Alon Shaya loves ketchup. Like, a lot. [Photo: Nikki Mayeux]
For Burger Week 2013, Eater asked some of New Orleans finest chefs to divulge their favorite burger in the city. Yes, it's the chefs turn to weigh in on burgers. From Alon Shaya's Heinz-way to heaven to Michael Doyle's dirty little secret, chefs enjoy their red meat many different ways... or do they? Spoiler Alert: There's a whole lotta chef lurv for The Company Burger.
John Besh, Besh Restaurant Group: Company Burger, the quality of the meat that comes from Cleaver & Co. It's got that juicy factor that I love.
Donald Link, Cochon/Herbsaint/Peche: As much as I love Company Burger I always like the burgers at the ball field at the fly. They're very simple store bought hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato, and American cheese. The meat is grilled to order and smothered in Tony Chachere's, and I dress my own, which helps a lot because I can dress it exactly how I like it. After I eat one I want three more, which is one way I gauge how much I like a hamburger. I like that the burgers are home style like the ones I grew up eating. And I really need mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup on my burger (especially mayonnaise).
Dan Esses, Three Muses: Company Burger. Love the bun. Getting used to the American cheese. I like that it's all natural meat and very thin. I don't like big burgers with too much on it and too big of a patty. I like a burger that's easy to eat. The bun is what makes it my favorite though!
Tory McPhail, Commander's Palace: Port of Call because it's a local dive that has great burgers AND serves a 32oz. drink with 4 shots of rum, the Neptune Monsoon. It's also great this time of year after French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest.
Mike Friedman, Pizza Delicious: Pizza D loves burgers. Me, Greg (Augarten) and Matt Bossie (our pasta chef) just had a burger summit and these were the three winners: Tru Burger, Company Burger, and Cowbell.
Alon Shaya, Domenica: Lüke Burger... The year was 2010. It was a combination of brisket and chuck grilled to a perfect medium rare. It was summer time and it came out with beautifully ripe and sweet heirloom tomatoes. In fact the tomato variety was Northern lights. The chef seasoned the tomato slices with salt and pepper which is rarely done, but well appreciated. I have to have mayo on my burgers and this one had just the right amount. Crisp green leaf lettuce and smokey Allen Benton's bacon added to the glory. The best part? the soft brioche bun was lathered with melted butter then seared until toasty on a super hot flat top griddle. One of my guilty pleasures in life is ketchup. One squirt of Heinz sealed the deal and I was in heaven.
Michael Doyle, Maurepas Foods: I have a lot of love for burgers, and I consider the Company Burger to be a nearly perfect piece of sandwich architecture. Me and the kids regularly go to TruBurger for burgers and shakes (shakes are pretty key). In the interest of diplomacy, I'm going to call my favorite burger Bud's #4 with smoked sauce and extra onions. When the family goes out of town, I go to City Park Bud's at wierd hours and get two #4's, a root beer, a beer and two orders of fries, which I salt as much as I want. Then I say nothing about it for a while.
Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette: I really enjoy Company Burger for their simple, well executed burger. They have great bread, good meat and homemade pickles, which makes it a perfect burger.
Mike Gulotta, Restaurant August: Bud's Broiler #6, add Hickory Smoked Sauce, and a chocolate milkshake. The hickory smoked sauce combines perfectly with the chargrill of their burgers, the sharpness of the cheddar cheese and the sweet and spice of the sauce. And I love milkshakes.
Tenney Flynn, GW Fins: Not only do I really like the lamb burger at Company Burger, but I have an allegiance to them because Adam used to work for me at GW Fins.
Scott Graf, sous chef at Windsor Court: Company Burger! A gourmet approach to a classic, from the best meat to the mayo bar.
Phillip Lopez, Root and upcoming Square Root: This is easy... The Company Burger on Freret Street. It's simple and perfectly executed with just the right amount of spice, meat, bread, cheese and pickle. Where else can you get an expertly crafted burger, tater tots, onion rings, French fries or cocktails in one place?
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