Dueling Dishes: Posh Mini Kobe Burgers
But what about the burger itself? Sitting on a buttered bun, it's tender, slightly pink in the middle, and topped with a glob of rich, truffle-infused aioli and chopped chives. A thick slice of tomato and a cute lettuce leaf add to the visual appeal.
So far, so good.
As for the burgers... They also take ten minutes to arrive. They look pretty, sitting in a line on a lovely white plate and skewered with a twisted tie. Aside from the truffle aioli that glues them to the bottom of the bun, there's no sauce with them. Indeed, there's not a drop of mustard or ketchup in sight, or offered to me (maybe it would detract from the upscale nature of the setting? My view is: these may be posh burgers, but they're still burgers). Again, a slice of tomato and a leaf of lettuce add color, even if they latter isn't as lovingly selected as with Samuelsson's burger.
Nonetheless, I'm leaning towards these ones: they're juicy, they're tender (despite being cooked more thoroughly than Samuelsson's). There's even a desirable amount of grease and salt, for a truly authentic touch. The buns are also superior, sprinkled with sesame seeds. And they're a real mouthful, standing several inches high.
The patty itself, as with Samuelsson's burger, is made from American "Kobe-style" beef (kudos to Samuelsson for using the inverted commas to make it clear it's not the real deal).
But then the check arrives. These babies don't come cheap: they're $10. That's not bad, given the quality, but add in a drink--even a nonalcoholic one--and you're up to $15. Plus tip. The Samuelsson burger is a paltry $6.95 by comparison, and while that only includes one burger, you also get a pile of fries, and the drinks are cheaper.
So who wins? That's a tough one. The burgers themselves are both very good, and hard to choose between. If you want value for money and a casual bite, I'd say Samuelsson. If you want something sexy to go with your martini, Charlie Palmer.