One year. One hundred burgers. A quest that started out as a hobby, became an obsession, and has slowly transformed into a lifestyle. How much burger is too much burger? If there is such a thing, we'll let you know.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ai Fiori

Michael White's "White Label Burger"
The Meat: Blend of dry aged beef, sirloin, chuck, and brisket (from Pat LaFrieda)
The Cheese: American Cheese
The Bun: House-made roll
Flip Tip: This burger only appears on Ai Fiori’s lunch menu.

The burger at Ai Fiori defies Murphy's law – specifically the adage that "If If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." Indeed this burger seemed too good to be true, but it was better.

Initially, I reacted to the burger's aesthetic seductiveness. Consisting of a circular dome above a rectangular base, its construction seems to reference architectural masterpieces: the Hagia Sofia, the Pantheon, or the Taj Mahal. My attention then quickly shifted to a superb first bite, followed by perfect pommes dauphines. The burger is sweet but salty, juicy but thirst-inducing, rich but leaves you “101% full.” Ai Fiori's burger is a gourmet oasis within a desert of mediocre Midtown burgers; pop in before all of corporate America discovers this gem of ground beef!

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