Saturday, June 21, 2008

Burger craving

Mabel and I woke up this morning on top of the covers with all the lights on in the apartment, and we both felt a bit queasy.

I had to get up to re-park the car we're borrowing from my parents then fell asleep again when I got back.

When I woke up again, I had a strong and very specific craving for a bacon, avocado, and swiss burger from Burgers & Cupcakes. Craving is maybe too weak a word. I needed to have that burger. Once I planted the idea, Mabel needed one too.

So we get there, and they're doing some minor construction, trying to renovate the associated pizza place. We walked into Burgers & Cupcakes a bit wary because of the construction noise, but then decided it was worth it. The waitress isn't really sure what to do, but motions us to sit down. Awesome! But then Mitchel London himself says that they're renovating and aren't ready to serve customers. Drat! But then I have a great idea! Can we do take out? He says he'll check with the kitchen. Nope, the kitchen isn't ready. Oh no!

Okay, chicken parm is second on my list, but we find that our local deli doesn't have the marinara sauce on the weekend. A diner isn't quite what I'm after. I want a good hot sandwich, not corned beef hash, and anyway I've been ruined for corned beef hash.

What about Quiznos? I've seen their commercials. Mmmm... toasty and all. We walk there. Mabel orders a beef sandwich that you dip in dipping sauce. And I get their chicken carbonara sandwich. We get Lay's potato chips which for some reason tasted like cardboard to me. Our sandwiches taste all processed and, frankly, not like real food. And we feel a little worse. I pronounce the meal unsatisfying. In retrospect, it was gross, disgusting even.

Well, we went to Burgers & Cupcakes for dinner, and it was so good. I would rank it as one of the best meals of our lives. I got my burger and Mabel got a straightforward cheeseburger. Lettuce and onions, but unfortunately no tomatoes because of the tomato scare. We shared a vanilla milkshake--which was just added to their menu--and it tasted like the milkshakes that I used to drink at home when I was a little kid. Mabel got fries, and I ordered sweet potato fries. But they brought onion rings for me instead, which was a miracle because I wished that I ordered onion rings after it was too late to change my order. And our waitress didn't charge for them because she felt bad she got the order wrong!


Momneedsanap said...

Chicken Parmesan! It's all about the sauce and crisy chicken. Love it.

Next time, try restaurant "Perilla" in Greenwich Village, NY. It was written in Esquire magazine as the "best chicken parmesan in the city".

From your neighborhood Burger & Cupcakes, Perilla is only 2 miles traveling South on 7th Ave. You make a left on W. 4th St, and then a left at Sheridan Square.

It's only available at Perilla during brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am - 2:30pm.

Perilla Restaurant
9 Jones St.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-6868

David said...

Hey, that place is on the same street as Florence Prime Meats.

Mabel and I have thought of eating there. The chef there, Harold Dieterle, was the first one to win Top Chef. I had no idea that they had good Chicken Parmesan. We'll have to check it out.

Momneedsanap said...

Ah! I found it. Here's the chicken parmesan sandwich receipe from Perilla. Enjoy.

Perilla's Chicken-Parm Hero with Sausage

Recipe courtesy of Harold Dieterle, chef and owner of Perilla's in New York, New York
This recipe, created by Top Chef Season 1 winner Harold Dieterle, was named one of the top sandwiches in America by Esquire magazine.

1 boneless, skinless organic chicken breast cutlet (about 8 ounces)

2 Tbsp. flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten (overbeating creates air bubbles that prevent the bread crumbs from sticking)

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Semolina soft hero roll with sesame seeds, ends trimmed and spilt horizontally

Sauce (see below)

2 Tbsp. grated pecorino

1/4 cup (4 ounces) shredded buffalo mozzarella

Dredge chicken breast in flour (knocking off excess), dig in egg (dripping off excess) and press in bread crumbs (must be thoroughly coated at each step). In a sauté pan over medium to high heat, add 1/4 inch of oil. When a pinch of breading sizzles on contact, fry breaded cutlet (lowering heat if necessary) until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side. (Check for doneness by making a tiny cut in thickest part of breast.)

Place open roll on foil-covered sheet pan and lightly toast under preheated broiler. Lightly coat upper and lower halves with sauce and arrange cutlet on bottom half, cutting to fit if necessary. Top with sauce, grated pecorino and buffalo mozzarella. Transfer to preheated 350° oven until cheese is melted, about 2 or 3 minutes. Set top in place and serve.

1/4 cup spicy Italian sausage, out of casing and crumbled

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup white onion, minced

2 tsp. fennel seed

2 basil leaves, chopped

1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed organic tomatoes

Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pot over low to medium heat, cook sausage. Strain off fat, add garlic, onion, fennel seed and basil, and cook until softened. Add tomatoes and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season to taste.

David said...

Thanks for the recipe. It seems like a pretty straightforward Chicken Parm recipe. I bet the key is in their execution of it.

We recently moved to the Village, so we're only a block away from Perilla now. We'll try to go for lunch at some point.