Friday, January 25, 2008

Zaitzeff...Mmmmmmmm


It doesn't matter that I can't pronounce the name. It also doesn't matter that the place can hold a maximum of 12 hungry burger lovers. I ate a burger today at Zaitzeff on Nassau St. in lower Manhattan that knocked me over. It seems that fewer and fewer burgers in NYC these days are made with good old ground chuck. Everyone seems to have an angle, either stuffing their burgers with things like foie gras and braised short ribs (my friend Daniel Boulud's DB Burger - wow what a burger) or mixing different cuts of beef to make a sort of 'everything' patty (I'm thinking of BLT Burger that boldly mixes chuck, sirloin, short rib, AND brisket to little effect). Zaitzeff is there too, offering a sirloin burger and a Kobe beef burger made from American raised Wagyu cows (not to be confused with Japanese Kobe). I've eaten a ton of burgers in the past 7 years, tons, and even I still can't really tell the difference between Wagyu Kobe and a great beefburger cooked the same way. What I do know however is that the Kobe burger I ate today kicked ass. It was cooked to a perfect medium and served on a decent toasted Portuguese-type bun with sauteed onions. I made the mistake of ordering mine with mustard, a mistake because every burger spot in NYC believes they have to serve high-end mustard with their high-end burgers. If you are into overpowering, makes-your-eyes-water Dijon, go for it. For those who know me, spicy brown (or yellow) is the only way to go. In the tiny kitchen behind the register you can watch your burger being made on the compact flattop (and fries bubbling in a cast-iron skillet, not a deep fryer). It's a great burger spot and glad that good friend Carey tipped me off to the place.

5 comments:

King Boo said...

Great looking bun! I don't think that enough attention gets paid to the bun on a burger. To me it can make a mediocre meat good, and great meat fantastic. I have this general gripe with sandwiches in general, but with burgers it's become a passion.

Michael said...

I don't know why there has been such a surge in the Kobe/Wagyu beef used in burgers. The point of Kobe is that is has a particular marbling that is lost in grinding the meat, thus a waste other than being able to use it in the description.

Hamburger America said...

Agreed. And honestly I really can't tell the difference.

Wauna-burger said...

I agree with king boo about the bun. I was trying a burger out and the bun was the star not the burger. I was with my brother and he asked how my burger was, I said "The bun is good" and that was it.

The √úbereater said...

I live for burgers, and am always looking for a new joint. This place sounds solid and I will be heading downtown SHORTLY to check it out. I'm so tired of everyone talking about Shake Shack and Corner Bistro. As you probably know the Stoned Crow on Wasington Place in the village makes a good burger, though their kitchen (for whatever reason) isn't always up and running.

ALSO, check out Sullivan Diner on Sullivan between Bleecker and Houston. It's pretty much a neighborhood joint, but the burger is incredibly tasty and juicy and served on a Tomkat bakery roll that is hard to argue with. I've eaten a lot of burgers in the city, and this one is consistently good. I think you'd be pleased. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

-The Ubereater
www.ubereater.com