I found the beef.
Pat LaFrieda (the third generation of butchering Pats) works with chefs to create custom blends of ground beef (or lamb) which are contractually kept completely secret and exclusive with a mad scientist-y, playful approach to meat preparation which sounds intriguing. He is therefore is pleasing both restaurants (who get their own burger) And after being credited by many for fueling New York City’s burger phase, LaFrieda is currently setting his sights on Philly, where he’s opened a satellite office, which is sure to escalate our own exhausting Burger Wars.
The beef is mainly coming from a place in Arkansas City, Kansas called Creekstone Farms. Creekstone is a boutique slaughtering operation (only certified Black Angus, only about 5,000 a week, meticulous attention to detail). All of that sounds good, except the fact that this “legendary” meat has to be shipped across the country to be prepared and served in New York. The Philly move is part of a whole strategy that sees him branching out of the New York restaurant scene (Shake Shack, Minetta’s Tavern, Spotted Pig,) just a scotche. LA’s Burger Kitchen (also family-owned) apparently sweet-talked/harassed LaFrieda into supplying them with meat, and he is selling burger patties you can make at home.
The brand new LaFrieda Meats Philadelphia/South Jersey office (215-806-0911, go ahead, call, you know you wanna) is already servicing Starr Enterprises (he specifically mentioned Continental) and are in talks with Marc Vetri as well as many other local restauranteurs. So burger-eaters beware; if New York is telling the truth, we are all about to lose our minds.