Address: 54 East First Street, New York NY 10003 [map]
Short Order: 80/20 mixture of ground chuck and lamb gives this burger a tangy, flavor that hints at aged beef
Want Fries With That? Oddly enough? Yes. I generally don't like fries, but the spuds here, done in the style of Chez Ronald, are quite good
Prune, one of Manhattan's favorite weekend brunch spots, recently started serving lunch during the week. On that menu: a cheddar burger. At the urging of a highly credible source, we checked it out yesterday.
Prune's cheeseburger consists of a grilled patty, topped with a perfectly melted generous slice of white cheddar. It is sandwiched in a grilled English muffin that itself has been slathered with a parsley-scallion butter that plays well against the sharpness of the cheese.
The coarsely ground, loosely packed patty is incredibly juicy and has a strong beefy flavor. We learned later that the tangy aged-beef element was actually due in part to the addition of 20 percent ground lamb. "Hey, I figure if you're eating cow, you've got no problem eating lamb," said Prune chef-owner Gabrielle Hamilton. "There's no vegetarian issue there, no pork issue, so I added it."
I ordered my burger medium-rare, but it came out closer to medium-wellnot a hint of pink. "The cooks are under strict orders not to touch the burger once it's on the grill," Ms. Hamilton said. Thus there's no danger of the meat losing precious juices as the cook tests doneness by feel.
The staff corrected the problem quickly, grilling another burger, this time perfectly done, as you can see from the photo.
Prune's cheddar burger is $12, comes with a small portion of McDonald's-y, bistro-y fries (quite good, by the way), and is only available for lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Coincidentally, the staff of Eater was also at Prune for lunch yesterday. An IM with that site's Ben Leventhal:
Eater Ben (10:50:38): I didn't eat for the rest of the day
NYCSlice (10:50:43 a.m.): DUDE
NYCSlice (10:50:46 a.m.): neither did I
Eater Ben (10:51:03 a.m.): Yeah, that thing is a-ggressive
NYCSlice (10:51:06 a.m.): It's not like it's a HUGE burger
Eater Ben (10:51:10 a.m.): well
Eater Ben (10:51:15 a.m.): calorically
Eater Ben (10:51:22 a.m.): it's got to be 1200-plus
NYCSlice (10:51:23 a.m.): yeah. true. heh