Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Prime Meats vs Minetta Tavern : Best Burger Challenge

The age old argument, who has the best burger in town comes up quite often.
This time, we were looking for the best "premium blended burger" (meat focused) in the city.
To the untrained ear, one would think we were talking about Scotch, with all the chatter about the blends (of meat) that go into every batch.
Well we think we found the very best.
**Places like JG Melon and Shake Shack were exempt from this competition. We are comparing apples to apples folks.

With a ton of press this past year, Minetta Tavern's Black Label is considered the big bad boy to beat. It's pedigree upbringing by the men who brought you Balthazar is behind this monster and I gotta say it's pretty effin' good.

The new kid on the block, Prime Meats in Brooklyn, is the late night "chef's choice" hang out and also neighborhood German influenced joint. Not only are their other dishes killer, their Private Label "House Pilsner" (brewed by Six Points) is by far the best Pilsner I've ever had in my life.

Alright, let's get down to business... After trying both burgers within a one week span, my buddy D'Artagnan and I are 100% sure who's Burger reigns supreme.
We both unanimously vote for Prime Meats as being the best burger tasted.
(on multiple points)

(left : Prime Meats Burger, right : Minetta Tavern Black Label Burger)

*Prime Meats : 1/2 # of Creekstone CBA Beef (Prime) (Ribeye, Sirloin, Skirt, Aged Fat Cap from Debragga, +Secret Cut, )
Minetta Tavern : 1/3# of Creekstone Prime Grade (Ribeye, Sirloin, Skirt, Brisket, +Secret Cut)
Prime Meats burger patty was clearly more flavorful. It had just the right amount of funk. Kudos to the dry aging program. Both were cooked perfectly, nice crust and extremely juicy in the center, but the moment when you bite into the burger, PM was clearly the better burger.
Every bite from PM, just had a tremendous amount of great beef flavor.
Exemplary marks.

The Bun
PM : Homemade Sesame Roll
*MT : the softest Brioche known to man
Minetta's Brioche is unbelievably soft and perfect. It complimented the onions and burger well, and mechanically superior because when biting into, it will not push things out.

Beef Flavor
*PM takes it. We think the extra fat from the Debragga aging room gave it just enough funk that made all the difference.
MT has a pretty special burger folks. No doubt about it.
But they serve their burger with a hefty amount of caramelized onions. Which is great, don't get me wrong. But unfortunately its really having too much of a good thing. It isn't necessary. The onions in our opinion took away from the meat being the center of attention. Nothing should interfere with the burger patty. Nothing.

PM : Tomato, Lettuce, Red Onions and Cheese right on the top bun. Very basic and basic is good.
*MT : Caramelized Onions tossed in a ton of butter, then spooned on top of the burger patty. Tomato, Lettuce on the side.
Strictly from a toppings' perspective, MT has the edge. Those caramelized onions are insanely sweet and juicy. It would make any ordinary burger pop.

Price $$$
*PM : $16
MT : $26
At $16 a burger, Prime Meats wins this competition by a landslide. A better tasting burger at almost half the cost?! Hands down folks, Prime Meats has it.

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