The team behind the Old Homestead Steakhouse has gone on a culinary quest to craft the perfect burger. Rachel Wharton from Edible Manhattan Magazine filed the following report.
For more than two months the Old Homestead Steakhouse has been hard at work on their entry for this weekend's Burger Bash, part of the annual New York City Wine & Food Festival. With help from chef Romeo Dibona, they've made and eaten more than 70 patties, testing buns, blends of the restaurant's aged beef, various cheeses, homemade mayos and ketchups, and all kinds of pickles, slaws and other condiments. Now they've narrowed it down to three, and we got to sit in on their final tasting.
"There's just so much we've had, and this is the last of the last. I'm just tongue tied cause I've got so many ingredients running through my head," says Dibona.
After much tinkering, the three semi-finalists included a Mexican style burger with avocado, charred jalapenos and pepper Jack cheese. There was an Italian number topped with arugula, shaved parm, red onions, black olives, lemon, olive oil and provolone. And last but not least was a candidate suspiciously similar to a cheesesteak, loaded with onion marmalade, peppered slab bacon and creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
Along with chef Dibona and the brothers who own the Old Homestead, I got to sample all three, each of which all were given a sprinkle of crispy fried onion bits meant to serve as a crunchy secret weapon. While I liked the elegant brine and crunch of the Italian style burger, there's just no beating an ooey gooey mess of beef, onions and melty cheese.
"Listen if this was a cheesesteak, since I'm from Philadelphia, you'd have to say this is a Whiz wit'. A Whiz wit wit!" jokes Dibona.