Where Michael Symon Gets The Beef For His Restaurant Burgers

When Michael Symon is writing out the stock list for his restaurants, the first thing on his mind is quality. "Buy better things," advises the chef. "Buy quality, buy organic, buy natural, go to the farmers market. Immediately that's going to increase the quality of the food you make." But, when the chef needs to order beef for his restaurant burgers, he's turning his attention to the city that never sleeps.

When one fan took to Twitter to ask Symon what type of meat home cooks should use for their burgers, the chef shared a link to Pat LaFrieda's Dry-Aged USDA Prime Beef Burgers, which are the "same we use at restaurants," per Symon's Tweet. Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors is a New York City classic, lauded as "America's most-celebrated butcher," a lofty but well-deserved accolade. The meat masters crank out an estimated 75,000 burger patties every single day, selling meat to an A-list cast of restaurants, including Eleven Madison Park (before it went vegan), Spotted Pig, Shake Shack, and more. 

From his restaurants to his dinner table

The burgers Symon swears by are made from a combination of Black Angus chuck, brisket, short rib, and prime rib that has been dry-aged for between 30 and 50 days with an optimized, carefully calculated ratio of fat to lean meat. The resulting flavor palate is reminiscent of a classic New York strip steak, a nod to the company's hometown. (Symon himself has similarly been known for championing local eats, as his work has largely helped put the Cleveland food scene on the map). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the burgers come with a befitting price tag for celebrated restaurants like Symon's: Two six-ounce patties run for $15.73, the menu price of a fully cooked burger (with fries) at many eateries. But, the chef would likely argue, it's a small price to pay for quality. 

In fact, Symon is such an enthusiastic fan of the butcher that his wife (who, incidentally, is also a chef) gifted him a rack of LaFrieda steaks for his birthday. In a post from his personal Facebook account, Symon shared a photo of six steaks with the raving caption, "Can't wait to cook these up ... prime dry-aged tomahawk steaks...thank you [Pat LaFrieda] ...no one does beef better in the world IMHO ... you have been my butcher of choice for 15 plus years and you just keep getting better."