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Beef & Liberty Has a New 159rmb Burger Served Under a Golden Cover. Of Course We Ate It.

May 28, 2020 | 11:01 Thu
Photos: Brandon McGhee
Beef & Liberty is a controversial burger place. It has a clear mission and aesthetic: statement burgers. There is no lettuce or tomato or onion. The ketchup is from Tiptree and is to Heinz what Chateau Lafite is to Jacob’s Creek. The beef is grass-fed. The playlist is excellent. They are not cheap. And now they’ve gone and premium-atized that burger menu with The Liberty, a 159rmb challenge towards other, lesser burgers in Shanghai.

Made with 75% ground New Zealand rib-eye steak (still grass fed) and more than 20% bigger than the standard patty (220g v 180g), it comes under a golden cloche and has 60 grams of melted Jarlsberg cheese, which comes separate from the burger and is then poured out of a hot pan on top of the patty. It is over the top. The whole thing. It’s just… a lot. A lot of burger. A lot of cheese. A lot of pomp and circumstance. It looks great on WeChat moments.

So I went down to eat one earlier this week, thinking I’d be the only one willing to dabble in burger-related financial impropriety. Turns out they have been selling like crazy. Shanghai loves a good reason to spend.

How was it? Delicious. But I’m already in the tank for Beef & Liberty burgers, which I have been eating since the days they were called Gourmet Café and given terrible puns for names. The tomato relish on the burger is a little tart, the dijonnaise is creamy, the brioche bun easy to smush, and the whole thing a little too big for me to finish in one sitting. It just went on the regular menu at all three locations. Thumbs up.


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