PYT in Philly

September 11, 2009

This is a haiku written by Jason and dedicated to one of the best burgers we’ve had in a long time.

Went to PYT
Served on Martin’s Tater Roll
Burger was perfect

Mikey and dad waiting for food (rocking DP Dough shirt)

Cool pics on wall

PYT Burger with kick-butt fries

Autopsy shot of PYT Burger

Fries and onion rings were awesome too! :o)

Burgers au Natural

November 27, 2008

Disclaimer: I want to apologize for the yellowness of the pics. I was making burgers with one hand and snapping photos with the other, trying desperately to avoid cross contamination.

I consider myself to be purist when it comes to burgers. If you must have something other than quality ground meat between two slices of a potato roll, I’ll agree that fresh vegetable toppings and condiments are good eats too. Maybe even cheese, but that’s it. You may be thinking “what else could there be?” but trust me, there’s some crazy stuff out there (foie gras topping anyone?). I don’t agree with adding in chopped garlic or onion or Worcestershire sauce or other stuff into the patty itself either.

For the record, the pics at the end show what my burger looks like 90% of the time.

Despite being a purist with the patty, I still love to play with the combinations of toppings and condiments. Sure there is the lettuce/tomato/ketchup/mustard/onion classic, and who can resist a slice of bacon on there? I also enjoy a burger with pepperjack cheese, guacamole, salsa and jalapenos. Or how about a burger with cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, and coleslaw? I could go on and on…

One thing that can’t be compromised is the quality of meat. Personally I prefer about a 80% sirloin to 20% brisket mix (of course that isn’t exact, 70/30 is fine too, but I wouldn’t go much more than that). The brisket toughens up the patty a bit and adds a the beefy flavor, whereas the sirloin keeps the patty soft and moist with great texture.

I’m no butcher, but from what I gather there are different cuts of sirloin (as evidenced above). Since I can never find just “sirloin” I usually look for top sirloin or a combo of top sirloin and tenderloin (a combo which I think, on the bone, make up sirloin. No promises there).

As for my burger recipe, it’s very simple. The 80/20 mix above of above cut off the bone…

(I would recommend saving the bones to be roasted later and then boiled for a beef stock)

And for the record, marbling is essential for a good burger. You don’t want huge chunks of fat, you want thin strips all the way throughout. You can see that in this cut there are good sections (towards the top) and not-so-good areas that are too fatty. Hey, it’s the best I could find.

Anyway, the next step is to just cut it into chunks…

and then push them through the grinder to make ground meat…

then season with salt and pepper and that’s it. All you have to do is make them into balls and then patties.

Once grilled to a perfect internal temp of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this is what you get:

Yum :)

Banksy and Burgers

October 24, 2008

Brought to you by Jason! :)

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I’ve been a fan of Banksy for a little while; in fact I’d now group him with DaVinci as one of my favorite artists (of course, neither is one in the “conventional” sense). If you don’t know who Banksy is, click here for his wiki and here for his site and here for a youtube clip.

Anyway, I was alerted that Banksy set up shop (no pun intended) in NY finally so last night Jacquie and I made the trek to his “pet shop.” Originally, I was just going to post the outside pic to not give much away but after going through the store, I realized that pictures don’t do it justice anyway. I’m posting the pictures for those who can’t make it to the store before it closes on Halloween, but I really encourage you to get to the pet store at 89 7th Ave to see the exhibit in person.

These are pictures of the storefront:

Bird’s eye view:

Unlucky bunny:

Unhappy hen:

Chillin’ leopard (sort of) – this is one that I was completely taken aback by so I won’t ruin the “surprise”

Monkey porn (he actually ate at the same place we went to after our visit!)

Louis the Lizard

Poor Tweety!

I don’t think I need to explain this one (yes, they actually “swam” around the tank):

Dog tanks:

There is so much to be said about this place. There are messages in each piece and the impact is stronger when seen in person.

After that, Jacquie and I wandered around for a while looking for dinner places but ended up going to 5 Guys since we had never been and wanted something quick.

Jacquie went with a little cheeseburger and chose pretty standard toppings (lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, grilled onions) whereas I opted for a spicy burger (bbq sauce, grilled onions, fresh jalapenos). And of course, we had to get their famous fries.

The fries were incredible and exceeded our expectations with absolutely no qualifiers. Hot and fresh just like they should be. I’d qualify the burger by saying it’s one of the best fast food burgers I’ve ever had. The subtly sweet bun was particularly good. It didn’t live up to the hype surrounding it – much like the “must go to place” in California – but it was very good.

All in all, our conclusion is that we would go to Shake Shack for burgers (if the wait were less than 30 minutes), and then head directly to 5 Guys for some fries.

Oh yeah, if you’re wondering, 5 guys is better than that CA place. Sorry Californians.