West Coast Umami Burger has just landed in New York.
Mila Kunis hired Umami Burger to cater Ashton Kutcher’s birthday party, Taylor Swift is often seen at the Los Angeles locations, and San Francisco customers will line up for 90 minutes just to get a taste of one of their burgers.
“The water is different in New York, so our buns, which we make on-site, have been a challenge for us,” explained Brian Rosman, Umami Burger’s spokesman.
“They are a little more crinkly than we are used to, but they’re still very soft inside.”
The burgeoning burger chain will open its first New York location at 432 Sixth Avenue on Monday.
It is the first of three outposts set to open in the near future, with another location coming to Williamsburg early next year, and a third to the Financial District’s Brookfield Place soon after.
“Our customers have been asking for us to open in New York for years, but it took a while to find the perfect location,” said Brian Rosman.
Umami Burger, which aims to bring the fifth flavor, savory, to the quick-service burger, has been somewhat of an enigma for foodies on the East Coast since its launch in 2009.
The outfit, which has grown in just four short years from a $40,000 investment to a multimillion-dollar enterprise, quickly became famous for its list of secret, off-menu items, which vary from location to location.
Umami Burger opens its first New York location at 432 Sixth Avenue
Favorites include the Pink Slime burger, a riff on the controversy surrounding ammonia-treated beef bits used in some commercial U.S. food products, and the Dork, a duck-pork hybrid.
Ingredients are all chosen for their addictive, umami-rich flavor – shiitake mushrooms, Parmesan wafers, truffles soaked in port wine – which are carefully crafted, according to creator Adam Fleischman, to alter New Yorkers’ tired perception of what a hamburger should be.
“They are driven from culinary inspiration,” said Brian Rosman.
“We did one called the Stink burger for example, which was a combination of really stinky stuff. Garlic, fried anchovies, and cheese, to be exact.”
“The chefs are inspired by what’s happening out in the world, ingredients of the moment,” he added.
“Sometime takes two days to perfect a burger, sometimes a year, they will tinker and tinker and tinker until they get it exactly right.”
The word umami, first popularized in the early 1900s by a Tokyo scientist named Kikunae Ikeda, who invented the term and sits on the wall of Umami Burger’s restaurants, loosely translates in Japanese to “deliciousness”.
The “fifth” taste (the other four being sweet, sour, salty, and bitter), can be found in the tangy and faintly acidic flavor of gently cooked tomatoes, anchovies, Parmesan cheese, and soy sauce.
Aside from striving for the ultimate “umami bomb”, as Umami Burger chefs call it, the bun-to-burger ratio aims to create balance in the burger – one reason why the chain has become such a favorite.
Adam Fleischman’s beef patties, all sprinkled in his own Umami Dust, are six pounds and coarsely ground in-house, instead of prepacked and delivered to the restaurant in a truck.
And the Portuguese-style buns, neither too big nor too small for the Umami patty, are baked exclusively for Umami Burger, made with milk to enhance the umami flavor.
Each hamburger, featuring a very shiny bun, is plated by itself on porcelain like a fine restaurant entree, next to a selection of Umami-made toppings – the exclusive ketchup and garlic aioli were favorites.
The Hatch Burger, made with roasted green chiles, and the famous Truffle Burger were brought out alongside the restaurant’s Cheesy Totes – only available by request off the secret menu.
Heidi Klum’s commercial for Carl’s Jr.’s Jim Beam Bourbon Burger is probably the hottest in the history of fast food commercials.
In the burger chain’s latest commercial, Heidi Klum, 39, strips down to skimpy negligee and shows off her cleavage as she gets to grip with the southern inspired new addition to the menu.
Heidi Klum plays a seductress in a recreation of the famous Mrs. Robinson scene from Dustin Hoffman’s movie classic The Graduate.
“Basically, I am Mrs. Robinson and I am seducing this cute little boy… with my burger,” Heidi Klum said in a behind-the-scenes video.
“I shove the burger in his mouth in a sexy way,” the supermodel adds.
The commercial’s creative director Mick DiMaria explained: “We’re basically taking that scene and foodifying it.”
Heidi Klum’s commercial for Carl’s Jr.’s Jim Beam Bourbon Burger is probably the hottest in the history of fast food commercials
There’s no nutritional information available on the Carl’s Jr. website about the new burger, though obviously it is glazed with Jim Beam and there’s bacon and cheese in there as well as salad and beef.Burgers at Carl’s Jr. range between 600 to a whopping 1000 calories, though there are healthier options like the carb-free burger at 500 calories and white meat sandwiches.
A woman in Heidi Klum’s age range (31 to 50) needs between 1,800 to 2,200 calories daily so she no doubt balances these treats with a fair few salads.
Burger King has announced new additions to their menu, including three new salads and an extended breakfast selection.
The Miami-based company’s move comes after Wendy’s stole the crown as the second biggest burger chain in the U.S.
Wendy’s also revealed a bold new design look that it plans to bring into their restaurants by the end of the year.
Burger King is moving away from beef and targeting the more health conscious customers with their chicken laden Garden Fresh Salads.
The salads are being sold at premium prices with the Chicken BLT and the Chicken, Apple and Cranberry costing $5.39 and the new Crispy Chicken Caesar priced at $4.99.
This is the biggest shake up of their salad menu since 2004 when they began their Fire-Grilled Salad line.
Burger King has announced new additions to their menu, including three new salads and an extended breakfast selection
And coming onto their new breakfast menu are two types of Burrito and cinnamon buns.
Priced at $2.49 the Southwestern Burrito comes stuffed with sausage, cheese, hash-brown nuggets and egg.
Costing your wallet and your waistline less, the modest Sausage burrito is snack sized and costs $1.
The cinnamon buns seem to be a revamp and are now baked fresh on the premises. Burger King already offers Cini-minis which come in packs of four with an icing dip.
As part of their Value Menu, the Cini Minis pack in a whopping 490 calories, 18 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 39 g of sugar and 400 mg of sodium.
Burger King’s revamped breakfast menu is part of a larger trend among fast food chains to offer bigger breakfast menus. Taco Bell also recently launched similar items for the morning crowd.
Earlier in the month Burger King announced the introduction of Chicken Strips and Crispy Chicken Snack wraps.
All the new products shift the focus away from beef products after a growing controversy over pink slime, the heavily processed meat substitute.
The backlash about the beef filler has included supermarket chains, including Safeway and Giant Food Stores, no longer selling beef which has “pink slime” in it.
When Wendy’s knocked Burger King off the spot as second biggest burger chain earlier this month it was the first shifting of U.S burger ranking since 1969.