LA's Grill 'Em All Truck, the winners of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, started their "Victory Lap" around NYC yesterday. Even though I'm WAY SICK, my friend John made sure that we secured our reservation at Duke's in Gramercy, their first stop. Sometimes in life, you just gotta man up and eat the beef.
Now, according to Burger Conquest's site, the burgers on the menu that night were supposed to be the Hannah Montana (a cheeseburger w/lettuce and tomato), the Molly Hatchet (fennel smoked sausage gravy, applewood smoked bacon, and maple drizzle) and the Blue Cheer (cranberry gastrique, maytag blue spread, and munchos potato crisps). Alongside, double dipped truffle oil fries. OBVIOUSLY, I was all over the idea of the Molly Hatchet because it involves two of my favorite things: gravy and bacon.
We got to Duke's (an hour and 15 early...what can I say, we were excited), and when we were finally seated I looked at the Grill 'Em All special menu and my chest tightened with horror: NO MOLLY HATCHET. Apparently, Burger Conquest must have made a typo, because the Waste 'Em All burger was there instead. Massive failboat express. We forged on and ordered it, and we decided to split an order of the truffle fries.
The meat was cooked to a perfect medium well, juicy and flavorful thanks to a blend of porterhouse and chuck. Everything tasted good individually, but together, I felt that the flavors were sort of muddled. Maybe if the chillies were pickled instead of marinated, or maybe if there was a salty disk of cotija cheese in the middle...something to make the flavors pop. This was a good burger! But not the best I've ever had. John concurred.
The fries on the other hand, oooooh mamma, I could eat these forever. Super crisp, earthy from the truffles, and when dunked in the ketchup, pure fry heaven. I didn't really care for the other sauces though.
Did the Grill 'Em All guys live up to the hype? Ehhh, sort of? I loved the heavy metal ball to the wall concept, the energy and the obvious love for the food, but even with my impaired tasting abilities, this definitely could have been better.