Category Archives: Burgers

American - Burgers - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Homemade - Recipes

Recipe: Beef burger with parmesan crisp, caramelized onions & mushrooms

February 6, 2015

I was recently inspired by having lunch at Umami Burger, whose namesake burger uses parmesan crisp, to make my own for when I grill burgers at home. I totally experimented with this and it turned out delicious and is pretty easy to make.

Parmesan crisp beef burger

Start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees, which you’ll use to make the parmesan crisp.

I seasoned two 5.3 oz Honest Chops Short Rib Brisket Burgers with salt, pepper, thyme, and Italian seasoning, and grilled it using my T-Fal Opti Grill.

I heated up a tbsp of coconut oil over the stove, and cooked half a red onion (sliced). Remove and set aside, and then added sliced mushrooms and let that caramelize (you only need three sliced white mushrooms for two burgers). Afterwards I combined the onion and mushroom in one bowl and lightly sprinkled a little more pepper over the mixture.

The easiest part of all: I just put a heap of shredded parmesan cheese about the same diameter as the burgers on foil, and let it bake in the oven until slightly brown. Let it cool before removing. Tip: Use parchment paper if you have it. If you’re using foil, then grease it very lightly. I didn’t grease it, and was able to very carefully remove it off the foil but it would have been much easier if I just oiled the sheet a little.

At home, I always use Arnold’s 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins. I toasted these first, and added a spread of leftover pesto spread to them. I originally wanted to mix the pesto with mayo to make it a little thicker, but I was out of mayo and didn’t realize til much later. It might be something you want to try though! Place burger in center, top with parmesan crisp and whatever condiments you want. Aside: I also sliced tomato to top the burger with which I totally forgot, but you can add whatever toppings you want to this.

The combination of the pesto, seasoned burger, parmesan crisp, and caramelized onions/mushrooms all added a fun flavor to this, but you can totally customize it however you want. I basically used whatever I already had in the kitchen myself!

PS I normally file away my kitchen experiments on Instagram (@beautyndfeast) if you want to follow me there too :).


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Blue Dog Tavern in Sherman Oaks, California

February 18, 2012

By Manisha Jogia

I am notorious for wanting to stay in my bubble. Whether it is for food, shopping, bars, or whatever, if it is more than five miles away I will probably pass on it. I guess I’m just a creature of habit. However, last night I decided to check out a new restaurant: Blue Dog Tavern in Sherman Oaks, which supposedly serves one of the greatest burgers of all time.

Blue Dog Tavern

When pulling into the parking lot and seeing this place, I second-guessed my decision. To put it nicely, it kind of looked like a shack. There was a small outside patio that was empty because it is 60 degrees in LA – which for us Angelinos is winter.

Inside (source: Blue Dog website)

I step inside to find the place completely packed. It is no bigger than a studio apartment and along with the outside, looks like it is under construction. There are wood panels all over the place and it is a maze to get through.

Thankfully there was a tiny table available, between two other tables, hardly two inches apart. I took my seat, feeling squished and trying to keep my arms from touching the people next to me. One of the first things I noticed was a myriad of puppy and dog pictures hanging on the walls. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes and they covered the place floor to ceiling. The second thing I noticed was the crowd. There were couples ranging from 21- their late 50’s. But most of all, I noticed that people seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was a definite homey, Cheers vibe going on.

The Popper Burger

Two menus were put in front of me. One was packed with a wide assortment of house and domestic beers, bottled and on tap, ciders, and wines- all at very reasonable prices, and the other was the food menu. Now, I am an indecisive person, but when I say I had a hard time choosing what I wanted because everything just looked so damn delicious, I am not exaggerating. They had a variety of food to order from. Sandwiches, chicken Wings…but it was their list of signature burgers that was outstanding. They had burgers for every taste bud. Whether you are looking for something more of a barbeque flavor or something even a little sweet, they had it. Now, I have a very spicy palette, so I was torn between the The Fire Starter, which included pepper jack cheese, chipotle sauce, and fresh jalapenos, and The Popper. The Popper had pretty much everything the former had except it included jalapeno poppers and something that was far ahead of the competition-a mixture of Velveeta AND cream cheese. I was in heaven.

