Dirty and delicious: Dirty Burger claims top prize
When you think of food, “dirty” isn’t usually the adjective that excites your taste buds. Unless, of course, it’s a Dirty Burger.
Cooked using a unique blend of 10 spices (called dirty dust) and honey, the Dirty Burger was officially voted the Best Burger on Long Island during the Great Burger Battle in Patchogue, hosted by Pulse Magazine. The final competition took place on August 14, and featured 10 burger joints competing for the top prize. Participants were narrowed down from 50 contenders during two rounds of online polling, and winners were chosen by in-person voters.
While the award was an honor, it wasn’t a surprise to Executive Chef Ian Russo. “Everyone said our burger was by far the best,” he said. “We felt like we would win.”
Russo opened his first Dirty Burger location in Kimco’s Plainview, New York Manetto Hill Plaza back in 2013. The idea sprang from his “Dirty Drunken Rib-eye,” an award-winning steak that first earned him the nickname of “The Dirty Chef.” Recognizing the versatility of the steak’s signature “dirty dust” spice blend, he started making burgers with it, which eventually grew into a delicious casual dining menu.
Everything at Dirty Burger is made from scratch, from the spice blends down to the sauces. The lamb burger, another fan favorite, is full of Greek flavors and comes with its own form of tzatziki sauce called “dirtziki” sauce—just a hint at how deeply the dirty dust spice blend permeates the menu items. The popularity of dirty dust has led to Russo selling the spice blend both online and in store, to great success. While the spices have been used in lamb burgers, veggie burgers, and everything in between, it’s the original Dirty Burger that is the public’s favorite—as well as the award winner.
So what comes next for Dirty Burger? Now that it’s the best burger on Long Island, Russo is moving onto a bigger challenge: Food Network’s Chopped NYC.
It’s no surprise that Russo has his sights set on such goals—he is a classically trained chef after all, and has worked at esteemed restaurants in New York City, Paris, Brussels, Honolulu, Beijing, Philadelphia, and Rhode Island. His advice to anyone looking to start their own burger joint would be to counter the competition by having something unique. Well, the Dirty Burger’s uniqueness has certainly set it apart from the rest of its competitors on Long Island. Congratulations, Dirty Burger!