If you're eating a critically acclaimed burger in this town, there's a very good chance its linked to today's Friday Fives guest, Pat LaFrieda. All those "exclusive" white, purple, and black label burger blends that restaurants brag about serving these days originate in the same place: Pat LaFrieda's personal meat locker. Three generations of LaFriedas have been slinging meat all across Manhattan for over ninety years. Their clients include Minetta Tavern, Shake Shack, and The Spotted Pig, and that's barely scratching the surface of their burger domination around town.
pat's "perfect for" picks
"Without a doubt, Baohaus takes these categories to new levels. There is no place on earth where you can find two brothers like Eddie and Evan that set the mood after dark with $2.99 beef cheek HausBao's while being romanced with their Hip Hop playlists. Although 4LOCO is long gone, the stage is perfectly set for a drunk hook up as hotties fill this joint. Sneakers are not required by Eddie, but suggested."
"Spending much of my youth on the "Street", Mulberry that is, I thought it was all but a casualty of awful food and tourists in the last ten years until Rich and Mario at Torrisi changed things there forever. Driving foodies North on the "Street", the obvious line outside their joint is a strong reminder of what hard work and passion accomplishes in this town. Now, I am not one to use my friendship to cut the line and get seated, so I often sneak across the street to my choice for these categories which is Rubirosa. The best pizza since L&B; in Brooklyn is hidden right there in the open. Delicious and inexpensive is perfect for a first date. Besides,why should anyone one have to spend much money before finding out that their date has Asperger’s and still lives at home with their Mom? Extra sausage please!"
"Business power lunch at Ai Fiori is a great favorite. Michael White's Agnolotti pasta dish helps close any deal at this upscale, swank location in the Setai Hotel. It is never overcrowded or noisy making it perfect to hear every "Devil in the Detail" as the next bad idea is being pitched to me. After a great meal and a Michael White sighting, I can sit for an extra hour and pick off Europeans in crazy outfits, but quietly of course, lord knows we need their business."
One of the city's hardest working chefs, Vincent Nargi has been serving up heaven at the Odeon for a long time now and never disappoints. This place is a historical landmark. It's always bustling, serves some of the city's best aged steaks and offers crazy brunch. However, The Odeon always falls under the radar of the press, which makes it even more appealing to me. It is my go-to spot when I need a steak fix in Tribeca."
"Burger & Barrel is as adventurous in dining as one can get by the sheer presence of executive chef Josh Capon. His lush jowels vibrate with enthusiasm as he screams out your name when you enter the establishment. During a recent visit, my guests and I mistook a stainless steel toaster oven, that he was toting around the dining room, signed by all the members of the Yankees, for a shine box. When my cousin asked for a shoe shine, chaos erupted. In the middle of a busy dinner service, the outraged Capon jumped on my cousin's back. Where else can you find such fun and still get served one of the best hamburgers in the city? I love that place."