delivers the origin story of a dish as told by a restaurant’s chefs or owners. Today’s plate is a hamburger off the bar menu at Smith’s, made by the NY chef equivalent of Mickey Rourke, Doug Psaltis.
On the plate: Bacon cheeseburger with blue cheese and onion ring, on toasted brioche $13
Doug Psaltis: “We put a burger on the menu because we want this place to be a neighborhood spot, somewhere you come in for a hamburger and beer on Tuesday night—low-key. It goes great with Burgundy, too. When I get the "make-your-own" option, this is the burger I make. It's definitely one you'd want a couple of extra napkins with. The bun is a sesame seed brioche bun from Blue Ribbon Bakery right down the street, and it's not too much bread. It's served with a breaded onion ring and some Maytag blue cheese. The onion ring works to hold in the cheese, or like a kiddie pool for the cheese. The ring is cut extra thick then steamed to soften it, then it's breaded with a little bit of smoked paprika and sugar in the crumbs.
“That’s topped with two slices of extra thick double smoked bacon, and we smear some spicy Dijon mustard on the bun. No ketchup unless someone asks for it. We use a half pound of brisket for each patty, so it's 70% lean and 30% fat. The meat is from Pat LaFrieda, some of the best ground beef in the city, and it's grilled on a charcoal grill. These are the flavors I enjoy the most in a burger: smoke, spice, blue cheese, and onion. Off the menu, there's the Big Boy, which you can order if you're in the know. Just kidding.”