I have a little treat for you this Friday. Today I'm excited to announce the kick-off of a new guest series I will be featuring by my other half, Chris Sandstrom. In this series Chris will highlight how he discovered some of his favorite food spots in the city (Spoiler: He has pretty good taste in food). So without further ado, welcome to Finding Food in NYC.
The combination of Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony has yet to lead to many wins, but it did lead me to American Cut. Last year when the Zen Master was trying to convince the then free agent Anthony to stay in New York I read an article describing their meeting at the Marc Forgione steakhouse. Apparently Carmelo had the Filet Mignon and the Caesar Salad.
I decided that my next fancy dinner would take place at the restaurant where Phil (and $124 million) persuaded Melo to stay with the Knicks. It was a decision I did not regret. The meal was excellent from start to finish. For my steak I went with The New York City Cut, a 20 oz Bone-In Rib Eye with pastrami spices and smoke. It was as good as it sounds.
I have long been a devotee to the Caesar salad and American Cut’s version, listed on the menu as the OG 1924 Hotel Caesar. It may be the best I’ve ever eaten. It features Parmigiano Reggiano, Soft Egg, and Pullman Crouton. Nothing revolutionary, but remarkably effective when chopped tableside and combined with the perfect amount of an absolutely delicious dressing. If Melo chose to stay with the Knicks only for regular access to this Caesar I couldn’t fault him.
My girlfriend and fellow burger enthusiast recently alerted me to an article on Eater touting American Cut’s off the menu In-House Burger. We knew instantly that we had to try it while at the same time getting another taste of that Caesar.
One can't simply walk into the restaurant and order a burger at anytime. Only a finite number are made each day. At 4:20 each afternoon American Cut tweets how many burgers they will have for the evening. The number seems to usually be in the 10 to 15 range. They can only be ordered at the bar and once those dozen or so burgers are sold, that’s it for the night.
We arrived a little before the kitchen opened at 5:30 pm and had little trouble securing burgers. There are only four elements to the burger (meat, cheese, onions, bun) and they compliment each other perfectly.
The meat is a savory blend of short rib, dry aged rib eye, and brisket. The onions are caramelized in bourbon and topped with right amount of a melted cheddar and fontina beer cheese. All of this tastiness sits in sesame seeded pretzel bun that is baked in house. The pretzel bun was so good that I could have eaten it with nothing more than a little butter and considered the meal a rousing success.
I sincerely hope that Carmelo Anthony’s tenure in New York ultimately brings me more joy than just the discovery of a great restaurant, although that is more than many Knicks free agent acquisitions have done (I’m looking at you Jerome James.)
Chris Sandstrom - Is a graduate of Columbia University and the author of the debut novel, "Reality TV and Hookers" a satire on the reality TV industry. You can keep up with Chris on Twitter at @ChrisSandstrom8.
Finding Food in NYC Is a series highlighting how Chris discovered some of his favorite food spots in New York City.