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Old 08-05-2019, 06:05 PM
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Very expensive burgers


It's easy to Google up various lists of very high priced hamburgers. They go from the 30 dollar range to hundreds for each burger. I'm not interested in the gimmick ones with a diamond or gold bar on top, just real burgers. They are typically made from Wagyu beef, truffles, foie gras, etc.

So has anyone actually tried one? I doubt any burger can really be worth 50 bucks but how was it?

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Old 08-05-2019, 06:20 PM
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I think the most expensive burger I've ever eaten was $23 at Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas. Emeril's place is on point - it was a tremendous burger, and something I'd order again under similar circumstances.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:12 PM
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There used to be a steakhouse in lower Manhattan called Nebraska Beef.

It wasn't bad -- I had the steaks there a couple of times. Not as good as some of the other famous steakhouses in New York, but okay.

But about once a week I'd meet a girlfriend who lived near the place, and we'd sit at the bar and have hamburgers. They were expensive, and they were really, really good.

It closed years ago, but I miss it.
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:27 AM
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I had one of those fancy "gourmet" burgers at some burger specialty joint right on the strip. Burger by itself was about $25, and honestly wasn't that memorable. Like it was a really good fast food burger, but that's all it was, a REALLY GOOD fast food burger. If Carls Jr gave it to me I'd say it was excellent but not think much more of it.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:43 AM
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Had a 19 euros delicatessen burger once. On the one hand, it was off the hook and delivered with enough fries to build a small house with. On the other hand, none of this could quite wash away the guilt and quintessential wrongness of blowing that much money on a goddamn sandwich.
Still, much like Vincent Vega, I needed to know what a 19€ burger tasted like.

Last edited by Kobal2; 08-06-2019 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:02 AM
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Geez, and here I was thinking the $12.99 burgers at Red Robin were very expensive...
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
On the other hand, none of this could quite wash away the guilt and quintessential wrongness of blowing that much money on a goddamn sandwich.
Still, much like Vincent Vega, I needed to know what a 19€ burger tasted like.
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Originally Posted by mixdenny View Post
I doubt any burger can really be worth 50 bucks but how was it?
I don't get why burgers would be in a special category compared to any number of $50+ items in high-end restaurants. Is it because burgers are German/American + working class in origin and therefore don't have the potential to be high-end like steak or lobster?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 08-06-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:00 AM
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Lobster was a food of the lower classes for a long time.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:35 AM
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I don't get why burgers would be in a special category compared to any number of $50+ items in high-end restaurants. Is it because burgers are German/American + working class in origin and therefore don't have the potential to be high-end like steak or lobster?
Unlike lobster or a quality steak, ground beef is a common ingredient. And there's nothing difficult about cooking a burger. So an expensive high-end hamburger is going to stand out because it doesn't naturally belong among the other expensive high-end items on the menu.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:45 AM
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Unlike lobster or a quality steak, ground beef is a common ingredient. And there's nothing difficult about cooking a burger. So an expensive high-end hamburger is going to stand out because it doesn't naturally belong among the other expensive high-end items on the menu.
I like to but filet mignon, grind it, form a nice burger, then sous vide it rare. A delicious burger that is right at home with other high-end items.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:47 AM
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I've never bothered with them. I can buy ground Wagyu beef in a local store for $6.99/pound if I want it.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:16 AM
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I remember reading on Mark Evanier's blog the thinking behind a $500 burger stuffed with truffles, lobster meat and gold-plated caviar. Probably no one orders those, but might look at the second-most expensive burger at $80 and think "You know, I could afford that one..."
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:22 AM
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Does buffalo count? I've ordered a buffalo burger that's in the $30 range. It was made to order and truly excellent.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:24 AM
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I don't get why burgers would be in a special category compared to any number of $50+ items in high-end restaurants.
I agree. If you're in a restaurant that serves $50 burgers, everything on the menu will be priced at least a bit high. Many, many people go to such restaurants and don't give a thought to the price of what they want to order. Personally, while I have never ordered a $50 burger, I could see how it happens. If I want a burger, I don't care if it's $12 or $24. If I'm at a fancy place, I can easily imagine it might be $50. If I want a slab of salmon it might be $15 or it might be $45. Depends where you're eating.

I would agree $500 novelty burgers are just some kind of gimmick, not something you'd normally order.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:24 AM
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Lobster was a food of the lower classes for a long time.
Yeah? But not in Nevada.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 08-06-2019 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:28 AM
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I like to but filet mignon, grind it, form a nice burger, then sous vide it rare. A delicious burger that is right at home with other high-end items.
Isn't filet mignon pretty lean?

The thing about burger patties is that while high quality beef does make a difference, it doesn't need to be a particularly good cut. You don't need the tenderness of filet mignon or the marbling of waygu beef because it's all going to get ground up anyway.

Looking at the list, most of these really expensive burgers are made by taking a fairly normal burger and then putting expensive ingredients (foie gras, truffles) on them. They're all gimmicks.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:47 AM
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Isn't filet mignon pretty lean?
Yes, that's why I buy it. I know seemingly everyone likes the taste/effect of fat, but I do not.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:08 AM
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Probably the best burger I can recall having is Dad's Burger from Dad's Kitchen in Sacramento (as seen on Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives). But even that is only $15.50.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:21 AM
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I've had a beefalo burger. It was $20? for the plate w/onion rings. Not worth it. The rings were good though.
I'd rather have a Sonic Corndog. For, I don't know, $2 or so.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:21 AM
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About 7 years ago, on a tourist trip to Las Vegas, I ordered a $50+ burger (from a restaurant in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.)
It was Waygu beef with truffles and pate de foie gras as toppings.
Amusingly it came in a standard burger bun (probably costing $0.20...)