The burger was absolutely one of the best I had ever tasted. It was cooked medium-rare, which I don’t usually prefer, but I wouldn’t change a thing about this masterpiece. Every bite was just as good as the last. It was served with a side of home-made coleslaw and garlic fries. Now these weren’t just fries with garlic powder thrown on top. These were fries that literally had smashed garlic all up in it. My taste buds were going nuts. I was tasting salty, spicy, garlic-y, cheesy-and I was LOVING it.
And even though I finished my entire meal, when I saw fresh, warm home-made giant cookies with rich Vanilla ice cream in the middle, I had to tell my stomach to make some room. Oh…and it did. It’s a simple treat but something that always hits the spot. I was thoroughly satisfied.


The service here is great; very quick and very friendly. You can tell that this a fun place to work. The staff is happy to be there and all the customers are burger in hand with smiles on their faces. I would definitely recommend this quaint but lively place to any group of people. Whether you are going on a date or meeting friends for drinks, Blue Dog Tavern’s reasonable prices and delicious menu will be an experience you won’t regret…though your jeans might.


Meal: Late night grub
Occasion: Just a night out
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ** (Loud music but laid back environment)
Food: ***
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Definitely!

Restaurant Info:
Blue Dog Tavern

4524 Saugus Ave.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 990-2583

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Mos Def and burgers at Zaitzeff

October 13, 2011

Last night, my friends and I trekked downtown to catch Mos Def (or Yasiin Bey as he now goes by) perform with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden last night. It was the first time I was there and was such a beautiful space to watch a show.

The artist formerly known as Mos Def

Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def

But of course, afterwards I was STARVING. I don’t hang out in the Financial District much and I don’t know many places in the area. My friend Priya used to live there though and one thing I do remember is always passing this burger place, Zaitzeff, on the way to her apartment and never having time to stop in. It was one of New York magazine’s top 100 places to eat years ago. I was SO down for burgers right then though, and it was only a short ways away from the concert so we headed over.

Inside is cozy, brightly lit with a few tables, and this gigantic painting I couldn’t stop staring at.

Inside Zeitzaff

Inside Zeitzaff

Poring over Zaitzeff's chalkboard menu. Totally not posing.

I asked what their most popular burger is, and the guy behind the counter said the sirloin, so I ordered it with cheese. My friends went for the kobe and turkey burgers.

Sirloin burger

Sirloin burger with cheese

I loved my burger. It was salted just right (adding the cheese was essential). The patty was kind of thin though, which I can see some meat-loving guys probably complaining about. But I’m not a dude so it was great for me. Anyway, if that’s the case, the kobe burger would probably be better for you (although my friend though his was a lot more messy). We also got it with an order of mixed fries: plain Idaho potato and sweet fries. Not sure what to compare them to really, but they’re better than Five Guys.

Mixed fries

Kobe burger

Lemon Pellegrino

Turkey burger

My friend also liked her turkey burger as much as I liked mine. I was told the kobe burger was just OK. We all agreed that each of our respective meals here hit the spot though. Zaitzeff is just a no-fuss burger joint which I can appreciate.

Restaurant Info:

72 Nassau St.
and John St.
New York, NY 10038
(212) 571-7272
Financial District


Meal: Dinner
Occasion: Post-concert meal
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: **
Food: **
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes, if I’m in the area again. I’m glad I tried it, but probably wouldn’t make a special trip downtown for it.

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Joy Burger in Greenwich Village

October 1, 2011

By Bilal Mohammad

Veggie burger from Joy Burger

For years, I’ve been on the search for a quality, veggie burger. The city has quite a few burger joints to choose from and even more have been popping up recently. I’ve ventured out to them to try their offerings for those of us that observe certain dietary restrictions, or just want to give our palates some veggie-lovin’.

