Peter Luger Lunch Review
So I had the luck of being off from work today and decided hey this is as good a time as any to head over to my favorite restaurant Peter Luger to try their burger. The burger is only offered at lunch and usually we only go during dining hours. So I called my father up and said "Hey let's go go to Peter Luger!". He said ahhh I wish I could but I am swamped at work. Damn too bad. But then 10 minutes later the phone rings and he says " PICK ME UP". Haha I guess the thought of PL was just too good and work would have to wait.
So we were on our way. I had called ahead and asked if we could just walk in and they said certainly no problem. We arrived at around 1:30 to that signature Peter Luger aroma of dry-aged beefy greatness. It just reeks of deliciousness every time. This was the first time EVER that I did not order the porterhouse for two. We were really here for the chance to try the burger and since it was lunch we wanted to eat "light". So we decided to split a cheeseburger (medium rare for my dad, even though I would have preferred rare I sacrificed), side of fries, couple of slices of the standard bacon, and a ribeye (rare, because hey I couldnt come and not order a steak!).
The order was in and we were absolutely stoked. I couldn't wait to try both since I had never had either. Minutes later the food arrived and we were smiling from ear to ear. My father said 'How do you want to do this?" I said just cut it in half and we will share lol. As soon and he cut through the burger you saw the bloody juices oozing out. Meanwhile, our waiter did the usual plating of the glorious steak and spooned the juices on top. It was so beautiful, like a picture out of a magazine. Perfectly cooked rare as I wanted it. My father handed me my half of the burger, topped it with some onion, ketchup and bacon and dug in. OH MY GOD. The burger was unbelievable. Even though I would have liked it more rare the taste was phenomenal. Upon first bite you are hit with an incredible flavor profile of that deep dry aged, minerally, steak taste (which is what their burgers are made out of), The brioche bun is the perfect vessel and just how I like my buns, spongy, soft and strong enough to sop up the juices. After the first bite I took off the bacon though. These two works of art should definitely be eaten separetly and in their purest forms. The bacon is just too thick and the burger deserves to be eaten sans any more "gilding of the lily". The bacon as always was scrumptious. All in all the burger was excellently executed. The burger is not huge, but that is a good thing since it allowed us to share but still definitely large enough to satisfy you. And at its price level $12 with the additions, definitely a bargain. The fries as usual were expertly done. Crunchy golden brown deliciousness.
Now what of that ribeye? This realllly had me stoked. My favorite of course is the porterhouse, but having never sampled the ribeye I was interested to see how it would compare. The only other time I had seen the ribeye at PL in person was when my friend ordered it at a dinner last year. Unfortunately, I regrettably did not try his because he orders his steaks well done (which as any of you who read my posts know I want no part of). But this time I had my very own ribeye-- cooked to my bloody rare specifications perfectly. After devouring my half of the burger it was time for steak. This was a thing of beauty. The meat was so soft and tender I cut it with a fork. No sauce needed just the love juices from the bottom of the tipped plate spooned on top. My first bite sent me straight to heaven as that first bite of PL steak always does. I closed my eyes and all was perfect in the world. So so so so amazing. This thing was a mammoth piece of meat also, I would say tipping in at 30 ounces or so. And it comes with a flinstone sized bone with tons of meat still attached to it (my favorite part!). Before my father could even taste it I had downed my first two slices. After his first taste, his reaction was quite similar to mine. He went so far as to even say " Wow, that MIGHT be even better than the porterhouse". I wouldn't go that far, but I will say that this is probably now has vaulted to the best ribeye I have ever had. I did miss the porterhouse (how could I not?) but the ribeye definitely did a great job of softening the blow a bunch. What a wonderful steak. Peter Luger never seizes to amaze me. I can now add two more items to my favorites list. This was one incredible lunch and I wish I had the priveledge to do it more often... dont we all??
After our plates were cleared...another first--- we decided against dessert. I never ever ever skip my hot fudge sundae but alas it was getting late, we were full, and my father had to get back to work. So we asked for the check and ended our terrific meal. But true to Luger form there was still some delicious schlag and chocolate waiting for us as a sweet ending. Ah schlag how I loved and missed you. Another trip to PL, another memorable experience.
The last time I went to Peter Luger for lunch I ordered the burger with bacon and the ribeye as well, but as a solo diner. That was one meat-heavy lunch, and the waiter seemed rather flummoxed by my order.
The burger was very good, definitely one of the better ones in the city. I wasn't impressed by the bun though; I feel that they could use bread of higher quality. It also didn't have close to the same intensity of dry aged beef flavor that Minetta Tavern's Black Label burger has. Obviously, the price of the PL burger was much more palatable. The ribeye was great, though I agree, not as good as the porterhouse.
The taste between the PL burger and Minetta Tavern burger was similar for me. One thing that would have been great with the Luger burger is caramelized onions. Wonder if they have them. Plus Minetta's burger is $26 compared to $12 which you stated as well. Nonetheless both are delicious.
That ribeye was phenomenal and it is great to know that PL is not a one trick pony.