Slideshow SLIDESHOW: Behind the Scenes Burger Tour with Pat LaFrieda, Part 2: The Grilled Burger at the Little Owl

[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Our Pat LaFrieda burger tour continues this week with another small, if admittedly better known more-than-just-a-burger spot: Joey Campanaro's The Little Owl. But for Pat (who you can now check out on Food Network's Meat Men), size doesn't matter. Well, burger size does. But not restaurants.

"We put a lot of effort into little businesses like this. They're important to us," Pat says. Getting the blend of chuck, brisket, and flatiron steak just right took five or six trials, but all that work has made one hell of a grilled burger that Ed has praised to high heaven. And justifiably so: from a visual perspective alone, this may be the perfect American bacon cheeseburger.

Meet the grill

The flavor doesn't disappoint either. It's smoky but not charred, ridiculously tender and moist but not greasy, and the mix of fresh beef drippings with slightly browned American cheese is pretty wonderful. This burger's really all about balance, in and out and top to bottom, with careful toppings and additions all aimed at elevating, but not hiding the meat. It invites needless debate to call anything "best in class," but this one is definitely in the running for best grilled burger in New York.

We stepped into the kitchen with chef Joey Campanaro to learn what goes into this beautiful beast. Check out the slideshow for a step-by-step guide to how it's made.

The Little Owl

90 Bedford Street, New York NY 10014 (at Grove Street; map)
212-741-4695; thelittleowlnyc.com

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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