The Underground Gourmet isnt saying that his mother was a disaster in the kitchen, but her idea of sprucing up the young UGs burgers before she cooked them to a fine crisp was to fling a packetful of Lipton onion-soup mix into the ground beef. The UG was reminded of this culinary catastrophe as he bit into a Fatty Slider the other day, at the inaugural brunch at Zak Pelaccios Fatty Crab. Before you get the wrong idea, you should know that a Fatty Slider is not a Lipton onion burger far from it. But it does fall into the same general category of spiced-up ground-beef patties, however great the temporal and culinary divide between seventies suburbia and 2007 meatpacking district.
The way to tell them apart is that the Fatty Slider is made from a combination of ground beef and house-cured lardo, plus a pungent paste made from shallots, galangal root, coriander seed, and fish sauce, and is absolutely delicious, while a Lipton onion burger is made by mingling ground chuck with dehydrated onions, and is not.
You should also know that Fatty Sliders come two to an order on toasted potato buns with a pickle, Bibb lettuce, and a slathering of sambal aoli, and are available on the weekend brunch and late-night menus at Fatty Crab, whereas Lipton onion burgers are served once or twice a week at fine suburban split-levels everywhere. Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld
Fatty Crab, 643 Hudson St., nr. Horatio St.; 212-352-3590