Handicapping the NYCWFF Burger Bash
The NYCWFF Burger Bash takes place this evening and while the limited supply of $225 per head tickets (long ago sold out) means that only a few will get to sample the 25 burgers from across the city, the impact on the wider world of burgers is not inconsequential. Menu items, food trends, and even new restaurants can result from the event, and past winners have benefitted significantly from winning either the People's Choice or the Judges' title. One could argue that five-time NYCWFF winner Josh Capon's Burger & Barrel was opened largely on the back of his victories — the Bash Burger on the menu there is the same one he has won with. Paul Denamiel of Le Rivage, who won the Judges' Choice in 2013, received a sponsorship from Thomas' as a result of his using their English muffins on his winning burger, and he promptly added it to the menu of his otherwise French restaurant. When Capon debuted bacon marmalade on his burger six years ago, he sparked a legion of imitators. Case in point: This year's roster contains at least two forms of bacon jam or marmalades, not to mention numerous menus around town.
Capon has decided not to compete this year. "We are going out on top," he says, but will instead serve as a judge. Denamiel is returning with a new offering dubbed L’Americain, which he describes as "a French take on the classic American burger." The chef tells Eater: "Instead of lettuce, tomato, and pickle, I’ll be using baby arugula, roasted tomatoes, cheddar and a cornichon relish." Another favorite must surely be Shake Shack, which will serve the Crackle Shack, a pork crackling-topped burger spiked with vinegar. There are several newcomers to keep an eye on this year too: Matt Hyland will serve his excellent and lauded Emily burger, The Happiest Hour will debut with its double patty-stack Happiest Burger, and chef Angie Mar from The Beatrice Inn will be slinging her 45-day dry-aged burger, which is getting a lot of hype lately. When asked if winning was her motivation she tells Eater: "I'm competitive by nature, so that is always a part of it, but I'm in my element under pressure and am mostly excited to have a great time with my crew, and feed a lot of people!"
PYT Opening Party
PYT Burger has at long last opened on the Bowery and the owners are throwing a special tasting party to celebrate. Tomorrow from 6 to 10p.m., $80 gets you all-you-can-eat burgers along with booze The deal includes slider versions of the $64 Basquiat premium beef burger, which uses wagyu from Japan Premium Beef around the corner. There are 50 spots open and a few tickets still left.
New Lunch Burger at Cherche Midi
Chefs Shane McBride and Daniel Perilla have added a lower-priced burger to the lunch menu at Cherche Midi. Previously the delicious but pricey prime rib burger was the only option for $22. Now there is a CM burger on the lunch menu for a far more budget-friendly $14. While the prime rib burger features dry aged beef, the CM burger uses a brisket blend from Pat LaFrieda.
Black Label Burger Price Increase
Speaking of McNally restaurants, a keen-eyed tipster notes that the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern now costs $30. While undeniably expensive for a hamburger, even for one made from dry-aged ribsteak, it "only" reflects a $4 increase on the $26 price that the restaurant launched with back in 2009. By comparison the price of the NY Strip has risen in price almost 70 percent in the same time period, going from $36 to $62. Beef prices have risen substantially since Minetta Tavern first opened, as is reflected in the substantial price increase of the steaks there.