@Adam, uh, why? the second person to make a hamburger should have called it something else? it's a great name, be honored.
thanks Big B, youre on the right track... FATTY MELT IMITATION IS GOOD! more fatty melts for all! somebody had a good idea, spread the pleasure, who cares who's idea it was. somebody invented the hamburger, the bacon cheeseburger, the patty melt, etc, etc...
NOT SERIOUS EATS
why is this on SE:NY??
My very FIRST falafel was at L'As, back in 1992!!! And it was a special treat for a poor student. Thanks for the memory.
TOO MUCH STUFF ON THIS SITE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SERIOUS EATING.
I could write a treatise on the importance of food texture, but don't have it in me right now.
At least most of us agree that Paul's burger texture is very distinctive. What some call unpleasantly "mushy," I call sublimely moist and tender.
Some comments suggest that there is such a thing as a perfect burger, that a good burger must have certain qualities. But I am sure many would agree with me that burger diversity is a good thing. The world is a better place with both thin and fat patties, charred and crumbly burgers, plain burgers and those with lots of extras, burgers on plain buns and those on fancy brioche... I could go on. Criticism is a good thing, but I don't think there should be many absolute standards for burgers.
We could have a real debate about all the elements of food that contribute to the sensory experience of eating. To dismiss texture as unimportant suggests a very callow approach to food. Limp bacon? Stale chips? Soggy crust? Icky sushi? Poor texture renders flavor irrelevant.
Fried chicken is a perfect example of the importance of texture. Dense, crispy skin giving way to moist, chewy meat...mmm. Eat a bite with your nose pinched (to minimize sensing the flavor), and I bet you would still quite enjoy it. If fried chicken had the texture of tires, would you order even a single piece????
One of the best things about Paul's is that it is almost never crowded, so I am tempted to let your review stand and avoid drawing any more crowds to what I think is absolutely one of the best burgers around.
First, yes, I acknowledge that the meat itself is not very flavorful. But, I would venture to claim that beef flavor is not the most important factor in a good burger, and many inexpensive burgers don't have a lot of taste in the patty itself. I say TEXTURE is key to a great burger, and this is where Paul's really excels. Texture is a result of many elements of the preparation, most importantly of course, not overcooking. But you failed to describe Paul's unusual cooking method... they have a bucket of ground beef next to the grill and just scoop it out and throw it down, hardly forming a patty. This results is an extremely loose patty, which in combination with their careful cooking, makes for a perfectly juicy burger which practically melts in your mouth.
The criticism of the small bun is weak. Not a big deal. I'd take a high beef-to-bun ratio over a low ratio, which is a problem at many places, any day.
Agreed, the steak fries aren't great. But you also failed to report that you can order shoestring fries which are excellent - slim and crispy.
Paul's is a great burger because:
1) Unmatched juicy loose texture.
2) Value. Doubt you can get such a hearty cheeseburger deluxe anywhere in the city for less.
3) Atmosphere and service. The waitresses are indeed wonderfully quirky.
4) No wait. Walk right in and sit down. At places like Corner Bistro, I am so desperate for my burger by the time I sit down and get it, I practically swallow it whole, missing the taste!
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