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cabrales

Burger at Blue Smoke

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There has been some recent discussion, including on eGullet and in the NYT, on burgers. What are your impressions of the burger(s) at Blue Smoke?

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I love the burger at Blue Smoke. Not a lot of people know about how good it is since the first time you come, you'll most likely want to order ribs or some other type of barbecue. But it's really good. Kenny Callaghan (Blue Smoke's chef) is the same guy who made them for years at USC. Like USC, Blue Smoke makes its own homemade buns. But additionally, we use some of our barbecue spices and baste the meat with a little sauce as it grills. not too much -- just enough to make it taste great.

Interestingly, the burger sells much better in the Jazz Standard than it does upstairs at Blue Smoke.

Another thing I love are our homemade barbecued potato chips -- but that's another story.

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What cut of meat do you use for your burgers? How do you chop/grind it?

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After lots of trial, we've ended up with a beef blend that is 33% brisket, 33% shoulder clod, and 33% chuck. It's about 85% lean and 15% fat. And it's is ground fresh daily.

By the way, one of the things I'm interested in seeing us smoke in 2003 is Beef Shoulder (Clod) --which is a specialty in Lockhart, Texas, at places like Kreuz Market and Smitty's.

Thanks for asking!

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