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$100 Hamburger

OK, I am bored. I read an article in NYT about pilots flying around the small airstrips in their planes around the country looking for a good lunch, they call it looking for the $100 hamburger, i.e. including fuel, etc.

Which brings me to: What kind of hamburger would you want for $100?

I would start with one pound of true and prime Wagyu beef, well marbles, hand minced like steak tartare, mix in one raw brown egg, salt and ground pepper to taste, seared on a griddle until just the slightest crust develops while the beef is still essentially raw. Capers, shaved black truffles, chopped eggs, minced bermuda onions on the side. Served on a nice buttered and toasted brioche, thick enough to contain the juices but not so thick as to overwhelm the meat, with sesame seeds of course and a hint of toasted garlic bits. Some mild cheese, if at all, to complement the beef and not overwhelm it. Arugula, Cherokee purple tomatoes on the side.

Frieten or poutine, I can't be sure. Chimay Bleue to accompany the feast. Oh, and a 911 call to the paramedics for my impending heart attack.

So what is your $100 Hamburger?

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  1. A pound of beef! Is that a misprint or are you Henry VIII?

    1 Reply
    1. re: annabana

      Hey, its my fantasy not my reality.

    2. 1/3 pound of ground chuck, seasoned with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper, grilled on a charcoal fire, and served on a nice fresh bakery bun with Duke's mayo, French's mustard, Heinz ketchup, some pickles, thinly sliced red onion, chopped lettuce and a slice of tomato. And $95 on the side, to go into my pocket so I could do this another 19 times in the future!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: steakman55

        you rock!
        People make fun of me for enjoying all the goods: mustard, mayo, ketchup.
        I've gotta have a good and messy burger. Gotta have the pickles and oinions and lettuce too.
        I love your side of $95...always a great addition to any meal.

      2. ok, i have one:
        fatty-ish ground sirloin from a steer that was raised on delicious organic wildflowers, and finished with a blend of wild grains. hand grind the meat, and fry first on med, than low heat in butter that was made from a jersey milk cow who spent her life in the same farm paradise. fry covered until med.
        the best sea salt - that i have yet to even try - and a small amount of ground pepper. a toasted brioche bun with melted baby swiss. ok that still should be max $10, what a wonderful thing a hamburger is.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fara

          your burger sounds wonderful. I would travel for that.

        2. Why a brown egg? As far as i know the color of the eggshell has nothing to do with the taste or quality of the egg?

          4 Replies
          1. re: emilief

            I was wondering the exact same thing. I certainly can't tell any difference in taste (although, oddly, when I was a child, I swore up and down that I could and refused to eat brown eggs... I suspect I was just being fussy).

            1. re: emilief

              You are correct; the color of the egg is determined by the color of the chicken; specifically, its earlobes. White earlobes bring white eggs, red earlobes bring brown eggs, blue earlobes bring blue eggs. Yes, blue eggs. Check out an Araucana chicken's earlobes some time and you'll see what I mean.

              1. re: emilief

                "Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh..."

                Any RI'er who lived there in the 70's, 80's can sing that.

              2. I've heard tell that Daniel Boulud has sold burgers for upwards of $100. Personally, I'm not enough of a connosseur to think past the $20 burger, and am still refining my ideals.

                1. If I had a plane to fly myself to a $100 hamburger I would go the Ritz at South Beach, and eat my Ritz hamburger while getting a massage by the pool... That may be more than $100 though.

                  1. I've made my own $100 burger a few times at Burger Bar in Las Vegas. Kobe beef with seared foie gras, shaved black truffles and a drizzle of madeira sauce. They have a toned down version on the menu for $60, but if you select your own add ins the portions of foie and truffles are much larger.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hrhboo

                      Thanks for the tip on the Rossini burger at Burger Bar... I've been tempted to get that, and now I know exactly how.

                      I've put together a burger that topped $20 there (the basic beef, blue cheese, caramelized onion, peppered bacon, truffle sauce) and it was THE best burger I have ever had ANYWHERE. I take it that since you've had the pricey one several times that it is truly worth the exorbitant cost? But then, anything with truffles and foie... mmmm....

                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                        If you order the Rossini Burger off the menu, it is $60 but the portions of truffles and foie are quite small. If you order the items separately you get much bigger portions but the price will be higher. It is hands down the best burger I have ever eaten. I ate one every day for 3 days, and was thrilled when I missed my flight on the 4th day so I could go have another one!

                    2. Not $100 burger but in Brighton, MA, at Eagles Deli they have what's called the Challenge Burger which is $50 (but they will give you $100 if you finish it--no one ever has); I believe that it is 20 beef patties (5 lbs), 20 slices of cheese, 20 slices of bacon plus 5 lbs of fries; don't know if it's any good and certainly not my dream burger.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bakerboyz

                        yeah, they featured it at either the ALSC or WS games in Boston - it looked horrendous.

                      2. This classic Chowhound post is a must-read:

                        The 5,000 mile hamburger: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/292192

                        1. If only I could make a hamburger like my Grandmother, I would pay $100. I know she used freshly ground ground-round. She cooked it in a cast iron skillet, and she served it on fresh bakery white bread with just a little bit of butter. Try as I might, I can't get the same flavor, the same crust the same juicy just cooked center. It didn't need egg or spices or garnish - just the meat and the bread. Perhaps it is just that my tastes have matured, but most of the family agrees with me.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            my grandmother used to cook hamburgers in butter AND vegetable oil. i've gotten a really different flavor with a hamburger cooked in butter. any fat- for instantce a lot of olive oil tastes great.

                          2. Mine would be a 1/100 oz hamburger with about 3 lobsters on the side.
                            But, if that doesn't work for you, here's an actual hamburger:
                            A sourdough bun. Toasted with butter. A 1/4 oz pattie. Cooked in bacon grease. A garden fresh Indiana tomato (worth about $99 by itself). Vidalia onion (why didn't anyone else mention this?) Smoked gouda. A little aioli.
                            That, my friends, is a perfect burger.

                            1. At the current exchange rates, this sandwich is over $170:


                              1. I have to say that I love the burger at GRACE in Los Angeles on their Burger Night.
                                You can spend $20 if you choose the truffled cheese...I love the fact that you can order some incredible wine to go with the perfectly-loosely-packed-meat burger, that is served on the most delicious, fluffy and perfectly toasted bun that soaks up any runaway juices...jsut be sure to sneak in your own bottle of Heinz (yup, I've done it several times) because the ketchup they've got....ew.

                                  1. I'm not sure I would ever pay $100 for a hamburger...but if I did it would have to be the juiciest close to medium rare hamburger I've ever tasted. Some addition of blue cheese might be nice, but it would have to be subtle and not overwhelming. Interesting question!