medium rare (about 130 degrees). You can opt to leave off the onion, but it adds a nice crunch and has a sharp zing that helps cut through the delicious fat.

Peter Luger has been around since Grover Cleveland was president. It's fun to be a part of the timeless vibe that richochets off the dark oak walls and veteran servers that decorate the restaurant's interior. The classic decor is always fun to eat in, but our favorite thing about the Luger Burger is the price: $11.50. In an age where vegetable "entrees" bring in upwards of $20, and chicken dishes flirt with a $30 price tag, the Luger Burger remains a bargain no matter how you slice it.

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