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May 26, 2009 08:35 AM

Pat Lafrieda Burgers

I have been hearing crazy talk about Pat Lafrieda burger mixture.. Since I didnt eat enough crap this weekend, I figured, let's get some burgers tonight..

I have heard about the crazy meat mixture at City Burger but, I am going to be more downtown this evening..

So my question is, where is the best place to sample his burger mixture..

Black Iron BUrger in the east village?

Minetta Tavern?

Any other places that are making really good burgers with his meat?



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  1. Blue Smoke uses La Frieda meat for their burgers -- an excellent burger, imo.

    ETA: Actually, so does Shake Shack. But the burger at Blue Smoke is much thicker.

    1. the minetta black label burger is insanely good but more of an extravagant version of the lafrieda meat.

      doesnt shake shack use lafrieda meat?

      1 Reply
      1. re: sam1

        I just cross-edited my post to add that info about Shake Shack.

      2. While I can't speak to the burger mixture used, I am very fond of Black Iron Burger. My husband and I (and our 21 month old daughter) enjoy the casual setting. Great place for a very good burger and a beer at a reasonable price. Fries are also very good (and peppery).

        3 Replies
        1. re: magfitz

          I spoke to my buddy about Minetta and he believes it might be a little too classy for what we are looking for.. Thanks for the Black Iron Burger recommendation, I think this is where we are headed tonight.

          1. re: Daniel76

            Black Iron began using LaFrieda mix but no longer. I'll try and find the article that I read that confirms this fact.

            ETA Here's the article

            "Mr. Hennings opened with a LaFrieda blend, but now uses a less vaunted supplier. The meat does fine in the Iron Horse but doesn’t stand up as well in the single-patty burger."

            1. re: Daniel76

              It is possible that your friend is considering Frank Bruni's recent review, which probably paints Minetta Tavern as a classier restaurant then it is. Otoh, $26 is a lot to pay for a burger, and that may be more what he is referring to. The Minetta Burger, at $16, is still on the upper end as far as burgers go, but it is more reasonably priced and many love it- another excellent example of La Frieda burgers.

          2. the "black label" is available at Minetta, it's $26. It's more like a dry-aged steak than regular burger, but I hear it has many fans, if you're willing to spend the money. City Burger also has a version of the "black label", but IMO it is overrated and not very good.

            Little Owl, Shake Shack, Market Table all use Pat LaFrieda's meat as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ginsbera

              Via the NYT:

              "But Mr. LaFrieda told me he sells Black Label only to Minetta Tavern and that City Burger’s blend, which he calls City Black mix, isn’t aged quite as long."


            2. I'm clearly in the minority, but I think the Black Label burger at Minetta is overrated. It was OK, but for $26 it needs to be incredible, and it's not.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Slob

                Went to Black Iron Burger last night and really enjoyed my experience.. I would not like it as much if it was crowded.. We arrived and there were no burger orders up.. We placed our order and the guy went right to work cooking..

                We started with the fried green tomatoes and I felt they were terrific.. Crispy right out of the fryer, smoking hot..

                I then ordered the double burger which came with the horseraddish cheddar and fried onions..

                I opted to not have fried onions on the burger but, instead, ordered onion rings.. Also asked for bacon. We also asked for fries but,. the waitress never put them in..

                Burger came out perfect, love the bun, both patties were super juicy.. The bun is really airy and does not over power the burger or really take away anything from the meat..

                Place is super tiny, they have a great beer list.. Maybe not Pat Lafrieda meat or anything but, it's a really good burger..

                I file this in my I wish I knew about this place when I was 20 file.

                1. re: Daniel76

                  Here is a good story about Pat LaFrieda. We used to live down in the Village (near Leroy and Greenwich) right next to Pat LaFrieda's place. We got to know him - really nice guy with a great sense of humor. He told us the story about how his father (who also apparently had a good sense of humor), when he was running the business, had the sign on his trucks:"Pat LaFrieda says EAT MY MEAT". When they started delivering to higher end places, especially the hotels, Pat received multiple requests to change the tag line, which now reads:"Pat LaFrieda, hte first name in meat".

                  I think burgers made from his mix are really good generally, but I agree that they have to be cooked on the griddle. Even when certain places - my current negative view is on HB Burger - get the right beef, they dont cook it hard enough on the outside so its got some crust/carmelization. I have had two in a row at HB Burger which were so "mis-cooked" (flabby, undercooked and as a result almost tasteless), I don't want to go back again. I have to go back near times square today (MSG too) - does anyone remember the name of the new burger place - somewhere in the west 40s near 7th/8th? I remember reading about it somewhere but cant remember the name - I am not thinking of 5 napkin, this place I recall was somewhat downscale, almost takeout....

                  1. re: BillyBob

                    If in the MSG area, may I suggest the Lamb (I know, I know) burger at The Breslin. Best thing I ate in 2009 and officially my new hangout. (In fact, we'll probably be there after the hockey game - look for a pair of adult twins and a girl)