No matter how much I’ve appreciated the restaurants’ retro themed décor, I’ve found that veggie burgers at many of these places don’t quite match up to the savory goodness of the other items on the menu. More often than not, I resort to drowning my pre-made patty in ketchup, as to disguise its rubbery and at times, tasteless, quality.

I’ve explored my local supermarket’s stock of frozen veggie burgers also, but even those Boca Burgers weren’t hitting the spot for me. And so, it was with somewhat low expectations that I wandered into Joy Burger, near the NYU area.

I hesitantly asked the cashier what the veggie burger was made of because, as a veggie burger veteran, I knew that most restaurants use frozen patties to make their veggie-burgers. And so, I was impressed when the man behind the counter confidently listed a mixture of vegetables and grains to me.

Minutes later, I received my burger, and what seemed like seconds later, I’d devoured it. No condiments necessary.

What was so refreshing about the veggie selection here was that it didn’t simply taste like compacted mush. The various elements of the burger, namely corn, beans, and tomatoes, were all very distinguishable.

Restaurant Info:
Joy Burger

361 6th Ave
at Washington Place
New York, NY 10014
(212) 414-9500
West Village


Meal: Lunch
Occasion: No occasion needed for burgers
Price: $
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ** (casual, quiet)
Food: **
Service: ***
Would I go back?:Yes!

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Dinner with Covergirl’s Jake Bailey & the new LashPerfection mascara

August 17, 2011

Pretty centerpieces

Last night, I joined a handful of writers for an intimate dinner with CoverGirl’s celebrity makeup artist, Jake Bailey at 5Ninth in the Meatpacking District. Bailey is one of those people who is so laidback and funny, you could just as easily forget that his day-to-day includes working with some of the biggest people in Hollywood: Katy Perry, Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes, and Mariah Carey have all sat in his chair before. But tonight he was alll ours, and we bombarded him for his best makeup tips and tricks…over burgers and chocolate cake.

Dinner at 5Ninth in Meatpacking

Here are some of tidbits I learned:

*He recommends always applying eyeshadow before mascara — it’s easier to correct color that might have fallen on your lashes (and easier to get in there and blend).

*To cover dark circles, none other than Salma Hayek taught him the wonders of a peachy-based concealer — he says they’re better at covering dark under-eye circles than yellow-based ones. Also, choose a liquid-based concealer as opposed to a cream-based one (the latter is better for covering imperfections like zits).

*When you are trying to cover your circles, to prevent gathering in the little lines, after applying your concealer, buff it out a little with you finger. Also, pay attention to HOW you’re applying. Most dark lines run more vertical than horizontal, so Bailey recommends following that line which helps to prevent your makeup from looking cakey. See below for my handy-dandy diagram:

A way to apply concealer to avoid gathering

*Bailey is obsessed with CoverGirl’s new Intense ShadowBlast Eye Colors, which are a liquid-to-powder formula. They come in lipgloss-looking bottles, and are totally crease-resistant.

*For the Smurfs premiere (yes, where she wore a dress with a HUGE Smurf on it!!), Bailey created the most gorgeous blue smokey eyes using ShadowBlast in Blue Bomb on Katy Perry. “I decided on blue eyes instead of blue skin.” Good choice!

*He says the best way to wear them is to use the brush it comes with the apply on your lid, and blend while it’s still wet (because once it dries, it’ll pretty much set!).

*Another exciting moment was the unveiling of CoverGirl’s newest mascara: LashPerfection. It’s designed to lengthen and lift for 3x more volume.

CoverGirl's new LashPerfection mascara

LashPerfection bristles

You can tell from the bristles that they help to give attention to each individual lash. Bailey gave us a very cool mascara tip here: To really get in there to the root of the lash and give your lashes an extra lift, place a business card behind your lashes and swipe the mascara straight up. This way, you’ll give your lashes a nice curl and helps you get each lash effectively.

