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Hamburger Review: Peter Luger Steakhouse, NYC

A Dry Aged Marvel

Do not order the cheeseburger at Peter Luger Steak House. Don’t order the hamburger either, at least if it is your first time, or your tenth. Peter Luger has always been, and will always be, about the porterhouse steak. A dish that the restaurant has firmly cemented as the cornerstone in the cultural edifice that is the NYC steakhouse. The method of preparation and service Luger pioneered — broiled and sliced and broiled again, served on a sizzling platter full of beef juice and butter — has been often mimicked but never equalled. And although the restaurant has been in business since 1887 the burger has only been on the menu since around 1995. According to David Berson, one of the fourth generation owners of Peter Luger, the exact genesis of the burger is somewhat murky. Berson surmises it was likely added due to demand from regulars, perhaps in the same way that the now ubiquitous thick-cut bacon appetizer became a menu staple — a customer spotted a staff member eating family meal and requested the same dish. Of course, chopped steak — one of the staples of the 19th century chophouse — existed on the menu at Peter Luger since time immemorial, so adding a bun was not a huge leap.


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