I decided to close my New York burger experience with a trip to the famous Peter Luger Steak House of Brooklyn. Yes. I go to a nice steak houses and order burgers. It definitely is a weird feeling to do so, but Peter Luger only serves their burgers at lunch. You have to make it early for this delecatable lunch special.
Inside the place looks exactly like you might guess an OLD steak house to look like. The brass and wood grained interior has probably not been updated in 50 years and most likely either has their staff. You could just tell the weathered staff has been there forever. Luger's had reputation for having some pretty gruff servers who look down on those who order burgers, but I found it quite the contrary. Out server was bright, sarcastic, and welcoming. Maybe we were just lucky with the little old guy we got that day. The menu is no joke, but amidst of all the pricey steaks +$35 at lunch time lies a good old hamburger for the cheap.
Burger - Luger-Burger - USDA Prime, over 1/2 lb. on a bun - $10.95 (with cheese + $1.50, with fries +$1.95)
The burger came out with just a side of raw onion. Usually I would have passed on the raw onion, but decided to throw a couple slices on and eat this thing as it was intended. Also, chose to use their signature steak sauce on the burger. Their steak sauce tasted exactly like cocktail sauce (WEIRD!). I couldn't find a difference, but somehow it actually paired nicely with the beef. The burger itself has a strong beefy flavor with a hard sear, and seasoned nicely. The issue is not with the burger itself, but with the preparation. While Peter Luger may be masters of steaks, the cooking falls short with the burgers. My patty had a slight pink color in some spots, but overall it was a light grey. It definitely wasn't the medium-rare I requested, but lay more in that over medium region. This didn't have much effect on the juiciness. The patty wasn't dry, but it did have a heavy effect on the texture. The patty had more chew than it should have had if cooked correctly. It just didn't have that melt in your mouth feeling that a great burger should have like another New York burger I know has. The sesame seed bun is fresh, airy, with a semi-hard outer crust. They don't toast the buns; however while eating they seem to squeeze down flat managing to keep the juice from making the burger a soggy mess. Finally the American cheese was completely melted as expected. The burger really had only one major flaw, but that may have kept this burger back from being one of my top contenders.
Side - Fries
They don't give you much of them. You get like 5-10 thick-cut fries. They have a strong potato flavor, salted nicely, but didn't blow me away.
Conclusion: Overall the Peter Luger lunch burger deal is worth the try. If they nail your requested doneness you get a treat, if not maybe a slight disappointment. If not in the mood for a burger, definitely go for a steak (The awards line the wall for their steaks). The steak came out exactly medium-rare with a hard sear across the entire surface. SO GOOD! Oh yeah, don't forget to bring cash. They don't accept credit/debit cards, unless it's an official Peter Luger credit card, but odds are you like me don't carry one of these.