Jack Shipley, the Reuben Report Celeb Rachel Ray made Chef Daniel Sharp’s month when she tweeted, “Reuben Burger from
@meatballers. We’ve got a close race. #SOBEWFF.” Ray encountered The Meatball Shop’s creation at Food and Wine’s South Beach Wine and Food Fest, held every February in Miami, FL. The Reuben Report caught up with Daniel Sharp, executive chef of The Meatball Shop, for his take on Reubens and his close encounter of the Food kind!
RR: Who developed the burger and what is your philosophy on food craft?
I developed the burger with chef and co-founder Daniel Holzman. We believe that taste comes first and last, and creativity and cleverness come into play as well. Every great dish has its roots in a classic dish, which in this case is the Reuben sandwich.
RR: Describe your Reuben burger – and influences.
To make the Reuben Burger, we coated a 10-ounce patty in pastrami curing spices, and added Swiss, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut. We sprinkled the potato buns with caraway seeds to give that rye bread effect and then toasted them. Our main influences are the famous Katz’s Deli pastrami and Reuben sandwiches.
RR: What’s the public’s reaction to your burger?
People loved it! Everyone always gets excited about a Rueben.
RR: Where did it place at the South Beach Show?
They unfortunately only announced the overall winner, but we heard through the grapevine that we were definitely a close second or third!
RR: What was your interaction with Rachel Ray – did she comment on the burger or the recipe?
Rachael tried the burger and loved it.
Tell us about your restaurant.
The Meatball Shop is NYC’s famed cult-meatball destination which now has six locations throughout New York. Co-founders Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow debuted The Meatball Shop on the Lower East Side in 2010, and the mix-and-match menu of meatballs was an instant hit. The accessible menu features five types of meatballs as well as a daily rotating seasonal ball, a selection of sauces, seasonal sides, house-made ice cream sandwiches, and a curated selection of beer, wine, and craft cocktails.