Friday, March 16, 2012

The Five Leaves Burger

Okay, so I know I was just talking about how great a classic burger is and how special its non-specialness is and all that, but I have to talk about the concept of the Five Leaves burger now. It's fantastic. I've had it a little overdone or underdone or generally not that great in the past and it seems like they've finally nailed it.

The Five Leaves burger is a big, high-quality, somewhat fatty beef chuck topped with a grilled pineapple ring, pickled beets and a sunny-side-up egg with harissa mayo on a ciabatta bun. The end result is a fantastic combination of sweet, spicy and beefy, the egg adding a level of creaminess and the pineapple and beets contributing a little vinegar in addition to its unique flavors. (Strange illumination of picture below due to combination of 2009 iPhone pic in dim light and misunderstanding of Photoshop techniques in general).

I knew that the burger had the potential to be this good because I've made this at home before! Yup, one of my favorite recipe books, The New Brooklyn Cookbook, includes the burger from Five Leaves (and also the brick chicken from Marlow & Sons, duck legs and dirty rice from Egg, and the hanger steak from Dressler... hard to find a more awesome book). It was a bit of advanced cooking in terms of timing and patience making this at home, but it also gave me an appreciation for what goes into it. The pineapple ring is cooked in vinegar, honey, ginger and a few other ingredients before sitting overnight in the fridge. It's grilled right before its placed on the burger. The harissa mayo is whipped up at home with a little lime zest and lime juice. The eggs have to be fried just right. The buns need to be grilled with butter and the burgers need to be shaped and cooked to a perfect medium rare.

If you're feeling crafty, you should give it a try. Or go to Nights and Weekends for a few drinks, because your table at Five Leaves won't be ready for at least another hour.

Five Leaves
18 Bedford Ave

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