This Brooklyn Butcher Makes the Best Burger in New York City

The burger at End’s Meat starts and ends with the dry-aged, grass fed beef that owner John Ratliff supplies from a small farm in upstate New York.
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AvatarNate Skid
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Worth the trip

Naming the best burger in New York City is a nearly impossible task. There are too many variables.

There's the bun, cheese and condiments. Is it a smash burger, tavern burger, slider? Fresh ground beef or dry-aged? What blend? What’s the proper fat-to-meat ratio?

All of these things matter.

But for us, one factor stands above the rest when judging the best burger: The flavor, texture and quality of the meat. Everything else is a distraction.

Which brings us to a small butcher shop tucked inside Brooklyn's Industry City called End’s Meat.

The $15 tavern-style burger at End’s Meat begins and ends with the dry-aged, grass fed beef that owner John Ratliff supplies from a small farm in upstate New York. He says End’s Meat purchases the entire output of the farm. All of it.

In fact, he and his team had to devise a way to use all of that meat, so they began an intense dry-aging program running from 30 to 90 days, creating a thick, white, moldy exterior called pellicle.

Since End’s Meat uses the whole animal, Ratliff decided to blend the pellicle and chunks of dry-aged meat into the fresh ground beef creating a complex aroma reminiscent of Comte rind and toasted chestnuts.

“This burger has a really high mold content which gives it a lot of flavor,” Ratliff said. “And since dry aging removes moisture, it creates a really thick crust.”

The burger is seasoned with salt and placed on an extremely hot skillet until it forms a thick crust. They only touch the burger twice: once when they put it on the grill and again when they flip it.

“You have to scrape that crust up,” Ratliff. Says. “You have to make sure to not leave any behind.”

The dry-aged burger comes on a potato bun with lettuce, onion, Duke’s Mayo and sliced pickle.

That unique flavor profile becomes apparent as you take your first bite and grows as you continue eating.

By then end, you realize you will be chasing that flavor for the rest of your life.

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