Turn up the heat—New York Burger Bar is grilling a secret three-meat patty blend with a unique crust that locks in the flavor. But before Chef Josh Handler breaks out the griddle at this year’s Great Burger Battle, he spoke with me about his burger recipe, what drives the flavor and how he likes his chances in the competition.
How does it feel to be a finalist?
Words can’t even explain it. [I] never thought in a million years business would take off like it did or that we would get so much publicity. To…make the top 10 is something you dream of. We aren’t nervous but excited to go out and just show everybody the great food that we have.
What makes your burger better than the rest?
We use a high quality three-meat blend that we don’t season or add with any spices. Many other restaurants use the standard short rib or brisket in different amounts and ratios. Ours is totally different. We don’t have those meats in our burger, but the recipe we use is a secret. We also go with a flat top griddle instead of a grill.
Why do you cook on a flat top? How does it affect the burger?
It creates a nice crust on the outside that seals in the juice from the burger and adds another depth of flavor. When using a grill with an open flame, the grease and fat from the burger instantly drip down. When you are searing it on a flat top the fat does come off, but not right away so it’s able to form a crust on the top and bottom of the burger.
How would you describe the taste?
We don’t press the three-meat blend so the burgers stay extremely fresh and juicy once they are seared. The crust they form on the outside really just takes it over the top and when we dress them with our homemade house sauces and different pickled toppings it’s a savory explosion in your mouth.
How many burgers do you make on a typical night? What approach are you going to take for the competition?
Three-hundred to five-hundred burgers on Friday and Saturday nights when we have a full dining room. We are going to use a burger from our menu, but we are going to make individual sliders instead. Once you cut the burger all the juices have the chance to escape. Instead of cutting a normal sized burger into four pieces, we decided to go the extra route and make as many individual sliders as we need, that way every single person can get the full experience (buns, toppings, etc.) in a smaller size.
How do you like your chances at Great Burger Battle?
We see that have some very strong competition, but we believe our high quality meat cooked on a flat top will set our burger apart from everyone else.
Is New York Burger Bar serving the best burgers on the Island? Taste for yourself at Great Burger Battle.