In June 2012, New York City chef Waldy Malouf opened High Heat Pizza, Burgers & Tap on Bleecker Street near NYU’s campus. The concept of this eatery is to serve thin crust pizza coupled with smokestack burgers, all cooked at high temperatures.
Jeffrey Skiba, director of operations, says cooking with high temperatures makes food more flavorful.
“We cook with a high temperature oven that is kept at 600 degrees,” Skiba said. “Cooking in high heat creates a condense[d] flavor component and makes the cheese, dough and burger taste a certain way.”
Their burgers are anything but ordinary; they consist of a special combination of 25 percent dry-aged brisket and 75 percent certified Angus beef, blended by butcher Debragga and Spitler, specifically for High Heat.
Dry-aged brisket is placed in a temperature-controlled room for 30 days. This causes the moisture to be sucked out of the meat, causing a layer of fat to form on the outside. During this process, the flavor of the beef gets centralized into the meat, creating a steak-like quality and a savory flavor.
The selection of grilled smokestack burgers includes the signature High Heat Burger with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions, homemade pickles and High Heat sauce, and Burger ‘N’ Greens which is your choice of burger with mixed green salad, zucchini, parmesan and vinaigrette and more.
For parties of three or more, the Max Burger is a 30-ounce dry-aged burger consisting of bacon, bleu cheese and sautéed egg.
The vegan and non-beef choices include the Wood Oven Roasted Vegan Umami Burger with shiitake, lentils, black beans, tofu, sweet potato and roasted garlic-tomato sauce, and the 13-spice Organic Turkey Burger with chopped pickle vegetable slaw and hot and sour vinegar sauce.
Made with domestic and imported cheeses, their pizzas include novelties like the Bacon, Egg and Sausage pizza with roasted red peppers, arugula and cheddar. It also includes the 13-Spice BBQ Pork Pizza and the Broken Meatballs pizza with fresh oregano, mozzarella and parmesan.
They also offer a variety of seltzer floats, tossed french fries and salads.
Prices are student-friendly with the burgers ranging from $5.25 to $11.95; $7 to $10 for small pizzas and $14 to $17 for large pizzas.
Bleecker Street’s new addition is a hit with locals as well.
“It’s one of the best burgers in this area,” said Mike Eerri, 27, a frequent customer.
So what makes this place different from the other restaurants surrounding NYU?
“You can come in and have a quick lunch, or come and sit down and have a homemade cocktail and have a different experience,” Skiba said. “The quality of the food also speaks [to] what people are looking for … We are preparing everything ourselves and it comes across in the food we are serving.”
High Heat is located at 154 Bleecker St. at Thompson Street.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 9 print edition. Tanay Hudson is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.