It was pleasant, but I wouldn't bother again.
It's easy to instead get a delicious piece of steak for that price (with all the trimmings.)



+So probably $55 now allowing for inflation...
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
I don't get why burgers would be in a special category compared to any number of $50+ items in high-end restaurants. Is it because burgers are German/American + working class in origin and therefore don't have the potential to be high-end like steak or lobster?
Yes and no. I mean yes, there's definitely an element of "class consciousness" going on - burgers, like couscous or döners or fish 'n chips are sort of in a "cheap, filling, can be very good but probably don't want to know where the ingredients come from" niche in my head so paying a lot for that except made without any trace of cat meat feels weird. I don't even mind the cat meat ! And the "gourmet" burgers with foie gras, truffles, lobster and whatnot are just as much of a "class consciousness" item, as in "it's what working class people think is posh" when real gourmet food concerns itself with vastly different aspects of food than the silly "that costs a mint, put some in too".

(for reference, that 19€ burger I mentioned above had none of that BS in it. It was just a regular bacon cheeseburger but made with top of the shelf ingredients - crunchy fresh salad & tomatoes, 3 different types of melty French cheeses, freshly made tomato purée instead of Heinz, that kind of thing)

Beyond that, it's also that a burger sort of piles everything it's made of pêle mêle in a heap for you to shovel it all together into your mouth, so it's more difficult to really appreciate or single out individual flavours or textures the way "real" gourmet dishes allow you to. Also ground meat patties sort of defeat most everything that's great about good meat, so there is that as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike Watt
Lobster was a food of the lower classes for a long time.
Worse than that : it was prison food. As in "uneatable garbage you make prisoners of war eat because no one else will" - there have been prison riots aboard US and British prison barges just because the prisoners refused to eat any more.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
I don't get why burgers would be in a special category compared to any number of $50+ items in high-end restaurants. Is it because burgers are German/American + working class in origin and therefore don't have the potential to be high-end like steak or lobster?
to me, it's just that if I'm going to eat an expensive cut of beef, the last thing I'm going to want to do to it is grind it up and make it a burger. the couple of times I've had slices of Wagyu-style steak, the main thing which stood out to me was the unctuousness of the sheer amount of fat in it. Flavor? Tasted like beef and beef fat. so I'm fine with a burger made with cheaper cuts (often more flavorful anyway) and fat mixed in.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:55 PM
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Ridiculous. I had a kobe beef burger at Abbey Burger in Baltimore. It was around $15-20. I have a hard time imagining a better tasting burger than that.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:01 PM
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It's all about the quality of meat and the correct cooking. Anything else is just a waste of money. Having said that, I will add that I've had some very good burgers in places where you would least expect to get one simply because those two criteria had been met.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:10 PM
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I've had a special freshly hunted elk-burger in Montana that was around $30. It was damn tasty, and a better food experience than some expensive fine dining I've done.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:06 PM
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Ridiculous. I had a kobe beef burger at Abbey Burger in Baltimore. It was around $15-20. I have a hard time imagining a better tasting burger than that.
FTR, neither "Wagyu" nor "Kobe" are AOCs (not sure what the non-EU reg for that is, if any - basically it means you only get to call your shit X if it comes from the X region and produced according to the X method), so for all intents and purposes what you* had was "just, yanno, beef. Except with more dollars".

* that applies to many people ITT too
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:50 PM
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(for reference, that 19€ burger I mentioned above had none of that BS in it. It was just a regular bacon cheeseburger but made with top of the shelf ingredients - crunchy fresh salad & tomatoes, 3 different types of melty French cheeses, freshly made tomato purée instead of Heinz, that kind of thing)
I'm straying from burgers, but that describes an extremely good chicken sandwich I had at a restaurant that's sadly now closed. IIRC the owner was a highly trained chef, but chose to not go the "fine dining" route but instead opened a more casual, diner style restaurant that simply served very high quality versions of everyday foods (at least on the lunch menu; I think he did have some more "creative" entrees on the dinner menu).

But back to the sandwich. The basic ingredients sound like an ordinary grilled filet of chicken breast sandwich. But the chef had a smoker out behind the restaurant in which he smoked the meat. And there were strips of high quality bacon, and crisp, fresh lettuce and ripe tomato. But the real key besides the smoked meat was barbecue sauce, made there in the restaurant made there in the restaurant from the chef's own recipe, not from a bottle, on the top bun, and mayonnaise, again made in the restaurant and not stuff from a jar on the bottom bun. You wouldn't think a simple chicken sandwich would be memorable, but this one was. For this quality it was of course a bit more expensive than a standard sandwich, but not terribly expensive. IIRC it was in the $15-20 range.

Actually the same description could apply to the burger from Dad Kitchen I mentioned previously. There's nothing particularly fancy about it, it's just made with high quality ingredients.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 08-07-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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