Jake's mascara demo on Ms. Kristin Booker

Jake demo'ing his mascara trick

I can definitely vouch for this tip — I’m always using cards when applying mascara! Another cool product to use for this are these Lash Cards I discovered recently. They’re individually wrapped to ensure cleanliness, but are also slightly contoured to fit around your eye better. But since Bailey used a business card, I used one too in my own little test run of the mascara:

My before-mascara pic

[Look, I know this pic below looks freaky, but it’s REALLY not easy trying to do this while taking a picture of yourself!]. But I felt it was necessary so you could see how to place the card. Unfortunately, I ran out of hands to show you how I used the mascara against this, but you get the idea…right?

Positioning the business card behind my lashes


AFTER shot 2

AFTER shot 3

So um, WOAH. Major lashage. I loved how it really separates, and adds clump-free volume. The clean look makes it more suitable to wear during the day, especially considering it’s flake-free formula (so it will carry you straight to night-time). What do you guys think?

LashPerfection is available now for $6 at mass-market retail outlets.

Restaurant Info:

5 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
Meatpacking District


Meal: Dinner
Occasion: Work dinner
Price: $$$$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: *** Loved the rustic decor!
Food: **
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes, it feels like you’re eating in someone’s country home. So cozy and totally complements the surrounding Meatpacking area. Plus, there are so many cozy little corners in its three-floors of space!


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Food Network visits Wine Country

August 12, 2011

By Nicci Jordan Hubert

How I was greeted: a wine glass with my name on it

Everybody knows that few things pair better with food than wine, and that is the premise behind Food Network‘s new venture, entwine. The idea: the network has already done an amazing job of making gourmet food accessible to the everyday home cook, but wine, and particularly how it mixes and matches with food, is still a mystery to so many viewers. Thus, entwine.

Chefs hard at work

The unveiling event of entwine was a perfect way to get a taste (literally) of the new brand. In the actual kitchen of NYC’s The Kitchen, cater waiters served Anne Burrell’s small bites creations, delivered in tandem with its wine pair. Embarassingly enough, while enjoying a glass of pinot and chatting with Anne Burrell herself, I took a bite of her lamb and tzatziki h’ordeurves, and with my mouth half-full, said, “Sorry, Anne…I actually just stopped listening to you because this food is so amazing.” She smiled politely at the crazy person before her and said, “Glad you liked it,” and then her attention was drawn elsewhere, undoubtedly to a saner member of the gathering.

Winemaker. Karl Wente and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef host, Anne Burrell

Anyway…about the wine. An exclusive partnership with Wente Vineyards of California (just outside of San Francisco) entwine is a collection of four popular vino varieties—Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon—all of which are clearly labeled for their ideal pairing choices. For example, on the bottle itself, the Pinot Grigio suggests pairings with a diverse list of foods from salty cheeses to guacamole to Asian takeout to tropical fruit. And the Merlot bottle recommends pairing (or entwining) with salami, pizza, mac and cheese… you get the idea. Every food has a wine counterpart, entwine proposes, it’s just a matter of eliminating the guessing game of which goes well with what. No need for high-brow here– we’re talking about mac and cheese, after all.

Anne's grilled lamb with tzatziki.

A shot of the event

I got a chance to talk with Karl Wente, 5th generation winemaker at Wente vineyards, about the brand. I asked him how Wente and Food Network chose each other, and he said that its was sort of love at first conversation. They had the same mindset: use wholly sustainable products, make delicious wine, and cut out the mystery of what makes wine delicious. Also, I must add, Mr. Wente is extremely good looking. I had a hard time acting cool, but I tried, my friends, I tried.

Me with Karl Wente

Entwine and sliders

As I write, I’m sipping a glass of the entwine Pinot, which was definitely my favorite of the evening, and it is just as the label promises: like apple sweetened with honey and lime juice. At $12.99 per bottle, the wine sounds, and tastes, good to me.